A huge winter’s storm is barrelling across the US, driving snow a long way further south than usual. This gave some parts of the country, including northern Texas, the rare chance of experiencing a white Christmas.
To the north, snow fell heavily. Up to 30cm was reported in some locations, and is being blamed for a number of traffic incidents and numerous power cuts.
Further south the weather was even more destructive. Freezing rain is blamed for ten separate collisions on a single highway in Oklahoma City; and across the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, 31 tornados were reported.
These tornadoes have yet to be confirmed by the National Weather Service, but certainly a considerable amount damage has been reported which is consistent with that of a tornado.
Dozens of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed, and there were a number of reported injuries.
The vast storm system is continuing to march eastwards, and on Wednesday it will be the eastern Great Lakes and northeastern region that will be hit by blizzard conditions.
In the eastern parts of the Carolinas, there will be the risk of seeing a tornado. At this time of year, when the days are relatively short, twisters can be particularly dangerous because they are often obscured by rain and darkness.
Although tornadoes are more common between March and May, they can occur at any time. The last time a tornado struck the US on Christmas Day was in 2006, when a number of damaging tornadoes struck Florida and Georgia.