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Stormy weather threatens Thanksgiving travel plans

As airlines prepare for what is expected to be Busiest Thanksgiving Ever and even more Americans are preparing to hit the road for the long holiday weekend, severe weather could disrupt the plans of tens of millions of people.

More than 10 million people have already passed through TSA checkpoints since Thursday, far higher than pre-pandemic numbers in 2019. Nearly 50,000 flights are expected on Wednesday alone. To manage this load, the Federal Aviation Administration is opening additional airspace usually reserved for the military along the East Coast.

For those in the South hoping to start their trip early, dangerous storms, including the possibility of tornadoes, are sweeping through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama Monday night and Tuesday. The system could also produce golf ball-sized hail, according to Chris Warren, a meteorologist at The Weather Channel.

As the storms move through the Ohio Valley, they will bring considerable rain from Detroit to Nashville and along the Gulf Coast.

This same system will then move further east, affecting parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast a few days just before Thanksgiving. Gusty winds and heavy rain are forecast, with the worst expected late Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.

Wet weather threatens Thanksgiving travel

Some snow could fall in higher elevation areas throughout the Northeast, with a few places reaching 1 to 3 inches, but most of it will be compacted and melted by rain Wednesday, according to CBS Boston.

There could be localized flooding in parts of Massachusetts on Wednesday, CBS Boston reports, while high winds and rain could cause flight delays and cancellations on what is typically the busiest travel day of the year. ‘year.

“While we cannot control the weather, we will also use every tool at our disposal to keep cancellations and delays as low as possible, including working collaboratively with airlines,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

The railways could also be saved. Amtrak’s Acela high-speed service between Boston, New York and Washington, D.C., expects an increase of approximately 25% in passengers. Amtrak President Roger Harris told CBS News the company expects about 125,000 customers per day throughout Thanksgiving week.

AAA expects more than 49 million Americans to travel by car for Thanksgiving this year, thanks in part to gas prices that are 37 cents cheaper than this time last year. This saves drivers about $5 each time they fill the tank, according to AAA spokesman Andrew Gross.

Much of the country will experience relatively warm and dry weather on Thanksgiving Day, except for parts of the Northern Plains and Front Range, which could see some snow, according to The Weather Channel.

For the return trip, there is a chance of snow and sleet in the Northeast on Sunday, according to The Weather Channel.

— Kris Van Cleave contributed reporting.

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