Damaging winds and flooding downpours will threaten different parts of the East on Wednesday, affecting millions of Christmas Eve travelers.
A major storm system in the East will produce severe thunderstorms over part of the the Southeast and over the Ohio Valley on Wednesday with some storms continuing into Wednesday evening.
These storms could impact those headed to church for Christmas Eve services or heading out to celebrate the holiday with their families.
Strong winds with these storms may also blow around holiday decorations ranging from lights on houses to inflatable lawn ornaments. If you have these decorations outside of your home, you should check to make sure that they are secure before the storms roll through.
Wednesday will be the second day in a row that severe weather threatens the Southeast with Wednesday's severe threat being farther east than on Tuesday.
Damaging wind gusts and torrential downpours will be the main threats into Wednesday evening with some of the stronger storms spinning up brief tornadoes.
Flooding appears to be the biggest danger from these storms after heavy rain soaked a similar area on Tuesday and Tuesday night.
Many areas received 1 to 2 inches of rain on Tuesday, making some areas even more susceptible to flooding.
It is also possible that debris from flash flooding on Tuesday could have clogged up drains, making low-lying and poor drainage areas even more likely to flood.
Driving through torrential downpours can be extremely difficult as the rain reduces visibility and increases the risk of hydroplaning.
If you are driving through one of these downpours, you should slow down and keep more distance between you and the car in front of you to allow for more space to stop if needed.
Wednesday may feel more like spring rather than winter across the Ohio Valley as mild air from the south surges over the region.
This mild, moisture-rich air will help fuel heavy rain and thunderstorms that move over the region throughout the day.
Thunderstorms that develop over the Ohio Valley will be capable of producing blinding downpours and wind gusts strong enough to bring down power lines and tree limbs.
As a result, residents across the region may experience sporadic power outages immediately following a storm's passage.
Despite the dangers that these thunderstorms will bring, it does not appear like any of the storms will become strong enough to produce tornadoes.
The threat for severe weather is expected to diminish by the evening hours as a cold front blasts through, ushering much colder air across the region.
This colder air will signal the end of the thunderstorms as more winterlike conditions return for Christmas Day.
It is possible that the same areas that are hit by severe thunderstorms on Wednesday afternoon wake up to snow flurries on Thursday morning, although the snow is not expected to accumulate.
Know when the rain and thunderstorms will impact your exact location with AccuWeather MinuteCast®.