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White Christmas? Maybe. Winter storm will also bring wet and windy weather across the U.S.

A winter storm will sweep across the nation starting Wednesday, bringing snow to parts of the Midwest and the Northeast, heavy rain to the Gulf Coast and gusty winds to the East Coast through Christmas Day.
Satellite image of the United States on Dec. 22, 2020.
Satellite image of the United States on Dec. 22, 2020.NOAA

A wet and windy storm will sweep across the nation starting Wednesday, bringing rain, severe storms, gusty winds and snow through Friday.

On Wednesday, rain will stretch from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, with strong storms possible in cities including Houston and New Orleans.

The northern and colder side of the storm system will likely see heavy snow in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska, including the cities of Minneapolis and Omaha.

Snow is also likely across much of the Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley on Thursday, including the cities of Detroit, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky.

On the East Coast, heavy rain and damaging winds will affect millions as severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes could have an impact on the eastern Carolinas.

On Friday, Christmas Day, heavy rain and strong winds will be ongoing in the morning across portions of the Northeast and New England with conditions improving by the second half of the day. Rain could change to snow across the interior of the Northeast.

Heavy rain of 1-3 inches over the deep snowpack that fell during last week's nor'easter could spark some flood concerns across the Northeast and New England. Christmas will be more wet than white, and even muddy, in many spots.

Snowfall totals for the storm system will be in the order of 2-6 inches along its path from the upper Midwest to the Ohio Valley, with isolated totals up to 8 inches downwind of the Great Lakes and in the higher elevations of the Appalachians.

In addition to snow and heavy rain, the storm is expected to also bring damaging winds. Wind gusts of 50-60 mph are possible for the East Coast on Thursday and Friday which could cause downed trees and power outages. Christmas decorations that could be blown away should be brought inside.

The storm will also be responsible for uncharacteristic temperatures in some parts of the country for this time of the year.

Boston's forecast high in the mid-50s will be warmer than what the city experienced on Halloween this year.

Highs in the 60s for south Florida will mean the area's coldest Christmas in 21 years.