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Christmas Day Tornadoes: Southeast Texas to Florida
The News - Disaster Preparedness
December 24, 2012
christmas tornado threat
An outbreak of severe weather, including tornadoes, threatens to ruin Christmas Day for families and communities across the Gulf Coast states.

The area at greatest risk for damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes on Christmas Day stretches from southeastern Texas to the Florida Panhandle and southwestern Georgia.

That zone is home to College Station and Houston, Texas, Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La., Jackson and Gulfport, Miss., Montgomery and Mobile, Ala., Pensacola, Fla., and Albany, Ga.

AccuWeather.com meteorologists are especially concerned for the potential for loss of life with this outbreak since people may be busy with holiday activity and miss vital warnings.

Strong thunderstorms will actually begin to erupt late tonight around southeastern Texas, including Houston. A tornado cannot be ruled out with this activity, but the tornado danger will be greater during the daylight hours.

More numerous violent thunderstorms, including tornadoes, will erupt on Christmas Day from central and southern Louisiana, the southern half of Mississippi and Alabama and southwestern Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.

In addition to tornadoes causing destruction, severe thunderstorms capable of unleashing damaging winds and flooding rain are a serious concern.

Damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes will persist through Tuesday evening across central and southern Mississippi and eastern Louisiana.

The violent thunderstorms should organize into a solid line by late Tuesday night and march across Alabama, northern Florida and Georgia with damaging winds.

The severe weather danger should reach the Southeast coast, from eastern North Carolina to northeastern Florida, on Wednesday.

Wilmington, N.C., Charleston, S.C., Savannah, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla., are among the communities at risk this day.

The same storm set to trigger the impending severe weather outbreak will also spread a swath of significant snow from the southern Plains to the eastern Great Lakes and Northeast from Christmas Day to Thursday.

Ahead of this storm, another system is triggering showers and thunderstorms across the South today. Thunderstorms causing damage this Christmas Eve would be extremely isolated occurrences, but the danger of lightning striking anyone spending the day outdoors still exists.

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