Wet, Gray Holiday Christmas Travel Expected

Sure, folks dream of a white Christmas. But a gray one?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Meteorologist Christina Loren has your Bay Area weather forecast.

    Sure, folks dream of a white Christmas. But a gray one?

    Luckily, the sun looks like it will shine on Christmas Day, but getting to Grandma's house might be cold, wet and drizzly.

    Rain & Wind Returns In Jeff's Travel Forecast

    [BAY] Rain & Wind Returns In Jeff's Travel Forecast
    After record setting cold and 20s over parts of the Bay Area, the next round of Winter weather is set to arrive late Thursday. Details on 2 systems to impact your Holiday travel from Chief Meteorologist Jeff Ranieri.

    A series of weather systems are set to impact the Bay Area from late Thursday into Sunday, which will no doubt produce dangerous conditions on local roads. Airport delays are expected to stack up  too as the wet weather will add to the misery of Midwest travelers stuck in a blizzard.   Overall, rain totals from over the next three of four days could total one to three inches with higher amounts over North Bay Mountains. Rising rivers, ponding on the roads, downed trees and power outages are possible this weekend, so travel with caution.

    As for Thursday, there will be a few areas of patchy frost, with early temperatures in the 30s. The skies will become mostly cloudy to overcast by the afternoon as rain pushes into the North Bay. The rain will eventually slide southward overnight Thursday into Friday morning. Inland highs will reach the mid 50s. Bayside and coastal areas should be in the lower 50s.

    It could be worse. Other parts of the United States were getting hammered by snow.  At O'Hare airport in Chicago,  more than 150 flights were canceled Thursday morning and some regional flights were being delayed by around two hours because of the wintry storms. The storm system also cut power to 400,000 homes and businesses, and spawned a tornado that flipped vehicles in Mobile, Ala.

    At least four deaths were tied to the snowstorms: In Iowa, one person died Thursday in a 25-car pileup on Interstate 35; in Wisconsin, slick road conditions led to two fatalities; and in Utah, a woman who tried to walk for help after her car became stuck in snow was found dead, officials said late Wednesday. Search and rescue crews on snowmobiles found her buried in the snow just a few miles from her car.
     

    Despite the relative chill for most of California, the Bay Area still has it pretty good compared to some other parts of the country.

    Friday morning will start off with periods of rain and wind, which will continue through the day.  By the evening hours, most locations will have received one to three inches of rain, with the highest amounts in the North Bay. Winds will be blustery on Friday with speeds up to 40 mph.

    Saturday and Sunday should bring period of rain, with maybe even a thunderstorm or two.

    The good news? Christmas Eve and Christmas Day should dry out. Expect clearer conditions by Tuesday.

    NBC News and NBC Chicago contributed to this report.

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