Thursday, December 31, 2015

Winter Storm Goliath: Historic Southern Plains Blizzard Within Huge Swath of Snow, Ice (RECAP)

December 30,2015
Winter Storm Goliath lived up to its name, bringing a huge swath of snow and ice from the West through a large part of the Plains, Midwest and Northeast from Dec. 24 through Dec. 29, 2015. Within that zone, a historic blizzard buried the southern Plains in heavy snow whipped by wind gusts as high as 80 mph.
(MORE: Science Behind Naming Winter Storms)
Goliath brought two distinct rounds of wintry precipitation. The first affected parts of the West and a strip of the Upper Midwest from Dec. 24 through Dec. 26. The second round cranked up over the southern Plains, bringing a blizzard to some areas late Dec. 26 into Dec. 27. Snow and ice from that phase of the storm spread into the central and northern Plains, the Great Lakes region and parts of the Northeast Dec. 27 through Dec. 29.
(MORE: Snow, Ice Blamed for Deaths in Winter Storm Goliath)
Goliath brought the first official accumulating snow of the season to parts of the Northeast, including Boston (0.9 inch on Dec. 29) and Albany, New York (2.2 inches Dec. 28-29). For Albany, this is the latest first measurable snow in any snow season on record there, beating the old record set Dec. 24, 1912.
Below is a recap of snow, ice and wind reports from Goliath, grouped by the various phases of the storm over its lifetime.

First Phase of Goliath in West and Midwest: Dec. 24 - Dec. 26, 2015 

All reports are for snowfall.
  • California: 28 inches near Soda Springs; 20 inches at Northstar Ski Resort and Kirkwood Ski Resort
  • Colorado: 23 inches southwest of Montrose; 20 inches near Sharkstooth
  • Idaho: 5.7 inches near Notus
  • Michigan: 9 inches near Negaunee
  • Minnesota: 8 inches in Westbrook; 3.9 inches in Duluth; 2.5 inches at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • Nebraska: 10 inches in Sidney; 6.5 inches in Mullen
  • Nevada: 24 inches at Heavenly Ski Resort; 22 inches at Mt. Rose Ski Area
  • Oregon: 14.5 inches near Gold Beach
  • South Dakota: 12.8 inches in Hartford; 12 inches in Spearfish
  • Utah: 12 inches at Camp Jackson
  • Washington: 4.0 inches near Deer Park
  • Wisconsin: 8 inches in Ashland; 6 inches in Superior
  • Wyoming: 13.7 inches near Thayne; 9 inches near Wilson

New Mexico and Texas Blizzard Recap Dec. 26 - Dec. 28, 2015

Snow totals in New Mexico and Texas Dec. 26 into early Dec. 28, 2015.

Saturday night into Sunday, Dec. 26-27, snow and wind gusts of 40 to 80 mph hammered parts of the southern High Plains, particularly eastern New Mexico, western Texas and western Oklahoma. Incredibly, a 70 mph wind gust peeled siding off a home in Clovis, New Mexico, Sunday afternoon.
The Clovis Municipal Airport, 3 miles north-northwest of Texico, New Mexico, reported an 82-mph wind gust shortly before 10 p.m. MST on Saturday, Dec. 26. Sustained winds at the same time were measured at 54 mph there, and snow was falling.
Snow drifts of up to 10 feet were reported in several eastern New Mexico and west Texas counties, where motorists were stranded due to the severe blizzard conditions.
Ski Apache in southeast New Mexico saw 41 inches of snow. Goliath dumped up to an estimated 30 inches of snow on Cloudcroft, New Mexico, where strong winds caused power outages as well. Roswell, New Mexico, saw a record one-day snowfall of 12.4 inches on Sunday with a storm total of 15.6 inches when including snowfall from Saturday.
In Texas, El Paso International Airport picked up 8.1 inches of snow, exceeding that city's average annual snowfall of 5.5 inches. Lubbock had its snowiest December day on record, picking up 11 inches of snow on December 27. Parts of the Midland metropolitan area picked up 7 inches of snow from Goliath.
Thundersnow was observed in parts of west Texas on early Sunday afternoon, including in San Angelo. Light snow and sleet even fell for a few hours Sunday afternoon in Del Rio, Texas, where accumulating snow had not fallen since February 2012.
New Mexico
  • 41 inches at Ski Apache
  • 30 inches estimated in Cloudcroft, San Ignacio and Sandia Ski Area
  • 24 inches in Queen, with drifts of 6 to 7 feet
  • 20 inches near Artesia
  • 15.6 inches near Roswell (record one-day total of 12.4 inches Sunday)
  • 13.2 inches in Carlsbad
  • 12 inches in Las Cruces
Wind gusts:
  • 82 mph at Clovis Municipal Airport late Saturday
  • 71 mph at Cannon AFB near Clovis Sunday
  • 71 mph in Clayton
  • 20.0 inches at the cooperative observation site in Friona during the 48-hour period ending Monday morning, Dec. 28. This is an all-time record two-day snowstorm at the site, which has kept records since 1927.
  • 12 inches in Alpine and Greenwood
  • 11.2 inches in Lubbock
  • 8.5 inches in Odessa
  • 8.1 inches at El Paso International Airport (up to 10 inches northwest of the city)
  • 6.1 inches in Amarillo
  • 2 inches in San Angelo
  • 67 mph wind gust near Olton on Saturday
  • 65 mph wind gust near Amherst early Sunday
  • Whiteout conditions in Plains, Farwell, Hale Center and Littlefield and other locations.

Snowfall and Wind Reports For Second Phase of Goliath in Plains, Midwest and Northeast Dec. 27 - 29, 2015

Reports are in alphabetical order by state and are for snow unless otherwise indicated.
Northeast Reports
  • Connecticut: 2 inches in Burlington and near Southington; 1.0 inch of snow and 0.15 inch of ice accumulation at Hartford International Airport in Windsor Locks
  • Maine: 12 inches in Garland and Stetson; 7.1 inches at Portland International Jetport; 6.9 inches in Bangor; 5.3 inches at NWS Caribou
  • Massachusetts: 3.8 inches in Haverhill; 1.4 inches in Worcester; 0.9 inches at Boston's Logan International Airport (first measurable snow of the season)
  • New Hampshire: 8 inches near Northfield; 4.2 inches in Concord
  • New Jersey: 1.2 inches in Wantage; 0.09 inch of ice accumulation at the Sussex Airport
  • New York: 7 inches in Massena and near Hogansburg; 2.2 inches of snow and 0.20 inch of ice at Albany International Airport
  • Pennsylvania: 0.25 inch of ice accumulation in Brookland, Bear Lake, Albrightsville, Cresco and Summit Hill; 1.1 inches of snow near Ambler
  • Rhode Island: 1.3 inches in North Cumberland; 0.12 inch of ice accumulation in Providence
  • Vermont: 6.1 inches near Braintree; 4.9 inches of snow and 0.02 inch of ice at the National Weather Service office in Burlington
Midwest and Plains Reports
Snow totals in the Midwest late Dec. 27 into early Dec. 29, 2015.

