Severe storms and the potential for snow threaten Thanksgiving travel, prompting advisories from the National Weather Service (NWS) and affecting major transportation hubs, reported The Hill.
On Tuesday afternoon, the NWS indicated that disruptions are "likely" along the East Coast into Wednesday, with more favorable travel conditions expected across other parts of the nation.
In a post on X, the NWS Prediction Center outlined the impact of two prominent storm systems, projecting "widespread heavy rains" throughout the mid-Atlantic and South. Forecasters also raised the possibility of a "white Thanksgiving" in northern New York and New England, with projections of up to 6 inches of snow in certain parts of New Hampshire and Maine.
Thursday is anticipated to provide improved travel conditions nationally, except for the northern Rockies and northern High Plains, where accumulating snow could pose challenges starting Thanksgiving morning.
As airports experienced a surge in passenger traffic, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cautioned on Tuesday morning, citing potential delays due to thunderstorms in major hubs such as Charlotte and Atlanta. In Charlotte, flights were temporarily halted in the afternoon due to a low ceiling, with expectations for resumption around 4:15 p.m. ET.
The FAA advised passengers to check their flight status with airlines, providing a link to a tracking system.
This weather-related travel alert aligns with projections of increased Thanksgiving travel.
AAA forecasts 55.4 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles between Wednesday and the Sunday following Thanksgiving. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) estimates screening 2.6 million airline passengers on Tuesday and 2.7 million on Wednesday, with a potential record-breaking 2.9 million passengers on Sunday, surpassing a previous June record, the Associated Press reported.
"We expect this holiday season to be our busiest ever," TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a press release last week. "We are ready for the anticipated volumes and are working closely with our airline and airport partners to make sure we are prepared for this busy holiday travel season."
The possibility of a government shutdown occurring less than a week before Thanksgiving also posed a significant concern for travelers. However, Congress avoided a government shutdown before the Nov. 17 deadline.
Thousands of TSA employees and federal air traffic controllers would have been compelled to work without compensation until the government resumed its operations. This circumstance could have resulted in protracted wait times and an escalated likelihood of increased delays and cancellations, reported The Hill.
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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