Winter Storm Affects Over 30 States and Disrupts Thanksgiving Travel Plans: What to Expect
Winter storm Ezekiel has affected over 30 states thus far
Families returning home on Sunday from their Thanksgiving weekend may have some issues with their travel plans.
Winter storm Ezekiel, named by the Weather Channel, has affected over 30 states so far, interrupting millions of people’s travel routes due to gusty winds, snow and ice.
The storm has been heading east from the Plains and the Midwest and made the first snowfall landing of the year from New Jersey to Boston, according to USA Today.
Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey were all hit on Sunday with ice, snow and strong winds, and the National Weather Service said snowfall is expected into Monday. A total accumulation of up to 16 inches and a tenth of an inch of ice are expected in areas surrounding Boston.
The Weather Channel predicted that snowfall will likely impact travel from the central Appalachians to upstate New York and parts of western and northern New England on Monday.
In addition, areas closer to the coast, from New York City to Boston, could see rain changing to snow later in the day and overnight, the outlet reported.
A Delta Connection flight from New York slid off a taxiway following an “uneventful landing” Sunday morning in Buffalo, according to USA Today, which also reported that none of the 64 passengers on board were injured.
Pennsylvania could also see snowfall until Tuesday morning, according to the state’s Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Padfield. A foot of snow was forecast for parts of Northeast Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, in the Midwest, more than 700 flights were delayed or canceled on Sunday at airports in Chicago, Denver and Minneapolis, USA Today reported.
AccuWeather warned that “heavy snow will continue to plaster the upper Mississippi Valley and northern Great Lakes region into Sunday night. Strong winds will make for whiteout conditions at times.”
Winter storm Ezekiel first entered the West Coast on Nov. 26 when it hit southern Oregon and northwest California as a bomb cyclone, the Weather Channel reported. The storm then moved slowly eastward across the Plains and upper Midwest areas between Nov. 27-30, spreading snow and strong winds through parts of those regions.
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Ahead of Thanksgiving last year, 54 million Americans were expected to travel more 50 miles. The prediction was almost a five percent increase from 2017, which came out to about 2.5 million more people hitting the road, according to a report from AAA.
Cars were the most popular method of travel for Thanksgiving, with 48.5 million people driving, which was a five percent increase from the previous year.
Nearly 4.27 million people traveled by planes (the largest growth, up 5.4 percent). Almost 1.48 million people traveled by trains, buses and cruise ships, increasing last year’s numbers by 1.4 percent.