  • Numerous power lines, poles and trees were downed due to over 0.25 inch ice accumulation and wind in Monmouth.
  • Trees and power lines were also downed in Normal and Peoria.
  • 1.9 inches of sleet at Chicago's O'Hare Airport
  • 2.5 inches snow/sleet in Moline
  • Snow: 11.5 inches near Monona; 10.3 inches at Waterloo Regional Airport; 5.6 inches at Des Moines International Airport
  • Ice: 0.25 inch accumulation in Middletown with limbs and small trees downed; branches downed in Burlington
  • Power outages due to icing in Arkansas City, Longton, Howard and Moline.
  • 50 power poles downed due to 1 inch ice accumulation near Anthony
  • Freezing rain and sleet caused some power outages and traffic accidents in Wichita
  • 2.4 inches snow in Nortonville and Valley Falls.
  • Sleet/ice: Up to 0.1 inch ice accumulation near Sandstone; 4 inches sleet in Holland and Big Rapids; 2 inches of sleet in Grand Haven; 1 inch of sleet in Kalamazoo
  • Snow: 10 inches in Trout Lake; 8 inches in Alpena
  • Snow: 12.5 inches in Mapleton; 8.5 inches in Rochester and Mankato; 5.5 inches at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport
  • Ice: Up to 1 inch of ice accumulation near Yukon; one-quarter inch of ice accumulation near Enid and Burbank
  • Sleet: 1 inch in Glenpool; 0.5 inch in Tulsa, Jenks and Claremore
South Dakota
  • Snow: 7 inches near Vermillion, Brandon and Beresford; 5.6 inches near Sioux Falls; 5 inches in Dakota Dunes (near Sioux City)
  • Snow: 14.6 inches in New London; 13.5 inches in De Pere with thunder; 12.2 inches in Appleton
  • Official NWS snowfall totals: 13.2 inches in Green Bay; 9.9 inches in La Crosse; 9.1 inches in Milwaukee; 6.0 inches in Madison
  • Ice: 0.20 inch of ice from freezing rain/drizzle near Jackson; 1 inch of sleet near Cuba City

PHOTOS: Winter Storm Goliath

Tropical Depression Nine-C Caps Off a Record Central Pacific Hurricane Season

Jon Erdman
Published: December 31,2015

As we ring in a new year, we have yet another tropical cyclone adding to what's been a record central Pacific hurricane season.
Tropical Depression Nine-C formed late Wednesday night, U.S. Eastern standard time, just east of the International Date Line, about 1,800 miles southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Moderate wind shear, namely changing wind speed and/or direction with height, is keeping this system rather disorganized, so it remains uncertain whether it will strengthen at all.
If it becomes a tropical storm east of the date line, it will get the next central Pacific name, "Pali." If, however, it persists, but doesn't gain tropical-storm strength until passing west of the date line, it will gain the next western Pacific name, "Nepartak."
It is no immediate threat to land.
(MAP: Wunderground Forecast Path)
What's bizarre is not only the system's formation around the New Year's holiday, but its close proximity to the equator.

Latest Position, Intensity, Movement
"T.D. Nine-C broke yet another record for the lowest latitude western hemisphere tropical cyclone on record at 2.4 degrees north latitude," said The Weather Channel hurricane specialist Michael Lowry.
Lowry says the previous record holder was Hurricane Ekeka at 4.2 degrees north latitude in late January 1992.
(BLOG: Top Unexpected 'Wow' Moments of 2015 Season)
As a general rule of thumb, tropical cyclones need to be at least 5 degrees of latitude away from the equator to get enough of a turn in wind direction from the Coriolis force to intensify. Without this turn in wind direction, air would simply converge into the low-pressure center and weaken it, instead of circulating around it.
Incidentally, Typhoon Vamei in late December 2001 formed within 1.5 degrees of the equator near Singapore, the only tropical cyclone of record to form that close to the equator. A 2003 study estimated the probability of a similar event happening again once every 100-400 years.
All known tropical cyclone tracks from 1851 through 2008. Note the gap in tracks near the equator in the center of the map.

Then there's the oddity of a December or January system in the Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line.
Dr. Phil Klotzbach, tropical scientist at Colorado State University, said there have been only five December or January named storms (at least tropical storm strength) on record in either the central Pacific (180 to 140 degrees west longitude) or eastern Pacific (east of 140 degrees west longitude).
The last such occurrence was on December 19, 2010, when Tropical Storm Omeka formed well west of Hawaii. One such system, Hurricane Ekeka, formed as late as January 28, 1992, also well south of Hawaii.
Winnie (1983) was the only eastern Pacific named storm to form in December or January. Winona (Jan. 13, 1989) and Paka (Dec. 2, 1997) were the other central Pacific named storms in either of those two months. Paka would later go on to clobber Guam as a super typhoon.
Klotzbach says a record eight named storms formed in the central Pacific basin this season, doubling the previous record of four storms set in 1982.
(MORE: 11 Things We Remember About the 2015 Season)
Tracks of all central and eastern Pacific named tropical cyclones in 2015, prior to the current central Pacific system.

A record 15 tropical cyclones either formed in the central Pacific basin, or tracked westward from the eastern Pacific basin in 2015, prior to this current system, topping the previous record of 11 such cyclones set in 1992 and again in 1994, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's season recap.
Record low wind shear, which can inhibit tropical cyclones from forming, as well as record warm sea-surface temperatures from July through October contributed to the record season, according to Klotzbach.
National Hurricane specialist Eric Blake perhaps summed it up best. "A fitting end to a hyperactive year out there!"
MORE: Record-Setting Hurricane Patricia - Oct. 2015

Severe Weather Forecast: Flood Watches in Southeast, More Locally Heavy Rain Possible

December 31,2015
Flood watches are in effect for parts of the Southeast as more rain is forecast for areas already soaked by heavy rainfall from a series of unusually warm and wet December storm systems.
Fortunately, the potential for severe weather is not in play through the weekend, giving a much-needed break from the deadly tornadoes and severe weather we've seen since last Wednesday.
Additionally, areas bracing for major and possibly record-setting river flooding in the central U.S. will largely miss out on this lingering rain.
(MORE: Major Flooding on Mississippi River)

Severe Weather Forecast

Thunderstorm Forecast

Flood Watches and Warnings
  • Areas of rain, locally heavy in spots, are possible from the northern Gulf Coast, northeastward into middle and south Georgia as well as portions of the Carolinas.
  • Although some additional flash flooding is possible, such concerns will become increasingly localized as the heaviest rain tapers off.
  • Some heavy rain may graze areas from the Gulf Coast, eastward across North Florida, south Georgia and coastal South Carolina.
  • Localized flash flooding cannot be ruled out.
This Weekend
  • A few showers and thunderstorms may impact the Florida peninsula, and some pockets of soaking rain may target the South Texas coast, but flooding is not currently a significant concern.

Rainfall Forecast
Radar, Watches, Warnings

Current Radar with Watches and Warnings
Guide to Watches and Warnings
(MORE: View National Interactive Radar Map | Difference Between a Watch and a Warning)

Tuesday's Flood Reports

Early in the morning, ten residents near Rosman, North Carolina were forced to evacuate due to flood waters from the French Broad River. A trailer park was also evacuated just to the southeast of Cullowhee, North Carolina.
Near Asheville, North Carolina, a bridge was washed out on Thomas Lee Drive and debris flow impacted nearby homes.

