ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Thanksgiving traffic for 2019 is expected to busy. According to AAA, more than 55 million people are planning on traveling 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, making it the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000.
However, a few storm systems will disrupt holiday travel for some, especially those heading to western and central United States.
Winter Storm Watches and Warnings stretch from northern Michigan to Colorado due to the potential for heavy snowfall and gusty winds. This storm system will move across the Midwest and travel northeast to the Great Lakes on Wednesday.
The snowfall has already caused delays and cancellations at Denver International Airport and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The National Weather Service predicts some mountain locations could receive as much as 30 inches of snow.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed areas in the Mid-Mississippi Valley under an Enhanced risk for severe weather. High winds, as well as tornadoes, are possible in this area for Tuesday. Sustained winds at 30-40 mph are possible in portions of the Midwest.
Southwest Virginia won’t see much when it comes to winter weather or severe weather from this system. Rain is possible Wednesday morning, but the region will deal with strong wind gusts Wednesday and into Thursday as a cold front passes through. Wind Advisories, High Wind Warnings adn High Wind Watches have been issued for the region and may potentially be upgraded as we get into the day Wednesday. Resident in the area need to make sure outdoor objects and decorations are secure to prevent them from blowing away. Wind damage is possible for Wednesday into Thursday, so watch out for debris in the roadways.
Another storm will impact the northern West Coast Tuesday through Thanksgiving. Damaging winds, heavy snowfall in the mountains, and heavy rainfall is expected in portions of Oregon, Washington, and California. The worst conditions are expected Tuesday and Tuesday night. The National Weather Service in Medford, Ore. is calling the “a historically strong storm,” and is urging people to hold off on travel plans until Wednesday afternoon.
With messy weather in the forecast for the days following up to Thanksgiving, make sure to stay updated on current and future travel conditions. For those flying, stay up to date on flight delays and cancellations. If you’re driving, stay alert on the roadways and drive with caution if weather conditions go downhill. Be sure that your vehicle is ready to take on the elements as well. If driving through areas with snow, chain or snow tires are ideal. Windshield wipes should be checked as well. Make sure to pack an emergency kit in your car in case you become stranded. These kits include medications, flashlights, food, water, blankets, and a phone charger.
The most important thing to consider this holiday season is to make sure you make it to your destination safely. Use caution while traveling, and make wise decisions when it comes to travel plans.
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