A massive holiday storm is likely to cause travel disruptions for nearly two-thirds of the U.S. Starting Tuesday, the storm system may bring rain, high winds, and thunderstorms to much of the nation.
USA Today reports that the main storm system will stretch across the Midwest down to the South and up the East Coast. However, a secondary storm will also affect the Pacific Northwest. The major storm system that will start in the Midwest is not expected to pack heavy amounts of snow. However, meteorologists think that the rain will be heavy enough to cause some major traffic delays. The heavy rain coupled with high winds can cause serious visibility issues for travelers.
Accuweather notes that flight delays may also be possible and are expected.
“The most far-reaching impact from the storm will be strong winds that develop and that have the potential to cause substantial flight delays along the Interstate-95 corridor, parts of the South and the Midwest. Turbulence could be an issue for some flights.”
In addition to rain visibility issues for motorists, Accuweather reports that fog may also be heavy in some areas. Flooding, high winds, and slippery roads are also a concern.
Though most of the nation will not see heavy snowfall during holiday travel, isolated areas may experience heavy snowfall, as Accuweather says “snow during part of the storm is likely in the Upper Midwest. This includes the cities of Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis.”
“While it is too early to say where the heaviest snow will fall, there is the potential for a sudden burst of snow and a quick freeze-up to occur in the swath from Wisconsin and Illinois to Indiana, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Michigan.”
Holiday travel difficulties will be compounded as exceptionally high numbers of travelers are expected to be on the road this year. With gas prices plummeting, falling under $2.00 per gallon in some areas, USA Today reports a higher than average number of holiday travelers for 2014.
“AAA is expecting 98.6 million Americans to travel 50 miles or more for Christmas. That’s a 4% increase over last year and the largest number in history.”
What are you travel plans for the upcoming holidays? Has falling gas prices affected your plans to travel? Will your planned holiday travel route be affected?