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Bad weather blasts South for Christmas

Snow, sleet, ice, hail and thunderstorms for much of nation

HOUSTON | December 25, 2012

Snow and sleet created dangerous driving conditions in Maryland, while forecasters reported snow, ice, hail and thunderstorms throughout much of the nation.

The National Weather Service Monday called for 1 to 3 inches of snow in the region, The Baltimore Sun reported. Some areas of Baltimore received between a half an inch and 1.5 inches of snow by late Monday.

A low-pressure system was predicted to bring strong thunderstorms and damaging winds with tornadoes to the U.S. South Tuesday, forecasters said.

Thunderstorms began rolling into Texas around 2 a.m., with severe thunderstorm watches issued for 42 counties in the eastern part of the state, Accuweather.com reported.

Authorities in Rusk said hail was reported around 4 a.m., and strong winds in Cass downed power lines on Highway 8, causing a small fire at around 6:25 a.m.

Oklahoma State Police closed a number of highways due to icing -- 1-35 Northbound was closed near Oklahoma City and part of 1-44 was closed because ice causing several wrecks on the Oklahoma River Bridge.

A tornado warning was posted for Louisiana's Northern Acadia Parish and neighboring counties.

The area most at risk for tornadoes on Christmas Day stretches from southeast Texas to the Florida Panhandle and southwestern Georgia, Accuweather said. Major cities in the area include College Station Houston, Texas; Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La.; Jackson and Gulfport, Miss.; Montgomery and Mobile, Ala., Pensacola, Fla., and Albany, Ga.

Cold air behind the storm system will bring snow to Colorado, the Plains and northern Texas, Accuweather said.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserve

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