(NEW YORK) — Harsh weather around the country will ease ahead of the holiday weekend, with severe weather moving out of the South and a white Christmas for parts of Texas.
Snow was still falling in the Northeast Friday morning from Pennsylvania to Maine, where up to five inches of wet snow was expected to accumulate through mid-morning. But it’s all rain along the I-95 corridor, and the storm is moving very fast. By mid-morning Friday most of the snow and rain will be gone and just chilly winds left behind, leaving it sunny and cool for Christmas weekend.
One trouble spot in the U.S. Friday is the gusty Santa Ana winds, which will last into the afternoon and lead to some snow in New Mexico and western Texas. Snow is expected from Midland to San Angelo and Abilene Friday and into Saturday, giving Texas a rare snowy Dec. 25.
Up to three feet of snow fell in the hills just west of Denver on Thursday, but let up by early Friday.
On Thursday, nearly 60 instances of severe weather were reported, including possibly two rare December tornadoes — one in Alabama confirmed, and the other in Georgia not yet confirmed.
Flash flooding was reported from Louisiana and Arkansas and Georgia, where some areas received up to four inches of water in just a few hours.
Winds gusted up to 60 and 70 miles per hour across Southern California Thursday, fueling wildfires, producing power outages, downing trees and overturning trucks. Wind gusts fueled a raging fire in San Francisco, and winds continued Friday in Southern California throughout the afternoon, but began to calm down Friday, with a warm weekend coming. Los Angeles could hit 80 degrees Christmas Day.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN