Published December 21, 2013
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 and roadways in portions of central Oklahoma to central Missouri on Saturday morning.
Heavier snow will likely develop later in the day farther north from the ice over portions of Kansas, continuing northeastward up into northern Michigan and across central Ontario.
Heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding are also concerns for Saturday and Saturday night, as substantial rain could extend throughout the day up into southern Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana.
Areas with snow already on the ground will be at high risk for urban flooding, as snow melts due to both the weekend's warm spell and the rain.
Low visibility is also a concern, as fog may creep into portions of the Ohio Valley along with the rain on Saturday.
The greatest risk to lives and property is severe thunderstorms and the risk of tornadoes that will reach from central Texas eastward along the Gulf Coast to Alabama and northward to the Ohio Valley.
Later in the weekend, ice can make roads slippery and down trees and power lines from the Lower Michigan Peninsula, eastward through upstate New York, northern New England and neighboring areas of Canada.
For motorists, the combination of heavy rain, fog and potential icing could cause not only slow holiday travel, but make for dangerous driving conditions, which could lead to accidents along I-80, I-70 and I-95.
It is also highly likely that flights may be delayed or cancelled due to low visibility and/or locally gusty winds along the Northeast I-95 corridor over the weekend. Most of the major airports will be in the storm's path including Boston, Newark, N.J., New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
8:30 a.m. CST 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. CST 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. CST 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. CST Saturday:Storm total rainfall close to 3 inches so far near Vincennes, Ind., according to NWS spotter.
7:00 a.m. CST 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. CST Saturday:A NWS employee reported 1/3 of an inch of ice on trees and elevated surfaces around Tulsa, Okla.
3:23 a.m. CST Saturday:A thin glaze of ice contributed to multiple vehicle accidents in East Wichita, Kan., according to Sedgwick County emergency dispatch.