Planning to take off for Thanksgiving? Blustery storm likely to affect your holiday travel

BY newsdesk  November 25, 2013 at 12:27 PM EDT


Satellite imagery via NOAA

Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth warned the 43.4 million travelers AAA expects to journey 50 miles or more from home this week should avoid driving during stormy conditions as the deadly blast from the southwest hits the northeast Tuesday and Wednesday, likely in the form of freezing rain and high winds. And as for the 3 million people expected to fly, there’s a good chance of delayed flights out of New York City, Boston, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

“The worst is going to come on Tuesday and run into Wednesday, so if people traveling can get out before then, or wait until afterward, that would be the best thing,” Roth said.
The storm is expected to dump three to four inches of heavy rain with high winds in the south and east, hitting cities like Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington D.C. ,Philadelphia, New York City and Boston hard, according to Quartz meteorologist Eric Holthaus. Parts of New York will see up to 12 inches of snow and Pittsburgh is expected to get dumped with up to 8 inches.

Holthaus breaks down the storm movement:

On Monday, Texas will be hit with freezing rain, sleet and snow, and heavy rains will reach New Orleans.

On Tuesday, the heavy rain will move up the east coast, reaching New York City and Boston. By night time, the roads will be affected in the northeast.

On Wednesday, coastal cities should expect freezing temperatures. Freezing rain is possible along the Appalachian from Georgia to New England. Wind gusts in New Jersey, Long Island, and Massachusetts could reach 50 to 75 mph. Winds in New York City and Boston could reach 40 mph.

On Thanksgiving, the storm will move north to Canada, and travel troubles are likely to ease.

Since the storm began last Thursday in the Southwest it has:

  • Claimed 13 lives, including three in California and four in Oklahoma
  • Left 11,000 people without power in Texas
  • Left about 1,000 people without power in Connecticut
  • Caused 300 flights to be cancelled at Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport