Published: Thu, November 28, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Snowstorm in central USA snarls Thanksgiving travel plans

Snowstorm in central USA snarls Thanksgiving travel plans

These extremely strong winds could down trees and power lines with associated power outages, as well as make travel very hard, especially for high-profile vehicles.

The first storm front was moving across the upper Midwest, where it was forecast to clobber parts of Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota with nearly a foot of snow (30 cm) and wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour (80 kph), making travel hard if not impossible, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

Hurricane-force winds, blizzard conditions, heavy snowfall - and a "bomb cyclone" on the West Coast: Those are the dire predictions of weather forecasters, who are warning Thanksgiving travelers to be cautious and prepare for delays as two powerful back-to-back storms hit the western and central USA this week.

In Pennsylvania, the National Weather Service issued a severe weather alert for the Philadelphia region as a quick-moving storm unloaded a burst of heavy snow, NBC Philadelphia reported.

A mix of snow, freezing rain, rain, and sleet is possible on Thursday and Friday with some minor accumulations possible.

"We will even have some blizzard conditions across parts of Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado", Myers said. Some areas could see high waves, and heavy rainfall could cause flooding from San Diego to Los Angeles.

"If you live or are near creeks and streams be aware that they may experience high flows and can rise quickly". This might have trickle down effects for travelers at Bishop and Detroit Metro airports.

It dumped around 10 inches of snow at Denver International Airport, forcing the cancelation of over 450 flights and stranding more than 1,000 travelers. Some airlines are beginning to waive change fees ahead of expected delays.

Southwest Airlines canceled about 200 flights.

"This low pressure system will likely undergo bombogenesis (pressure drop of at least 24mb in 24 hours) by late Tuesday afternoon", the NWS says, "at which point it will likely become a sub-980 mb low with hurricane force winds over the offshore waters!" This would create blizzard like conditions Friday night through Saturday. Wabasha had 5.5 inches of snow as of 11 p.m. Tuesday night.

Thanksgiving travel is an ordeal under the best of circumstances, and a one-two punch of bad weather threatens to make it even more exhausting. It'll definitely be a situation where both hands on the wheel will be required, as well as some extra time for slow downs. The powerful storm system we have been tracking is still aiming for MI for a direct hit. Additional snowfall expected with strong winds.

Late Tuesday, shifting winds hampered firefighters' efforts and pushed a fire toward the town of Fargo, in the northwestern part of the state.

The system moved east, allowing the Denver airport to begin returning to normal.

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