Wednesday's Flood Reports

A total of 109 reports of flash flooding were reported to the National Weather Service from parts of the Carolinas to Georgia, southeast Alabama and the Florida panhandle. A small farm dam near Enterprise, Georgia, failed. Two homes were evacuated in the city of Newberry, South Carolina, and homes were also evacuated near Fearrington, North Carolina. A road was washed out near Kings Mountain, North Carolina.
Flooding was reported in parts of the city of Greenville, South Carolina. To the south over Greenwood County, South Carolina, widespread flooding was reported across the country with multiple homes flooded in the Parkland Place area. Flooding also swamped the westbound lanes of Interstate 20 at Turner Hill in the Atlanta metro, a location affected by a mudslide Christmas week.
In North Carolina, road closure due to high water were reported "county-wide" across Monroe County, via local National Weather Service storm reports.

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PHOTOS: Late-December 2015 Tornadoes and Flooding


Warmth Lingers After Record-Breaking Christmas Week in East

December 31,2015
The year will end with yet more record warmth in parts of the Southeast, particularly Florida, before the long and record-shattering mild spell, which peaked during Christmas Week, finally comes to an end as more seasonable air occupies the eastern half of the U.S. to start 2016.
It was the warmest Christmas Day on record in New York City, though not many creatures may have been stirring when the new record of 66 degrees was established just 31 minutes after midnight. This followed a record-shattering Christmas Eve that brought the city's warmest daily low temperature ever recorded in the month of December; the low of 63 for Dec. 24 was also warmer than lows on 30 of the 145 Independence Days (July 4) on record in the Big Apple since 1871.
Dozens of other cities established record highs each day since Christmas Eve and many also had daily lows warmer than any previously measured for those dates. The mild weather meant that most areas east of the Rockies did not experience a white Christmas.
Below we have a look at the forecast, followed by perspective on how warm this December has been so far.

Warm Weather Pattern Starting to Shrink

Forecast Highs Compared to Average
Record highs are still possible Thursday and even Friday in parts of the Florida peninsula before a cold front finally takes away the Sunshine State's summer heat this weekend.
(MORE: Colder Weather Pattern Ahead)

Record Highs Set Since Dec. 21

Here is a look at some of the record high temperatures that have been set in this latest round of widespread warmth that began Dec. 21.
Wednesday (Dec. 30):  Tampa, Florida, tied a daily record high (84 degrees), the seventh straight day tying or breaking a daily record. During this streak, they have tied the all-time December record (86 degrees) two straight days (December 25 and 26). Other daily record highs tied or set include Naples, Florida (88 degrees), Miami, Florida (84 degrees), Tallahassee, Florida (80 degrees), Jacksonville, Florida (84 degrees), Daytona Beach, Florida (85 degrees), Key West, Florida (83 degrees), Savannah, Georgia (83 degrees), and downtown Charleston, South Carolina (78 degrees).
Tuesday (Dec. 29): Daily record highs were set at several locations across the Southeast, including Naples, Florida (88 degrees), Orlando, Florida (87 degrees), Jacksonville, Florida (84 degrees), Miami, Florida (84 degrees), Savannah, Georgia (83 degrees); Charleston, South Carolina (78 degrees).
Tampa, Florida tied their record high (84 degrees) and this marked the seventh day in a row in which a daily record high temperature was either tied or broken at that location.
Tuesday (Dec. 29): New daily record highs were established at Melbourne, Florida (87 degrees); Orlando and Daytona Beach, Florida (both 85 degrees); Key West, Florida (84 degrees); Jacksonville, Florida (83 degrees); Florence, South Carolina (82 degrees); New Bern, North Carolina (80 degrees); Norfolk, Virginia (79 degrees); St. Simons Island, Georgia (79 degrees); Fayetteville, North Carolina (79 degrees); Hatteras, North Carolina (76 degrees); in addition, Ft. Lauderdale's Hollywood Airport tied an all-time warmest December daily low temperature of 78 degrees, set during three straight days Christmas week (Dec. 23-25).
Monday (Dec. 28): Daily record highs were reported at Columbia, South Carolina (80 degrees), Jackson, Mississippi (77 degrees), Louisville, Kentucky (68 degrees), Miami (84 degrees), Savannah, Georgia (82 degrees), and Tupelo, Mississippi (73 degrees), Knoxville, Tennessee (76 degrees); and Kingsport, Tennessee (73 degrees).
Key West, Florida, recorded its warmest low temperature for the entire month of December, only dipping to 79 degrees.
Sunday (Dec. 27): Daily record highs were established at Savannah, Georgia (80 degrees); Wilmington, North Carolina (79 degrees); Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee (76 degrees); Raleigh, North Carolina (76 degrees); Atlanta (75 degrees), Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (74 degrees); Morgantown, West Virginia (72 degrees); Philadelphia (65 degrees); Providence, Rhode Island (61 degrees); and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (59 degrees).
Saturday (Dec. 26): Daily record highs were set at Fort Myers, Florida (87 degrees); New Orleans (83 degrees); Greenville, Mississippi (81 degrees); El Dorado, Arkansas (80 degrees); Houston (80 degrees); Memphis (80 degrees); Atlanta (77 degrees); Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (76 degrees); Bowling Green, Kentucky (73 degrees); Huntsville, Alabama (72 degrees); and Bluefield, West Virginia (64 degrees).
Christmas Day (Dec. 25): Portland, Maine, hit 62 degrees, marking the first time any site in the entire state of Maine has recorded a temperature at or above 60 on Christmas Day.
While Portland may not ultimately be the site that cinches the new record for Maine, it was among several communities that held the previous state record of 57. Portland hit 57 on Christmas Day in 1888, but several other locations hit the 57-degree mark just last Christmas in 2014.
Naples, Florida, hit 89 to not only break its Christmas record but also tie its all-time December record high.
Statistically, based on the length of weather records and the margin by which the Christmas Day record was broken, the most significant daily high temperature record set this Christmas Day was at Woodstock, Vermont, where a high of 68 shattered by a 16-degree margin the previous Christmas record of 52 set in 1900. According to NOAA, the Woodstock cooperative observation site has 122 years of weather records, and has recorded a high temperature on Christmas Day on 106 of those years.
Based on preliminary data, new Christmas Day record highs included Harlingen, Texas (88 degrees); Fort Myers, Florida (87 degrees); Tampa and Orlando (both 86 degrees); Houston (83 degrees); New Orleans (82 degrees), Savannah, Georgia (82 degrees); Jacksonville, Florida (82 degrees); Fayetteville, North Carolina (81 degrees); Augusta, Georgia (81 degrees); Tallahassee, Florida (81 degrees); and North Charleston, South Carolina (80 degrees).
Among cities topping out in the 70s, new Christmas Day records were established at Norfolk, Virginia (79 degrees); Mobile, Alabama (79 degrees), Richmond, Virginia (75 degrees); Atlanta (75 degrees); and Atlantic City International Airport in Pomona, New Jersey (71 degrees).
Highs in the 60s were good enough for new Christmas Day records at New York City (66 degrees); Providence, Rhode Island (64 degrees); and Concord, New Hampshire (62 degrees). Philadelphia tied its Christmas Day record high of 68.
In addition to all the record highs set, a few locations broke records for the warmest low temperature for the entire month of December on Christmas Day. This includes Key West (79 degrees); Elizabeth City, North Carolina (68 degrees); and Salisbury, Maryland (65 degrees). West Palm Beach, Florida (78 degrees) and Fort Lauderdale, Florida (78 degrees) tied their records for warmest low temperatures for the month.
Christmas Eve (Dec. 24): Albany, New York, soared to 72 degrees to set an all-time high for all of meteorological winter, which runs from the start of December through the end of February. It beat the winter record of 71 last set Jan. 6, 2007, and the December record of 71 set Dec. 29, 1984.
Burlington, Vermont set a new all-time record high for December (68 degrees); this also beat the daily record high temperature by an astonishing 17 degrees. Norfolk, Virginia, also set a new all-time December record with a high of 82.
Daily record highs included Columbia, South Carolina (74 degrees); New York City (72 degrees); Philadelphia (71 degrees); Boston (69 degrees); Hartford, Connecticut (69 degrees); Providence, Rhode Island (69 degrees); Syracuse, New York (68 degrees); and Worcester, Massachusetts (65 degrees).
Records for the warmest low temperature in the month of December were set at New York City (63 degrees), Philadelphia (62 degrees) and Washington, D.C. (60 at Reagan National Airport), among others.
Wednesday (Dec. 23): Buffalo (61 degrees); Cleveland (64 degrees); Detroit (58 degrees); Pittsburgh (64 degrees); Indianapolis (64 degrees - tie); Milwaukee (58 degrees); Muskegon, Michigan (62 degrees); Moline, Illinois (60 degrees); Tallahassee, Florida (82 degrees - tie); Traverse City, Michigan (57 degrees);
Tuesday (Dec. 22): Nashville (70 degrees); Memphis (70 degrees tied).
Monday (Dec. 21): St. Louis (67 degrees tied); West Plains, Missouri (69 degrees); Springfield, Illinois (64 degrees); Peoria, Illinois (60 degrees tied); Naples, Florida (87 degrees tied).

December Record Warmth So Far

According to preliminary data from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), at least 5,007 record daily highs were tied or broken across the U.S. during the first 29 days of December. An additional 6,387 record-warm daily low temperatures have been set during the same time period.
By comparison, just 242 daily record lows and 327 additional record cool highs were set in the same time frame.

Record Temperature Tracker

MORE: Christmas Destinations

Colder Weather Returns to the East This Week

Quincy Vagell
Published: December 31,2015

After record warmth dominated much of the East through the majority of December, colder air is gradually returning to the region to wrap up the month and start the new year.
December 2015 is on track to be the warmest December on record at many stations across the Great Lakes, Midwest and Northeast, southward toward the Gulf Coast and Florida. Last Thursday, locations such as Burlington, Vermont and Richmond, Virginia not only experienced their warmest Christmas Eve on record, but also all-time record highs for the entire month of December.
(MORE: Record December Warmth)
The warmth has been especially hard on ski resorts around New England, where a lack of both snow and cold temperatures has led to a very slow start to the ski season. In Upstate New York, Buffalo did not observe its first measurable snowfall until Dec. 18, shattering the prior record for a season's latest first snowfall set Dec. 3, 1899.
(MORE: Buffalo Finally Sees Measurable Snow)
Winter Storm Goliath was the spark that is setting off a pattern change across eastern portions of the Lower 48. Not only has the storm brought snow and ice to parts of the Northeast, but in its wake, a return to more typical early winter temperatures is expected.

Forecast Pattern Late This Week

What to Expect Into This Weekend

Above-average temperatures will continue in parts of the Middle Atlantic and Southeast Thursday, with a few more daily record highs threatened in the Southeast and Florida. Warmth will linger in most of the Florida Peninsula Friday, as well.
Even Florida will cool off, thanks to a series of frontal systems accompanying a larger-scale pattern change across the East. Friday, much of the East may start 2016 with temperatures much closer to average for this time of the year.

Forecast This Week
By contrast, the temperatures in the 60s and 70s we saw leading up to Christmas across the Northeast will be replaced by 30s and 40s into the weekend. Locations close to the Canadian border may not get out of the teens or 20s for a few days. Over the Middle Atlantic region, after some spots reached the 80s on Christmas Eve, expect highs to largely hold in the 40s or low 50s into early next week.
Most of the South will see highs return to 40s and 50s by Friday as cooler air spreads through the region in the week ahead from the northwest to the southeast. Even Florida will cool down with highs in the 60s in central Florida and 70s in south Florida this weekend.

Forecast Highs Compared to Average
Most of the nation will be colder than average to start the first full week of January. However, a warming trend is expected later in the week mainly east of the Mississippi River, but not to the extent of December's exceptional warmth.
MORE: Myths About the Cold

Flooding Swamps the Southeast: State of Emergency Declared in Georgia

Sean Breslin
Published: December 31,2015

Heavy, persistent rainfall caused more problems in the Southeast on Wednesday, where some residents were evacuated as floodwaters threatened their homes.
Flooding was reported Wednesday in Georgia and the Carolinas as yet another day of rainfall forced some saturated locales over the brink, resulting in flash flooding. Some North Carolina residents were trapped by rising floodwaters and had to be rescued by firefighters, according to the Associated Press.
In Georgia, a state of emergency was declared for several counties hit hardest by the flooding rains.
(MORE: Historic, Deadly Floods Hit the Plains, Midwest)
Here's a deeper look at the impacts reported in these floods.

North Carolina

Gastonia firefighters rescued at least seven residents from a neighborhood that was overtaken by floodwaters from a swollen creek nearby, the AP reported. An emergency shelter was opened to house these evacuees, the report added.
residents evacuated from Woodlawn Acres on Archie Whitesides Road in Gastonia, NC due to flooding this afternoon...
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In Chatham County, near Fearrington, home evacuations occurred Wednesday morning in the Jordan Lake area, according to National Weather Service storm reports.
Several roads were closed by flooding across southern North Carolina; the Charlotte Observer has a complete list of closures.
Water at this Stanly county intersection is 12 inches deep!!! At Hwy 52 & Salisbury Ave. Latest on flooding at 5!

Officials in Chapel Hill said firefighters were called to help with evacuations in an apartment complex, and several roads in the area were closed, according to the AP. The NWS also reported some roads were flooded in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday.

South Carolina

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. released water from a Columbia-area dam to help relieve the rising water level early Thursday morning. Company spokesperson Ginny Jones told the AP the Lake Murray Dam release will send an additional 18,000 cubic feet per second of water into the lower Saluda River, but residents downstream, affected by historic flooding in October, should not worry about additional floods.
During the October floods, several spill gates from the same dam were opened for the first time since 1969.
Evacuations were ordered and roads were closed in parts of the Upstate on Wednesday, according to Fox Carolina. Blacksburg's Brugg Street Apartments were evacuated Wednesday morning, the report added.
In Greenwood County, the Wilson Creek Mobile Home Park was also evacuated on Wednesday, pushing six families from their homes, Fox Carolina also said. Numerous roads across the region were flooded on Wednesday, and officials asked motorists to avoid driving through submerged roadways.
How much worse will this get? Calhoun Falls, SC


Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency Wednesday night for five more counties in north Georgia hit by flooding. A state of emergency had previously been declared for three other counties, and that order was extended to Jan. 7.
Rainfall continued on Wednesday in north Georgia, leading to flooded roadways in some areas. In Conyers, the NWS reported multiple roads were closed due to floodwaters.
A dam in Oconee County may still be in danger of failure, county authorities told WXIA-TV. The Oconee County Sheriff's Office said they worked overnight Tuesday to relieve pressure on the dam, but additional rainfall could still be problematic.
The sheriff's office said on their Facebook page Tuesday afternoon that if the dam breaks, it would cut off access to homes along Briar Lakes Court. Oconee County Fire Rescue and sheriff's deputies worked Tuesday to contact residents and get them evacuated from that area.
MORE: Historic Flooding in the Plains and Midwest

