Ice, Flooding Happening Now, Tornadoes Later in Central USNasty weather hits the country
Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013
The above satellite image shows storms moving across the middle of the country. (AccuWeather)
As more than 94 million take to the roads and skies this weekend, a storm has begun to unfold threatening to hinder early Christmas travel.
A heavy glaze of ice has begun to coat trees, power lines in portions of central Oklahoma to central Missouri. The ice storm will spread in to the upper reaches of the Northeast later this weekend.
Thunderstorms are increasing from eastern Texas to the lower Mississippi Valley and are likely to produce tornadoes Saturday afternoon and evening.
Heavier snow will likely develop later Saturday farther north and west of the ice over portions of Kansas, continuing northeastward up into northern Michigan and across central Ontario.
Flooding will occur in areas with and without substantial snow on the ground, centered over the Ohio and lower Mississippi valleys.
Rain, fog, ice and snow will delay ground travel in the I-35, I-44, I-40, I-70, I-80 and I-90 corridors.
It is highly likely that hundreds of flights will be delayed or cancelled directly or indirectly from the storm nationwide. This will be due to poor visibility, thunderstorms in the vicinity and deicing activities in the storm and aircraft and crews not reaching their destination as scheduled.
UPDATES: (All times are listed in CST)
11:10 a.m. Saturday: Storm total rainfall (Inches) from official reporting sides include: Little Rock, Ark., 4.37; Poplar Bluff, Mo., 3.27; Cairo, Ill., 3.33; and Washington, Ind., 2.48.
10:40 a.m. Saturday: Moderate to major river flooding is forecast for lesser rivers in the Ohio Valley, by the NWS River Forecast Center.
10:10 a.m. Saturday: In the heart of the ice storm, American Electric Power reports that nearly 6,200 are without electricity in Oklahoma, including more than 4,200 in Tulsa, Okla.
9:50 a.m. Saturday: Conditions are becoming more favorable for severe thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts and a few intense tornadoes from part of northeastern Texas to much of western and central Louisiana to southern Arkansas at this time until this evening.
9:00 a.m. Saturday: MODOT is reporting that multiple secondary roads in southeastern Missouri are experiencing poor drainage area flooding. Some "letter" routes are closed.
9:00 a.m. Saturday: At Chicago O'Hare Airport, according to FlightStats, delays are excessive due. Aircraft from other airports are running behind schedule.
8:40 a.m. Saturday: The temperature is 15 degrees with a visibility of 1/16 of a mile in freezing fog at Denver International Airport. Approximately 600 outgoing flights may delayed due to deicing activities according to FlightStats.
8:40 a.m. Saturday: Travel on I-35 in central Oklahoma is being discouraged by ODOT.
8:34 a.m. Saturday: Public reports up to 1/2 an inch of ice on trees along the Will Rogers Turnpike in northeastern Oklahoma.
8:30 a.m. Saturday: In the heart of the ice storm, American Electric Power reports that nearly 4,700 are without electricity in Oklahoma, including more than 1,700 in Tulsa, Okla.
7:50 a.m. Saturday: Street flooding on the southern side of Carbondale, Ill., with 3.32 inches of rain since midnight, according to NWS spotter.
7:35 a.m. Saturday: Widespread flooding of streets is occurring in Little Rock, Ark. Pulaski County, Ark., has received between 1.5 and 3.5 inches of rain thus far from the storm.
7:30 a.m. Saturday: Storm total rainfall close to 3 inches so far near Vincennes, Ind., according to NWS spotter.
7:00 a.m. Saturday: Little Rock, Ark., has received 2.40 inches of rain thus far from the storm with 2.15 inches falling on Cairo, Ill. With many hours of rain to go, flash flood warnings have been issued from Arkansas to southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois.
4:05 a.m. Saturday: A NWS employee reported 1/3 of an inch of ice on trees and elevated surfaces around Tulsa, Okla.
3:23 a.m. Saturday: A thin glaze of ice contributed to multiple vehicle accidents in East Wichita, Kan., according to Sedgwick County emergency dispatch.RELATED ON SKYE: The World's Best Christmas Festivals