After a swath of severe weather contributed to thousands of airline delays over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and storms predicted for Tuesday promised additional travel mayhem, Americans hurried to get home.
After about 7,000 flights were delayed on Sunday, one of the busiest travel days of the year, according to the flight tracking website flightaware.com, more than 4,500 flights inside, into, or out of the United States were delayed or canceled by Monday night.
After the devastating impacts of COVID-19, travel is booming again. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, 54.6 million Americans, according to AAA, traveled 50 miles or more from their homes. That represents a 1.5% increase over 2021 and 98% of levels before the epidemic.
Since AAA began keeping track in 2000, this year was predicted to be the third busiest Thanksgiving travel season. However, the South’s torrential downpours and thunderstorms, as well as the Pacific Northwest’s snowfall, contributed to some post-Thanksgiving travel issues. And the dangerous weather is still ongoing.
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30 million people are in danger of bad weather
It was predicted that a storm moving out of the Rockies will bring severe weather from Illinois and Indiana to Texas, including strong winds and tornadoes. About 30 million people in the south-central United States will be at risk for severe thunderstorms on Tuesday alone, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.
According to AccuWeather, wind gusts from the storms will commonly reach 60 to 70 mph, and 85 mph is likely. Several tornadoes will be present on the ground, according to AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno. “People need to be aware of this threat.”
Today is expected to be the busiest day of the Thanksgiving holiday travel period at LAX, with about 215,000 guests using the airport. Make sure you check your flight status, pre-book parking at https://t.co/a34NdU30wC and arrive early for a smooth journey! pic.twitter.com/axs3qsF7Uq
— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) November 27, 2022
A powerful cold front that was moving across the Intermountain West on Monday was to respond, according to the National Weather Service, to the strong winds, significant snowfall, and even enhanced fire weather conditions in certain areas of the western High Plains.
Tuesday’s storm was expected to get worse as moisture moved swiftly across the middle and lower Mississippi Valley. Damage-causing winds and tornadoes were anticipated.
According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Andrew Johnson-Levine, “Conditions should allow for storms to readily begin rotating, leading to a strengthened tornado hazard.” It also cannot be ruled out that there may be a few severe, long-tracked tornadoes.
Birmingham, Atlanta, Nashville, New Orleans, and Atlanta could be impacted.
Wednesday could bring thunderstorms capable of delivering destructive wind gusts and flash floods to major metro areas, including New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville, and Birmingham, Alabama. says AccuWeather. From Tuesday to Wednesday, there may be further delays for airline travelers in the Midwest and Northeast that are north of the thunderstorm zone.
Snow could be the issue elsewhere. According to the National Weather Service, snow will start to form across some of the North and Central Plains overnight on Monday. Snow will start to accumulate over the Middle Missouri Valley and into the Upper Mississippi Valley on Tuesday. Winter Storm Watches have been issued for the area as heavy snow is expected to develop over several of the Upper Great Lakes.