Thousands of flights delayed as weather wreaks havoc on holiday travel

Airlines and airports scrambled to get people home on Monday after a swath of bad weather forced thousands of flight cancellations and delays over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

More than 7,000 flights within, to or from the United States were delayed or canceled on Sunday, one of the busiest travel days of the year, according to tracking website . More than 1,300 additional flights have already been delayed or canceled early Monday.

Travel is back in full force after the crushing impact of COVID-19. AAA estimated that 54.6 million people traveled 50 miles or more from home over Thanksgiving weekend. That’s a 1.5% increase from 2021 – and 98% of pre-pandemic levels.

This year was expected to be the third-busiest for Thanksgiving travel since AAA began tracking in 2000. But heavy rains and thunderstorms in the south and snow in the Pacific Northwest have helped fuel some health issues. trip after Thanksgiving. And the dangerous time was far from over.

30 million people exposed to bad weather

A storm rolling out of the Rockies was expected to bring extreme weather ranging from high winds to tornadoes from the Gulf Coast to the Mississippi Valley. AccuWeather meteorologists have warned that around 30 million people in the south-central United States will be at risk of severe thunderstorms on Tuesday alone.

“We’re pretty confident there will be multiple ground tornadoes from Tuesday night into Tuesday night,” said Bernie Rayno, AccuWeather’s chief meteorologist. “People should take this threat seriously.”

The National Weather Service blamed strong cold front tracking across the Intermountain West on Monday with strong winds, heavy snow and even high fire weather for parts of the western high plains. The storm is expected to intensify on Tuesday as humidity builds rapidly in the middle and lower Mississippi Valley; tornadoes and damaging winds are expected.

“Conditions should allow storms to easily begin to turn, leading to an increased tornado threat,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Andrew Johnson-Levine. “A few strong, long-tail tornadoes also cannot be ruled out. »

SEVERE TIMES AHEAD:Severe weather ‘outbreak’ will hit the South, threatening 25 million from Texas to Illinois

New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham could be impacted

Major metropolitan areas that could see thunderstorms capable of producing flash flooding and damaging wind gusts on Wednesday include New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville and Birmingham, Alabama, AccuWeather said.

Airline passengers should expect additional delays north of the severe thunderstorm area in the Midwest and Northeast Tuesday through Wednesday, the service said.

USA Today

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