Snow, heavy rain and strong winds are threatening to complicate Thanksgiving travel plans across wide swaths of the country this week.
A winter storm that left eight dead in the western U.S. over the weekend is now heading south and east through Oklahoma and Texas, the Associated Press reports. Officials at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport have already canceled more than 30% of flights — cancellations that will have ripple effects through the entire air-travel system and leave travelers scrambling to find alternatives, with one of the busiest travel periods of the year fast approaching.
— Yesenia Chandler (@yensters26) November 25, 2013
Check out the snow on the Texas Tech campus! pic.twitter.com/a8lGy8BvfF
— Elvis Moya (@ElvisMoyaTTU) November 24, 2013
The National Weather Service predicts the wintery conditions will last through Monday evening for parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, when snow and sleet will turn into rain. But the same storm system will then continue to sweep east across the country’s Deep South, picking up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea as it progresses. It will arrive over eastern states Tuesday into Wednesday, bringing with it heavy rain and wind gusts of up to 50 to 75 m.p.h. in some coastal states just as millions are preparing to travel for Thanksgiving, Quartz reports.
Snow is coming! We have an alert for snow over the holiday week. ❄️⛄️ pic.twitter.com/Bv2NvfLgWp
— mindysue (@mindysue) November 25, 2013
That’s not as awful as the snowy nor’easter some models were predicting late last week, but it’s still enough to cancel flights and make driving dangerous for some of the busiest travel days of the year. Travelers are being advised to keep an eye on the latest weather updates and adjust their plans accordingly.