It's going to be a white, windy Christmas for many

By Carter Evans

(CBS News) LOS ANGELES - Parts of the U.S. will get a white Christmas -- or more. Winter storm watches have been issued for parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma. California is already getting wet.

Cars are buried, if they could move at all in the Midwest. In California's Sierra Nevada, up to five feet of snow could fall.

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That's great news for skiers, not so much for holiday fliers. The most violent weather is yet to come, and the timing couldn't be worse.

"It's going to be happening on Christmas Day, and while people are with their families, it looks like we're gonna see a widespread severe weather outbreak across portions of the Southeast, and we could see multiple tornadoes," said meteorologist Jeff Berardelli of CBS affiliate WFOR-TV.

What concerns Berardelli is the developing weather pattern is much like the one that caused deadly tornadoes in Alabama during the spring of 2011.

"This new storm could also bring snow as far south as Dallas," he said.

"This is going to be a real white Christmas -- not just an inch of snow, a lot of places are going to see several inches of snow, if not over a foot of snow."

One thing forecasters can say with 100 percent certainty: "It's going to be a very big travel travel nightmare on a very big travel day," Berardelli said.