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Nasty weather threatens Gulf Coast for Christmas

5:44 AM, Dec 25, 2012   |    comments
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NEW ORLEANS -- People along the Gulf Coast may receive an unwelcome visitor on Christmas Day.

Rough weather, including a chance of strong tornadoes and howling thunderstorms, could be on the way from east Texas to north Florida.

Farther north, much of Oklahoma and Arkansas are under a winter storm warning, with freezing rain, sleet and snow expected on Christmas. A blizzard watch is out for western Kentucky. And no matter what form the bad weather takes, travel on Tuesday could be dangerous.

The National Weather Service says the storms could bring strong tornadoes or winds of more than 75 mph, heavy rain, quarter-sized hail and dangerous lightning in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Forecasters say storms would begin near the coast and spread north through the day, bringing with them the chances of storms, particularly in central and southwest Alabama.

The bad weather is a result of a storm front moving from the West Coast crashing into a cold front.

In California, after a brief reprieve across the northern half of the state on Monday, wet weather is expected to make another appearance on Christmas. Flooding and snarled holiday traffic are also expected in Southern California.

(Associated Press)

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