Thousands of Thanksgiving travelers are already hung up at airports after their flights were canceled Tuesday as the first of two storm systems continued to move through the Rockies, Great Plains and Great Lakes.
Denver International Airport, a major hub, canceled more than 450 flights Tuesday morning, and that could affect travel elsewhere across the country. Some parts of Colorado had received up to a foot of snow overnight, and the National Weather Service was advising against travel Tuesday.
The storms will potentially affect travel through the weekend, setting up the potential for travel headaches for Americans on their way home. A record 4.5 million of Americans planned to fly to their Thanksgiving destinations, according to the AAA travel group.
The Flightaware.com Misery Map shows what to expect across the country.
More than 55 million travelers nationwide planned trips of 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving during the second-busiest holiday travel season since AAA began its tracking in 2000. Of them, 49.3 million travelers planned to take road trips and, depending where they live or are headed, they could run into dangerous travel conditions.
The National Weather Service called the second storm “historic” and “unprecedented” for southwest Oregon and northwest California, where it will bring areas of damaging winds, heavy mountain snow and heavy rain to the West Coast from Tuesday through Thanksgiving Day.
Blizzard conditions were expected to persist Tuesday across the Rockies, and some areas could see near-record snowfall. The National Weather Service in Boulder, Colorado, “strongly discouraged” travel Tuesday. The storm had already closed several roads, including Interstates 76 and 70 across the Plains.
The current storm has prompted winter storm watches and warnings through Wednesday across a large swatch of the central United States, from Colorado to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and to as far south as Oklahoma and Iowa. Heavy winds are expected to cause more delays across large swaths of the country.
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