Let's begin with the current winter weather weather watches and advisories.
The winter storm has finally crossed the coast of Washington and Oregon. The morning flights to Hawaii departed Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. Those planes generally carry weather instruments to sample the west side of the storm for the noon computer model run. So, this forecast will heavily lean on that data.
The last two runs of the North American Model have portrayed a major winter storm from the southern Plains into the Midwest. I'm going to show both the version from the 6am model and the noon model.
Predicted Snow from 6am NAM Model
Predicted Snow from noon NAM Model
Predicted winds for noon Christmas Day
Predicted winds for 12:01am December 26
Wind gusts to 30 to perhaps 40 mph are accompanying the heavy snow from the Ozarks to Illinois. Also, the model clearly shows damaging winds with thunderstorms from central Tennessee to southern Mississippi at that time.
I'm using my home county (Sedgwick) to illustrate what meteorologists often face in snow amount forecasting. Look at the predicted range of snow amounts across our county.
The violet in the northeast part of the county is two inches. The light blue in the southwest corner of the county is 14"! Our tools have little ability to resolve these amounts to within 20 miles with the storm still 36-40 hours away. So, we'll end up giving a wide range until we get a little closer to the start of the storm.
Storm Timing, 6am Christmas Day
Storm Timing, 3pm Christmas
Storm Timing, 12:01am December 26
Bottom line: This is a major winter storm in a part of the world where the highway snow removal equipment is not as extensive as farther north. I urge you to consider this forecast in your travel plans.
Addition: 5:12pm. Got an email pointing out the noon run of the GFS model is about 30-40 miles farther south in Missouri and Illinois than the forecasts above. That is certainly a possible outcome. I want to keep emphasizing that -- at this point -- these are the approximate paths of the storm.