Millions in path of storm system that spend week traveling across country before slamming East Coast

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Millions in the path of storm system that will spend week traveling across the country before slamming into East Coast for Christmas with strong winds, freezing temperatures and heavy rains

  • A strong cold front is to move across the central and eastern states from Wednesday into Christmas Day
  • Heavy rain and gusty winds are likely to  accompany the storm system in the East
  • Much colder air will follow immediately after the front passes through

The chances of a Christmas week storm is looking increasingly likely.

Current forecasts appear to show the storm hitting the East Coast on Christmas Eve with a cold front bringing an Arctic blast for the duration of the holiday.  

The storm could cause numerous hazards as it arrives on the East Coast.

Sub zero temperatures are expected along the East Coast of the U.S. as Christmas approaches

Sub zero temperatures are expected along the East Coast of the U.S. as Christmas approaches

The winter storm will begin life in the northwest of the country on Monday before moving East

The winter storm will begin life in the northwest of the country on Monday before moving East

The Midwest will be affected on Wednesday with snow, heavy rain and strong storms

The Midwest will be affected on Wednesday with snow, heavy rain and strong storms

Currently, most of the East is experiencing seasonable temperatures after a blast of cold air hit the region on Saturday.  

However, forecasters say there are a number of fast-moving systems that will travel through the Eastern and Central U.S. over the next few days.

The first frontal system may see some snow stretching from Ohio to New York. 

On Monday, another disturbance coming in from Canada could see snow landing in the upper Midwest although there is unlikely to be any significant accumulation. 

But the storm that may affect the East for Christmas is likely to begin with strong winds on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

By Christmas Eve, the strong storms will have reached the Eastern Seaboard

By Christmas Eve, the strong storms will have reached the Eastern Seaboard

Christmas Day may seen some snow at higher elevations but temperatures will remain frigid

Christmas Day may seen some snow at higher elevations but temperatures will remain frigid

The winds are first forecast in the Pacific Northwest where up to 8 inches of rain could ask fall in Oregon and Washington with the risk of triggering mudslides, landslides, avalanches and flooding. 

The weather system will then move into the Central U.S. by Wednesday where it will become more organized with a powerful cold front bringing heavy rain and strong thunderstorms. 

Snow will then form on the cold side of the storm with snow falling in the upper Midwest.  

By Christmas Eve, the system will approach the Eastern U.S. with heavy rain forecast and powerful wind gusts, especially along parts of the Northeast Coast.

A strong cold front will move from the nation's midsection on Wednesday to near or off the Eastern Seaboard by Christmas Day

A strong cold front will move from the nation’s midsection on Wednesday to near or off the Eastern Seaboard by Christmas Day

As the storm system shifts east through the end of the week, just in time for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it will intensify, with a mix of snow and rain

As the storm system shifts east through the end of the week, just in time for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it will intensify, with a mix of snow and rain

Rain might continue into at least a portion of Christmas Day along the East Coast with cooler air coming in behind

Rain might continue into at least a portion of Christmas Day along the East Coast with cooler air coming in behind

Although it is too early to tell how strong the winds will be, power outages may occur. 

This, coupled with the melting snow from last weeks storm is likely to cause flooding. 

Those at higher elevations including northeast Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont, where more than 2 feet of snow fell, are at risk.  

Heavy rain and strong thunderstorms are also forecast to hit the southeast on Christmas Eve.  

Temperature-wise, the Midwest could see wind chills around -10s and -20s. 

On the East Coast there could be some dramatic temperature swings with parts of New Jersey at around 60F on Christmas Eve falling to single digits by Christmas Day night.

A man travels on a scooter in Times Square on December during last week's storm

A man travels on a scooter in Times Square on December during last week’s storm

Only a few pedestrians and cars are out while snow fell in downtown Englewood New Jersey

Only a few pedestrians and cars are out while snow fell in downtown Englewood New Jersey

Big Christmas ornament decorations are seen on Fifth Avenue in New York last week

Big Christmas ornament decorations are seen on Fifth Avenue in New York last week

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