Goliath: The Deadliest U.S. Storm System of 2015

Andrew MacFarlane
Published: December 31,2015

Winter Storm Goliath, the seventh named storm of the 2015-2016 season, is officially the deadliest storm system of the year in the United States.
Between the tornadoes in Texas, flooding in the Midwest and blizzard conditions in the Southern Plains, Midwest and Northeast, Goliath’s impacts have taken 52 lives across the country. 
"Winter Storm Goliath lasted for days, affected a large geographic area during a major holiday, and brought some exceptionally intense weather phenomena," said senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen. "There was a violent tornado; record rainfall leading to major flooding; and an epic blizzard. While several deaths occurred outside those most extreme parts of Goliath, those factors certainly didn't help."
(MORE: A Look Back on Winter Storm Goliath | Tornadoes and Record Flooding)
Here's a list of all those who lost their lives as a result of the severe weather:

The Warm Side of Goliath: Severe Weather, Tornadoes and Flooding—33 Total Deaths

Winter Storm Goliath: Flood Deaths


Twelve people were killed as a result of the extensive flooding in Missouri.
Five of the 12 were international soldiers riding in a car that was swept off a Pulaski County road Saturday night. They were heading back to Fort Leonard Wood from Osage Beach, according to Army Times. The victims were part of a training program that brings international soldiers to the U.S. to study engineering, military policing and chemical defense, the report added.
  • Maj. Mohammad Hassan Ibrahim, 32, of Egypt
  • Maj. Akram Abu Al-rub, 38, of Jordan
  • Capt. Ahmed Moussouni, 32, of Algeria
  • Capt. Ahmed Abdelghani, 29, of Egypt
  • Capt. Hasman Hussin, 33, of Malaysia
The remaining seven Missouri flood deaths have also been identified:
  • Ron Gray, 53, Pulaski County
  • Sandra Tilley, 50, Pulaski County
  • Christopher A. Sperandio, 37, Lawrence County
  • Steven Welton, 42, Greene County
  • Edward Kammerer, 60, Greene County
  • Kevin Lee, 53, Douglas County
  • Christopher William Forman, 30, Jasper County


In Texas, 11 people died, at least two of which were small children, during the severe outbreak that produced 10 tornadoes, including a pair that registered at EF4 and EF2 strength.
Of those 11 people killed, eight of them were killed in the city of Garland. Seven have been identified, according to the Associated Press:
  • Camryn Craine, 1
  • Kimberly Tippett, 30 (Craine's mother)
  • Petra Ruiz, 27
  • Lashondra Whitaker, 32 
  • Sharva Sanders, 42
  • Timothy Harris, 58
  • Cecil Lowrie, 77
Of the remaining three, two were killed in Copeville and the other in Blue Ridge.


Christian County officials confirmed the recovery of two bodies, a man and a woman, about six miles east of Edinburg. The two were attempting to cross a flooded area when their minivan was swept away by the waters. They were identified as Cindy Dexheimer, 46, and Robert E. Gordon II, 49.
A southern Illinois coroner reported two adults and three children drowned in their vehicle after the car was washed into a rain-swollen creek and sank. Coroner Troy Cannon said the creek carried the car off of a low-water bridge near the town of Patoka, about 60 miles east of St. Louis. Cannon added the vehicle was traveling from Elkton, Kentucky, to Minnesota. The names of the victims have been released, but their ages were not disclosed.
  • Adam Schutt, father
  • Erin Schutt, mother
  • Logan Schutt, child
  • Robbyn Schutt, child
  • Chad Schutt, child


The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office announced two deaths in eastern Oklahoma that are likely linked to flooding in the area. The victims were identified as:
  • Melissa Phillips, 54
  • Darrell Sennett, 36


The Pope County Sheriff's Office released that one person was killed by flooding over the weekend. The victim was identified as James Evan LaRue, from Dover.
Two others have been killed by the rainy impacts of this storm system, the Arkansas State Patrol said. Tommy Cook Jr., 66, died in a car accident that was blamed on wet roads Saturday morning in Faulkner County. A day later, 29-year-old Salvador Gaspar died in a two-car collision in Sevier County, officials confirmed.

The Cold Side of Goliath: Snow and Extreme Blizzard Conditions—19 Total Deaths

Winter Storm Goliath: Wintery Weather Deaths


The Minnesota State Patrol reported a car accident resulting in four deaths due to "wet and snow-packed" road conditions on Minnesota State Highway 65. The four killed were identified as:
  • Christopher H. Moe, 45
  • Rae A. Moe, 40
  • Samantha A. Moe, 14
  • Anthony C. Moe, 12


Three people died in an accident involving a car and a tractor-trailer on a snow-covered road in Killington, about one mile away from an access road to the Killington Ski Resort. Vermont State Police reported the accident occurred on a notoriously steep portion of U.S. Route 4. According to the Burlington Free Press, the three victims were identified as:
  • Ryszard Malarczyk, 51, of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
  • Anita Malarczyk, 50, of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
  • Jaroslaw Karczewski, 51, who was visiting from Poland


Three people have been killed in Oklahoma in wake of Goliath's wintry blast.
During the search for missing country singer Craig Strickland, authorities recovered the body of 22-year-old Chase Morland, who was last seen with Strickland, on Kaw Lake. The boat the two had used had capsized. Winds up to 45 mph were recorded in the area around the time the two had departed on a duck-hunting trip.
Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office Spokesperson Eddie Johnson announced that two women were found dead outdoors near the Oklahoma City area. They were identified as:
  • Tabitha Southerland, 38
  • Betty Wright, 66

New Mexico—2

Two people died in southeastern New Mexico as a result of the winter weather provided by Goliath. A 60-year-old man was found buried in snow outside his home and was dead when first responders arrived at the scene. A 68-year-old man suffered a heart attack and died while shoveling snow in Chaves County, Roswell police spokesperson Todd Wildermuth said. The identities of those two men have not been released.


Two Milwaukee men died while attempting to remove snow left by the passing storm. The victims were listed as a 73-year-old man and a 54-year-old man, however, names were not released.


Two people were killed in a collision occurring on an ice-covered road in north-central Missouri, according to the AP. The Missouri State Patrol listed the victims as:
  • Larry G. McAtee, 47
  • Lesa Vanvelzer, 55

New York—1

An accident involving a tractor-trailer and a minivan on Interstate 90 near Albany resulted in the death of 22-year-old James Davis, according to the New York State Police.


A 50-year-old man, identified by as Roger Greanya, died after a three-vehicle crash on M-13 in Monitor Township. The Arenac County man hit a patch of ice before fishtailing into oncoming traffic, authorities reported.


