Strong storm hitting Southwest with threat of snow; record warmth on tap in Midwest


ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — A new strong storm is hitting the West Coast, especially Southern California from Los Angeles to San Diego, bringing the threat of mudslides, flash flooding, gusty winds, and heavy mountain snow.This storm is expected to move across the country and bring a variety of weather to the Midwest and the East Coast through the weekend.Already this morning, five states from California to Nebraska are under snow, flood, and wind alerts as this storm moves east over the next few days.Early this morning, the storm is bringing torrential rainfall to Los Angeles and San Diego, with possible flash flooding and debris flow. Heavy snow is falling in the Southern California mountains just outside of Los Angeles.By Friday and Saturday the storm begins to move east, through the Rockies on Friday and into the Plains and the Midwest on Saturday.A winter storm watch already been issued for this weekend in Nebraska and Kansas for heavy snow.Ahead of the storm, strong to severe storms are possible from Texas to Tennessee. In the Great Lakes, with mild air around, heavy rain is expected in Chicago and Detroit, and some localized flash flooding is possible.By Sunday, rain from this storm will move into the Northeast.In the meantime, nearly 50 record highs were tied or broken yesterday in the heartland, from Texas to Michigan.In Chicago it hit 57 degrees at O’Hare airport, making it the second warmest Christmas ever recorded in the city and the warmest Christmas there since 1982.The warmest Christmas on record was observed in Des Moines, Iowa, where it hit 60 degrees, and in Louisville, Kentucky, where it was 67.Today, more record highs are forecast in the Midwest with highs near 60 from Chicago to Detroit and near 70 in St. Louis.

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