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Thanksgiving Weather Forecast: Winter Storm Threatens Travel Plan, Flights Delayed

( [email protected] ) Nov 25, 2013 02:52 PM EST
This week, more than 40 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving. But a deadly winter storm system is going to change that - with some of the worst weather expected on Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year.

This week, more than 40 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving. But a winter storm Boreas is going to change that - with some of the worst weather expected on Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year.

Winter storm warnings were in effect in parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas as freezing rain led to ice accumulation on roads and bridges, the National Weather Service said. More than ten inches of snow is on the ground in parts of southwestern Oklahoma, as an icy storm that began in the West moves eastward. 

Meanwhile, storms have already heaped up to a foot of snow on the mountains of Utah and Colorado and claimed 13 lives, including a 4-year-old girl who was killed in a rollover crash on an icy road in New Mexico.

Full Coverage of Thanksgiving Week Travel Forecast

Parts of Texas have also been getting a mix of sleet and freezing rain. Around dawn today in Dallas, temperatures edged above freezing, but rain continued to make roads dangerous. Nearly 300 American Airlines and American Eagle flights were canceled as of Monday morning. Airline officials say before you head to the airport, check with your airline first to make sure any connecting flights you have are still a go.

Rain is expected to stretch from Texas to Georgia on Monday and to the Carolinas on Monday night, with sleet and snow in northern parts of that swath. The heaviest rain is expected across parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.

According to weather.com, weather will be difficult for most East Coast travelers on the day before Thanksgiving. A complex interaction between storm systems in the northern and southern branches of the jet stream will lead to a potpourri of inclement weather.  

Flights could be delayed in New York, Boston, Washington and Baltimore because of expected low clouds and strong wind, said Kevin Roth, lead meteorologist for The Weather Channel. In the Northeast, the worst weather is expected Tuesday and Wednesday.