On Sunday, December 18th, 2022, AccuWeather’s expert team of meteorologists expressed quiet concern that a severe storm will emerge later this week, threatening to affect a large portion of the country—from the Plains to the Atlantic Seaboard—with heavy snow, rain, fierce winds, and freezing temperatures.
Thursday through Saturday, at least a section of the storm is expected to bring snow to the southern Plains, the Midwest, the Northeast, and potentially even the interior Southeast states. The Western interior might get snowfall as early as Wednesday, and Denver could see several inches of snow Wednesday night.
Due to a simultaneous influx of arctic air, which will cause ambient temperatures to reach “bone-chilling” levels during the holiday weekend, the intensifying storm may produce “one of the most intense and prolonged periods of Arctic air in decades,” according to AccuWeather.
Given that the days before Christmas are among the busiest travel days of the year, the development of this severe weather system could not have occurred at a more inconvenient moment. Experts cannot yet anticipate precisely how the intricate structure of the approaching storm will unfold. Late in the week, it may separate into two storms, one moving toward the Great Lakes and the other gathering over the Appalachians or near the Atlantic coast. If this occurs, severe winter weather might spread across a very vast region, increasing the Christmas season’s effects.
“The exact track of the storm will dictate which areas receive heavy snow versus heavy rain and the most significant impacts, but people and businesses in the eastern U.S., especially those traveling, should be extra alert and frequently check AccuWeather forecasts this week to stay updated on expected impacts,” said AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jon Porter.
It is suggested that holiday visitors with some flexibility in their departure dates modify their plans to avoid the storm’s peak impact period, which is forecast to arrive late in the week and extend over the Christmas holiday.