A strong Christmas Eve storm expected Thursday into Friday will bring heavy rains, potential flooding, and powerful wind gusts of up to 50 mph — though NORAD is not reporting any disruption for Santa and his loaded sleigh.
The National Weather Service is forecasting rain will move into the Philadelphia region Thursday afternoon, likely after 2 p.m., but with an unseasonably warm high of 61.
After that, conditions worsen starting with wind gusts of 30 mph.
By Thursday night, rain will be heavy, dropping one to three inches, with winds reaching as high as 50 mph. That comes as ground is already saturated from melting snow. However, as much as three to four inches of rain are expected in the Poconos.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch from 4 p.m. Thursday into Friday for Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, and parts of New Jersey and Delaware.
Rain will continue overnight and into Christmas morning, with most of it ending by 10 a.m.
Christmas Day should turn sunny, but blustery. Temperatures will plummet to 34 degrees with some wind.
None of this is expected, however, to delay Santa.
Incidentally, the Santa tracker used by NORAD (North American Aerospace Command) to inform children of Santa’s progress is powered by Cesium, a Philadelphia-based company.
Cesium, which moved from Exton to Center City Philly last year, specializes in streaming GPS data to civilian users, in a user-friendly format. The company has taken charge of the Santa tracker used by NORAD.
And, as of Thursday, the tracker was not showing any expected disruption of toy deliveries.