Many will be hitting the road sometime today for Thanksgiving, unfortunately storms are heading in and could potentially cause travel disruptions. Heavy snow has already caused cancellations at the Denver airport and there is a high risk of mudslides in portions of California.
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings and advisories covering the West from Oregon to Arizona. They have also issued a flash flood watch stretching from north of Anaheim to the border of Mexico. Parts of the Rockies were hit with more than a foot of snow, and it continues to come down. The arctic blast is cause for concern for millions of Americans travel plans.
“Travel will be very difficult to impossible, including Wednesday and Thanksgiving,” the weather service said. “Damage to trees and power lines is possible.”
“A powerful Pacific storm will rake the coast of northern California and Oregon, with gusts up to 70 miles per hour. It will bring heavy rain and snow far into southern California, where it could raise the risk of mudslides”, said Brain Hurley, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
Denver, CO could get up to 10 inches of snow and then hit with high winds up to 45 miles per hour. Denver airport already reported they received more than 7 inches of snow early Tuesday morning. By yesterday afternoon, 564 flights were cancelled around the U.S. with more than 475 of them through Denver.
The Rockies will see the heaviest snow fall in higher elevation areas moving to the central Great Plains and northern Midwest, where warnings and advisories are issued all the way to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. By Wednesday morning, the Great Lakes will be dealing with heavy rain or snow and strong winds as the system moves towards Canada. It may even touch on the New England area on Thanksgiving Day with powerful winds.
High winds could come across New Mexico and Texas to eventually reach western Pennsylvania and New York by Thursday morning which is cause for concern for the Macy’s Day Parade.
AAA predicted this to be the second-highest number of Thanksgiving travelers in over a decade during this holiday week. More than 55 million people plan to travel at least 50 miles from home.