Storm brings white Christmas, tornado threat to central US

WASHINGTON - A major winter storm brought a rare white Christmas to the southern US plains on Tuesday, contributing to a 21-vehicle pile-up that shut down a major highway in Oklahoma.
The storm system surging east from Kansas and the Texas Panhandle includes the threat of tornados and severe thunderstorms along its southern fringe, from southeast Texas to Alabama, the National Weather Service said.
The storm is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) of snow as it strengthens and moves northeast into the upper Ohio River valley through southern Missouri and Illinois, it said.