One man was killed outside his Topsfield home after he was hit by a truck while snow blowing near the end of his driveway. State police identified the man as 59-year-old Edgar Rhoades.
MORE: Texas Tornadoes and Missouri Flooding on Goliath's Warm Side

Midwest Flooding: Interstate 55 Closed Near St. Louis

Sean Breslin
Published: December 31,2015

Another major interstate was closed Thursday morning near St. Louis as severe flooding persisted and, in some areas, got even worse.
Officials said a stretch of Interstate 55 was shut down near the Meramec River due to floodwaters. The closure affected a stretch of the freeway near the border of St. Louis and Jefferson counties, south of the city. In the state of Missouri, I-44 remained closed in three locations, and there were also two closures along I-80.
Floodwaters are rising all over Missouri, southern Illinois, eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas, pushing residents from their homes. At least 24 people have been killed from impacts on the rainy side of this storm system. Many rivers, including the Mississippi, have yet to crest in some areas, and as those waterways continue to swell, the danger only grows.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon activated the National Guard on Tuesday to support emergency personnel and protect communities from the historic winter floods.
(MORE: Where River Crests Could Break Records)
Person trapped on top of another home floating down the Meramec river. Water rescue underway

Up and down the Mississippi River, one of several rivers rising rapidly across the region, crews worked quickly to prepare sandbags and check levees to ensure they were ready to lessen the effects of the flooding, however possible.
"This is probably one of the earliest (times) we've seen flooding on the Mississippi River," said Marty Pope, senior service hydrologist with the National Weather Service office in Jackson, Mississippi, during a Monday news conference with Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. The governor declared a state of emergency Wednesday afternoon for areas expected to experience flooding.
Here's what we know about the flooding impacts across several states.


Rescue crews remained busy as evacuation orders continued to expand in flooded parts of the state, with more than four dozen water rescues in the city of Eureka alone, where the Meramec River was overflowing, according to the Associated Press. One of those rescues in the town located southwest of St. Louis was a man and his dog who were trapped on the roof of their home as it washed away. They were pulled to safety after several terrifying minutes that were broadcast on live television.
"Our crews are getting dispatched to another rescue now," Scott Barthelmass, a Eureka Fire Protection District spokesman, told the AP on Wednesday afternoon. "I think you're seeing people who are desperate or impatient, putting themselves in predicaments."
In the town of Valley Park, officials ordered a mandatory evacuation of the levee-protected area Wednesday morning for fears that the flooding may overtop the levee system. Mayor Michael Pennise said the levee was not breached, and engineers did not fear a breach in that area. The area will remain evacuated until water levels recede, he added.
In total, at least nine levees have been topped by water, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told the AP. Most of those were earthen levees that protect farmland, not towns, the report added.
In Branson, about 100 homes and 55 duplexes were evacuated Wednesday morning due to rising floodwaters at Lake Taneycomo, the AP reported. Branson Fire Chief Ted Martin said there have been no injuries from flooding in the city so far.
Late Tuesday morning, the Mississippi River had begun to overtop levees just north of West Alton, Missouri, St. Charles County EMA reported. Officials were directing residents of West Alton to evacuate immediately. A flash flood warning issued by the National Weather Service said the floodwaters could inundate much of the area in and near West Alton. The levee breach occurred in an area about 20 miles north of St. Louis.
The identities of five international soldiers killed by flooding Saturday night in Pulaski County have been identified, according to Army Times.
  • Maj. Mohammad Hassan Ibrahim, 32, of Egypt
  • Maj. Akram Abu Al-rub, 38, of Jordan
  • Capt. Ahmed Moussouni, 32, of Algeria
  • Capt. Ahmed Abdelghani, 29, of Egypt
  • Capt. Hasman Hussin, 33, of Malaysia
The men were killed when their car was swept off the road by floodwaters heading back to Fort Leonard Wood from Osage Beach, the report added.
"The men were in a program that brings troops from other countries to the installation to study engineering, military policing and chemical defense," wrote Army Times.
(MORE: The Top 15 Weather Stories of 2015)
According to Long, two others were killed in the county by flooding on Saturday night. Long has identified the two victims of the first incident as 53-year-old Ron Gray, and 50-year-old Sandra Tilley, both of Dixon.
In Lawrence County, a 28-year-old male was swept off of Farm Road 1130 due to flash flooding.  The flooding occurred along a small tributary of Browning Hollow, which is a tributary of Spring River. In that same county, 37-year-old Christopher A. Sperandio was killed when his car was swept away by flooding. His body was recovered Tuesday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol told the AP.
Interstate 44 was closed along several stretches across the state, and the state Department of Transportation urged drivers to check their website for all road closures before heading out.
Near St. Louis, flooding on the Meramec River shut down a wastewater plant, causing sewage to spill directly into nearby rivers and streams, the AP also said. The public was asked to avoid contact with floodwater in the area, and the Metropolitan Sewer District of St. Louis said Tuesday it wasn't clear when the plant would start operating again.
Pic of scene on other side of Vance Rd flood wall. Meramec River inundating area.@fox2now

Two additional fatalities were confirmed in Greene County on Saturday, according to emergency management. They also reported at least 103 water rescues and 198 traffic control issues.
The two Greene County victims have been identified as Steven Welton, 42, and Edward Kammerer, 60. Welton drowned in a creek when his car was washed off the road on Saturday, the Missouri Highway Patrol told the AP. Kammerer, a tow truck driver, was electrocuted by a downed power line while he attempted to retrieve a vehicle that had gone off the roadway, Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management executive director Chet Hunter said.
Kevin Lee, 53, was killed in Douglas County Sunday night when he was swept away while attempting to bring cattle to higher ground, the NWS reported.
There has been one storm-related death in Jasper County, officials confirmed to the Joplin Globe. Christopher William Forman, 30, of Erie, Kansas, was found dead in the Spring River near the area where his truck was washed off the road, Sgt. John Lueckenhoff told the Joplin Globe.
(PHOTOS: Tornadoes, Flooding Strike the Plains and South)
Washed out Meramec River railroad bridge off Highway 141 at Valley Park.

With 11.15 inches reported by noon Monday, the NWS said Springfield has clinched its wettest December on record, breaking a 120-year-old record.


Three historic sites in Illinois have been closed by the flooding, according to the AP. The state's Historic Preservation Agency said Fort de Chartres, Fort Kaskaskia and Pierre Menard Home were closed in Randolph County, about 40 miles south of St. Louis, because the flooding made the grounds unsafe.
Gov. Bruce Rauner issued a disaster declaration for seven counties overnight Tuesday. In central and southern Illinois, several rivers reported major flooding, and shelters were opened to house the evacuees.
One of those shelters was a church basement in Granite City, where 30 residents of a flooded trailer park were told it could be 10 to 12 days before they'd be allowed to go home, the AP reported.
"We need help over here," evacuee Shirley Clark, a diabetic who said she left behind her insulin supply, told the AP. "We're just holding on."
(MORE: Basketball Team Saved after Bus Swept Off Road)
At least seven people have been killed in Illinois by flooding, as officials confirmed two more deaths Wednesday morning.
Christian County officials confirmed the bodies of a man and woman were recovered Tuesday morning in floodwaters about 6 miles east of Edinburg. They were trying to cross a flooded area when their minivan was swept away, the report added. The State Journal-Register identified the victims as Cindy Dexheimer, 46, and Robert E. Gordon II, 49.
Flooding worsened Tuesday in the town of Alton, as water levels continued to rise along the Mississippi River.
A southern Illinois coroner says two adults and three children have drowned after the vehicle they were riding in was swept away and sank in a rain-swollen creek. WSIL-TV identified the victims as husband Adam Schutt, wife Erin and children Logan, Robbyn and Chad. Their ages were not released.
Marion County Coroner Troy Cannon says the swift-moving East Fork Creek carried the car off a low-water bridge about 7:30 p.m. Saturday near the town of Patoka, about 60 miles east of St. Louis.
The car became lodged 150 to 200 feet downstream, but shortly after the first firefighter arrived on the scene it was dislodged and sank. Cannon says dive teams recovered the car from the water several hours later and the bodies of the victims from the car.
Cannon said the vehicle was traveling from Elkton, Kentucky, to Minnesota.


