A major storm will hit the DC area on Christmas Eve, posing the risk of dangerously strong floods and gusts before Santa Claus launches a blast of Arctic air.
The worst of the storm is expected from sunset on Christmas Eve to sunrise on Christmas morning.
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Flood surveillance will be in effect from Thursday afternoon until late at night in much of DC and surrounding areas of Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. Thursday will be a day of weather alert, says Storm Team4. Here is a complete list of weather alerts.
Storm Team4 meteorologist Chuck Bell says you should avoid traveling during the storm if possible – only Santa Claus should leave!
The first gusts of rain will arrive before noon on Thursday, with more constant rain and stronger winds expected to arrive around 4pm or 5pm.
At sunset on Christmas Eve, both rain and wind increase rapidly.
The amount of rain can total 1-2 inches, with very heavy rain possible at night. There is a chance of snow at the end of the storm, but without accumulation.
There is even a chance for some rare Christmas thunder.
The gusts can reach 40-50 mph and should be stronger from 8pm until early Christmas morning. This strong wind can knock down branches, trees or power lines, a risk for any traveler who does not have Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer to guide their way.
The combination of wind, blinding rain and flooding must be taken seriously.
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Santa Claus will deliver Arctic air, so plan for cool temperatures and chills in your teens and 20s on Christmas morning. Christmas day will be the coldest in years and a snowstorm or snow showers will be possible.
The weather will improve over the weekend. Saturday will be sunny, cold and airy, with highs just above zero. Sunday will be sunny and cold with highs above 40 ° and the chance of rain will return on Monday.
Stay with Storm Team4 for the latest predictions