Millions of Americans will be driving on treacherous roads after Christmas

NEW YORK — It’s a potentially troubling combination: As a record number of Americans are traveling this holiday season, most of them hitting the road, huge swaths of the country will see some nasty winter weather.

Strong winds, heavy rain and mountain snow were in Tuesday’s forecast for much of the Western United States, and on Wednesday the storm will push into the central part of the country, where more than 4 million people are under winter weather alerts.

Wind advisories were issued for parts of Southern California, and wind gusts exceeded 65 mph in the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara County mountains.

On Christmas night, the storm moved into the Four Corners region, where rain and strong wind gusts impacted parts of Arizona, and up towards the north. Denver began to see light snow showers in the outskirts of the city towards the east.

Folks traveling through the Plains and Midwest after enjoying Christmas dinner and gift exchanges with family and friends will need to be extra cautious as roads throughout the region will remain hazardous into Friday.

Making the roads more treacherous, snowfall is expected to reach 8 to 12 inches in those regions, with parts of eastern Colorado, western Nebraska and the Dakotas possibly seeing more than a foot of snow.

In the South, over 13 million will be under a slight risk for severe storms Wednesday, possibly bringing strong winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes in the afternoon and evening.

Much of the South will see 2 to 4 inches of rain, possibly more in some areas, which could spur the threat of flooding through Friday.

According to a report this month from the American Automobile Association, 112.5 million Americans are expected to be traveling during the holidays — a record and a 4.4% increase over last year.

Of those, about 102.1 million will be driving. Another 6.7 million will fly. The rest will take trains, buses or boats, AAA says.

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