Major Storm Threatens Thanksgiving Travel

Forecasters see a couple of scenarios
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2021 6:30 PM CST
Major Storm Threatens Thanksgiving Travel
Airliners line up for takeoff.   (Getty/XavierMarchant)

A major storm could throw a wrench into the plans of Thanksgiving travelers next week. It's too soon to know how the weather will break, meteorologists said, but several ways could affect millions of people planning holiday trips, USA Today reports. "We could be looking at a huge mess," said AccuWeather's chief meteorologist. Possible scenarios, per Accuweather, include:

  • Upper Midwest snow: Parts of Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and northern Michigan could receive heavy accumulation. From Monday to Wednesday, squalls and lake-effect snow could dump on northern Indiana and Michigan, as well as portions of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York state.
  • Slower development: The storm could gather in the Midwest on Sunday and Monday. A spinoff storm could quickly gather strength along the mid-Atlantic coast, then move the next day to the Northeast.

Either way, major cities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic could get heavy rain, but snow would be unlikely. "This storm can bring a lot of rain to the Interstate 95 corridor," said the lead long-range meteorologist, possibly causing flooding on roads and highways. High winds could disrupt airport traffic. Even it the storm moves through by Wednesday, "airlines could still be dealing with significant prior cancellations with planes and crew members in the wrong place," said CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. "This storm has really bad timing." In addition, airports and airlines aren't up to full staffing yet, per Vox. "No one expected travel to rebound as quickly as it did," said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst, adding: "They had to bring grounded planes back into service. They had to bring back employees." (More Thanksgiving travel stories.)

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