NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Nasty weather, including a chance of strong tornadoes and howling thunderstorms, could be on the way for Christmas Day along the Gulf Coast from east Texas to north Florida.
The storms held off long enough, though, to let Christmas Eve bonfires light the way for Pere Noel along the Mississippi River, officials said.
Farther north, much of Oklahoma and Arkansas were 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, meteorologists said.
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, the National Weather Service said. The worst storms are likely from Winnsboro, La., to Jackson and DeKalb, Miss., according to the weather service's Jackson office.
This NOAA satellite image taken Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 at 01:45 AM EST shows a low pressure system over eastern Canada with a cold front stretching across the central Atlantic Ocean. A low pressure system is moving across the Mississippi Valley into the southeastern United States with areas of rain and scattered thunderstorms. Father north, snow showers are seen over the Mid-West. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)
2. Trying to decide right now if Christmas is worth it
We have to drive from Tallahassee to Panama City Florida and back to have Christmas with my husband's family. Driving over won't be too bad but we have to drive back tonight and the weather by then is predicted to be horrible.
I'd just as soon stay home. Only two weeks after my carpal tunnel surgery, my endurance is not great and four hours total in the car, plus who knows how many hours with the family is far more than I have been able to tolerate so far. Add in the aches and pains I get from low pressure systems and even with Vicodin I will not be comfortable.
If my husband wants to go, I'll let him. But I may just stay here and be achy by my self.