Winter Weather Threatens Christmas Shopping And Travel

A major winter storm moving across the nation Wednesday is threatening to hamper travel and shopping plans for Americans heading to the malls or home for Christmas, says NBC News.

The winter storm warning even has package delivery companies sweating bullets watching the forecast, with timely delivery on the line.

Blizzard warnings issued from Colorado to Wisconsin and more than a foot of snow expected in some places threaten many people’s plans this Christmas season.

FedEx spokesman Scott Fiedler says:

“We’re closely monitoring the storm. We have a team of 15 meteorologists who track the weather around the world every day.”

FedEx is seeing only minor delays so far but has backup plans to help with changes in the weather, Fiedler said.

UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg states:

“We’re keeping our eyes on airport gateways in the Midwest, but we don’t expect any issues. We’re used to marshaling all our resources for this our busiest week. Of course, snow at this time of year is not unusual.”

UPS says that Thursday will be its busiest day of the holiday season, also has its staff meteorologists tracking the storm.

TODAY meteorologist Al Roker told MSNBC:

“This is a massive system. We’ve got watches and warnings that spread across 16 states, from New Mexico all the way to Wisconsin and Michigan.”

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Blizzard warnings are in effect for Colorado, Kansas, and Iowa, and up to a foot of snow is expected in the Rockies.
On Wednesday afternoon, flights at Denver International Airport were delayed about 30 minutes due to de-icing operations, said Laura Coale, an airport spokeswoman.

Coale added:

“Currently, there’s only a handful of flight cancellations – mostly commuter flights,”

AAA projects more than 93 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the year-end holidays, a period that begins this Saturday and ends on January 1. Ninety percent of those traveling are expected to drive.

Further details will be expected as the storm advances.

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