Gov. Asa Hutchinson expanded a disaster declaration Tuesday night to cover 21 counties to help those affected by recent flooding and tornadoes in the Natural State, reported. On Wednesday, he expanded that declaration to cover another 11 counties.
The Pope County Sheriff's Office said one person was killed by flooding over the weekend in the county. The victim was identified as James Evan LaRue, from Dover.
Two others have been killed by the rainy impacts of this storm system, the Arkansas State Patrol said. Tommy Cook Jr., 66, died in a car accident that was blamed on wet roads Saturday morning in Faulkner County. A day later, 29-year-old Salvador Gaspar died in a two-car collision in Sevier County, officials confirmed.
Forecasters warn major flooding will occur along the Arkansas River, especially in Dardanelle, Morrilton, Pine Bluff, Toad Suck and Pendleton, the AP reported. The river crested in Dardanelle early Wednesday about 8 feet above flood stage, the report added.
Nope. This is not Lake Tenkiller. This is Eastside Liquor on Rogers Ave in @FtSmithARK


Significant road closures continued across eastern Oklahoma Wednesday evening due to flooding, says the Oklahoma Department of Transporation. These conditions have been changing rapidly and some closures may continue through the week while water recedes.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office announced Tuesday evening that two deaths in eastern Oklahoma are likely related to the flooding brought by the warm side of Winter Storm Goliath. According to OME spokesman Eddie Johnson, the likely drowning victims are 54-year-old Melissa Phillips of Bixby, and 36-year-old Darrell Sennett, whose pickup truck was swept off of a Pittsburg County road.
(MORE: Search Continues for Missing Country Singer)
The National Weather Service said roads and residences are at risk of flooding through Wednesday after dam operators reported the floodgates would increase releases, causing additional rises in water level downstream on the Grand Neosho River east of Choteau downstream to the headwater of Fort Gibson Lake.
Southeast of Tulsa, the Illinois River near Tahlequah rose well above its banks on Monday morning, flooding everything nearby.
No injuries have been reported yet from the Illinois River flooding, but families who live nearby have either evacuated or are prepared to do so, reported.
"Treat this with respect. This is a dangerous event, this is a potentially life-threatening event and we want to make sure that people that takes this as seriously as it really is," Scott Pettus, Cherokee County emergency manager, told
Customers of Altus Water were asked to conserve water for 24 hours on Saturday due to a power failure at Tom Steed Reservoir, according to Altus Emergency Management.
Flooding was expected to cause major problems across the state as the storm system dumped huge rainfall totals, and officials warned residents to stay home and off roadways, the Tulsa World reported. Authorities reported more accidents than usual, which they blamed on the weather, the report added. Several interstates and highways were closed by high water levels, as well.


Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Wednesday in advance of expected flooding along the Mississippi and Red rivers, among other bodies of water, according to


Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes as floodwaters invaded southeastern Kansas.
Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves told the AP crews had performed 22 water rescues since the weekend, but no major injuries were reported. They've evacuated about 200 homes in the county, he also said, including about 80 in the town of Baxter Springs, which was damaged by a tornado in April 2014, the AP added.
In that town, several homes were almost completely submerged, with water up to their roofs, Groves said.
"It's difficult to see that, and it's going to be difficult for residents to cope with that and go forward," he told the AP.

20 Dead After Christmas Week Tornado Outbreak Causes Flooding, Destruction

December 31,2015
State officials in Mississippi Tuesday confirmed an 11th tornado death from storms that ripped across that state and many others in the South and Midwest in the days leading up to Christmas. The news raises the overall death toll to 20 from last week's outbreak of severe weather and flooding.
At least 40 others were injured in the outbreak, which spawned tornadoes in 14 states between Monday, Dec. 21, and Friday, Dec. 25. Mississippi and Alabama saw the the worst of the storms, with tornadoes and severe flooding affecting both states.
The most widespread tornado activity affected a large swath of the South and Midwest on Wednesday, Dec. 23.
On Thursday, Dec. 24, heavy rain flooded parts of Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina causing mudslides and multiple road closures. It also shut down two stations on Atlanta's public rail system.
Widespread flooding struck parts of Mississippi and Alabama on Christmas Day, along with several tornadoes.
Here's a state-by-state rundown of the storm system's impacts.


Eleven people died and Governor Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency for seven counties in Mississippi after a severe weather outbreak Wednesday.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency announced the 11th death Tuesday, six days after the tornadoes. The MEMA news release cited the Coahoma County Coroner, saying a person injured in that county later died of their injuries in a Memphis hospital.
Six people were killed Wednesday evening in Benton County, two more in Marshall County, two in Coahoma County and one in Tippah County, according to MEMA. The deaths came exactly one year after tornadoes struck southern Mississippi on Dec. 23, 2014, killing five people.
The boy's family was taken in unknown condition to a nearby hospital. Anderson didn't release any preliminary cause of death, but did confirm it was related to the severe weather in the area.
The National Weather Service in Memphis said three separate tornadoes struck northern Mississippi Wednesday.
The first tornado, rated EF3 by the National Weather Service, tracked 63 miles through four Mississippi counties, starting near the town of Duncan and lifting east of Como. The EF3 damage and the two fatalities from this tornado occurred south and east of Clarksdale in Coahoma County.
A tornado touched down near Clarksdale, Mississippi on Wednesday.
((Guy Malvezzi))
According to one source debris from the tornado was found 136 miles away in Three Forks, Mississippi.
At least two injuries were confirmed from this tornado in Panola County, and the Sardis Fire Department reported several homes with major damage just north of town. According to the National Weather Service, at least 21 people were injured by the EF3 twister.
Shortly after that tornado lifted, another large tornado developed from the same parent thunderstorm. A National Weather Service storm survey determined that it reached EF4 strength, finding the most severe damage between the towns of Ashland and Canaan. The tornado was on the ground for 75 miles and reached a maximum width of 1,300 yards, or about three-fourths of a mile.
Six people were killed in Benton County, about 100 miles northeast of Clarksdale. Benton County Sheriff A.A. McMullen identified some of the victims as 69-year-old Max Croxton and his wife, 67-year-old Ellen Croxton, of Faulkner; 67-year-old William E. Crawford of Lamar; and 58-year-old Patricia G. Williams, also of Lamar.
According to the Benton County sheriff's dispatch, there was widespread damage, power outages, trees down and reports of people trapped in homes on Hamilton Road and Minor Bridge Road in Ashland. Dozens were reported injured in Benton County. Mississippi Highway 5 was closed.
Holly Springs coroner James Anderson told The Weather Channel that a 7-year-old boy was found dead in a van on Highway 7 outside Holly Springs in Marshall County, where homes were reported damaged and power lines downed. MEMA confirmed one other death in Marshall County along with one in Tippah County. The tornado then continued into Hardeman and McNairy counties of Tennessee.
The nine deaths from the EF4 tornado made it the deadliest single twister of 2015 in the United States, and the nation's deadliest individual tornado since an EF4 killed 10 in Winston County, Mississippi, on April 28, 2014. It was only the second EF4 tornado of 2015 in the U.S., following an April 9 twister that struck northern Illinois near Rochelle.
Significant flooding took hold of the state on Christmas Day when approximately 10 inches of rain fell on Monroe County. Rain led to 40 county road closures, 10 city street closures in Amory and three streets closed in Smithville. Authorities in Smithville and Amory reported that 20 people were rescued by boat or vehicle due to high water.


Six people died and the Tennessee Department of Agency (TEMA) declared a Level III State of Emergency after severe storms swept through the state. The deaths were confirmed by the Tennessee Department of Health.
Two fatalities were confirmed in Perry County: a 70-year-old male and a 69-year-old female. The Storm Prediction Center lists those as tornado-related deaths. In addition, the death of a 22-year-old male in Rhea County was also confirmed, as well as three deaths in Maury County: two 17-year-old males and one 16-year-old female.
According to a release from TEMA, a sewer treatment plant in Hamblen County overflowed into Turkey Creek and a sinkhole opened up in Jefferson County.
According to the Wayne County Sheriff's office, search and rescue crews went door to door to look for injured or people who may have been trapped in homes or structures. The sheriff's office also said the post office in Lutts, Tennessee was destroyed and several trees and power lines were down.


A man and a boy died in a vehicle swept away by floodwaters in southeast Alabama on Christmas Day. Montgomery television station WSFA said 23-year-old Masiel Simon Billeda and 5-year-old Emiliano Hernandez were among six people in a vehicle swept into floodwaters in rural Coffee County. Four of the occupants were rescued. The child's body was found Saturday by rescuers, and Billeda's body was found Sunday.
Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency for all Alabama counties on Friday for flooding. Serious flooding continued to plague the state well into Christmas Day with the northern half of Alabama seeing the worst of it.
“Many parts of Alabama have experienced excessive rainfall and flooding is a major concern,” Bentley said. “By issuing a State of Emergency, I have directed all state agencies to take necessary actions to be prepared to respond to the anticipated flooding across Alabama."
In the Birmingham area, the NWS said that multiple water rescues took place near the Center Point and Pinson areas with some residents in the Pratt City neighborhood reporting over three feet of water in their homes. New Hopewell Baptist Church was set up as a shelter and command center in the city.
Dozens of roads across the state were closed after floodwaters made them completely impassable. Authorities in Jefferson County advised that all drivers remain off roadways until flooding ceased across the Birmingham metropolitan area.
Destructive tornadoes also tore through parts of the Birmingham area on Christmas night, damaging homes and businesses.
The NWS confirmed an EF2 tornado with maximum winds of 130 mph touched down briefly in Midfield, staying on the ground for less than a mile but damaging 50 homes. About 15 homes were completely destroyed by the short but powerful tornado, and several residents were trapped in their homes after it hit.
An EF0 was confirmed in Tuscaloosa County, in the town of Coaling. It had winds as high as 75 mph and was on the ground for about five miles.
Several people were hospitalized after the tornadoes touched down, officials said.


A fast-moving line of storms delivered many 60- to 70-mph gusts Wednesday and at least one tornado spin-up embedded along the line in Johnson County in Greenwood.
According to the NWS, an EF1 tornado touched down near town Wednesday evening, leaving a damage track around a quarter of a mile wide and about a mile long, Indianapolis television station WTHR reported.
"We do have some damage back in the woods here with a lot of tall trees that are uprooted, and there's another house where the tornado started - that northwest section is totally collapsed and there are some other homes back in there that are damaged, but just some light roof damage," NWS meteorologist Dan McCarthy told the station.
(PHOTOS: Severe Storms Rock the South)
At the height of the storm, Indianapolis Power and Light reported around 5,000 customers without power.
Additional damage was reported in Noblesville, where at least 16 homes in the Twin Oaks subdivision were affected by high winds and heavy rain. The storms also flipped an unoccupied mobile home in Noblesville along State Road 32. The sheriff's department says it hadn't been occupied in years.


The 18-year-old woman killed in Pope County, Arkansas, was identified as Michaela Remus, said Pope County Sheriff Shane Jones late Wednesday evening.
The Pope County Sheriff's Office said in a press release that Remus was killed Wednesday morning when a tree fell on a home northeast of Atkins. Her 18-month-old sister, also inside the home, was rescued by emergency personnel.
The toddler was transported to a local hospital, but his or her condition is unknown. Three other people were inside the home and escaped unharmed.


Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for three north Georgia counties - Gilmer, Fannin and Pickens - after Christmas Eve storms produced serious flooding. 
Heavy rain flooded parts of Interstate 20 in Atlanta as well, along with two stations on the the city's public rail system Thursday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority spokeswoman Saba Long said there were delays on all rail lines, and the Garnett and West End stations were closed.
“Rail service between the Five Points and Oakland City stations has been terminated and a bus bridge has been established,” she said. “This will remain in effect until it is safe to resume rail service.”
The Cateret River is flooding parts of Ellijay, and swift water teams are assisting with rescues and evacuations, the NWS reports.

Two water rescues took place Thursday morning in the city of LaGrange in Troup County, where flooding washed out at least six roads and submerged three more.
Secondary roads in Fannin County flooded, and cabins along U.S. Highway 76 are beginning to take on water. At least one county road has been completely blocked by a mudslide.
According to the NWS, there was extensive flooding on a street in Carrollton, in Carroll County, with cars stuck in the water. Several roads in Pike County were flooded as well.
The storms also knocked out power around  the state. On Thursday morning Georgia Power reported outages affecting more than 6,000 customers.


The NWS confirmed an EF1 tornado hit the Detroit suburb of Canton Wednesday evening, the first tornado ever recorded in Michigan in December. Rich Pollman, a warning coordination meteorologist for the NWS, said damage surveys indicate the twister was on the ground for only about two minutes, moving along at about 60 mph.
“The track of the tornado was about 2 miles long and about 100 yards wide,” Pollman told the Detroit News. “We...discovered a lot of uprooted pine trees. At least four buildings had sections of their roofs blown away. Once high winds enter a building, they look for a way out.”
According to the paper, the weather service said additional damage occurred near the intersection of Joy and Haggerty, where a metal roof was ripped off a gas station, but there were no reported injuries from the storm.
Consumers Energy reported Thursday afternoon that more than 8,000 customers in western and northern Michigan were without electricity after the storms toppled trees, utility poles and power lines.

South Carolina

The NWS confirmed an EF0 tornado about three miles southwest of Monck's Corner, north of Charleston, on Tuesday. The funnel only touched down for about a minute, and traveled less than half a mile on the ground.


A pair of tornadoes, both rated EF1, were confirmed Monday night in Rapides Parish as a line of storms moved through. The Lake Charles office of the NWS originally said three tornadoes were confirmed, but later said only two twisters hit the area Monday night.
(MORE: The 10 Deadliest Tornadoes in U.S. History)
Both tornadoes packed maximum winds of 95 mph, and one flipped a trailer southeast of Calcasieu, injuring the man inside, according to the AP. The second tornado was in progress less than a mile from Louisiana State University's Alexandria campus, destroying one home and leaving several others with minor damage, the NWS reported.