Thanksgiving travel threatened as powerful storm nears MI


Winter storm warnings and advisories cover the western region from OR to Arizona and a flash flood watch stretches from north of Anaheim to the border with Mexico, the National Weather Service said.

Residents along the coast of California are bracing for more than a soggy Thanksgiving week.

This comes as AAA predicts more than 55 million people will be taking to the roads and skies this Thanksgiving holiday, which is the second highest number of travelers in almost two decades. Northern California and southern OR residents are bracing for a 'bomb cyclone ' weather phenomenon that's expected at one of the busiest travel times of the year.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for much more from this storm. More rain is expected in the area on Thursday.

According to FlightAware data, 91 flights in the United States have been delayed, and another 12 canceled only a few hours into the Thanksgiving day at press time.

Minneapolis awoke to as much as 9 inches (23 centimeters) of snow.

A snow storm that caused near white-out blizzard conditions in Colorado dumped a foot of snow in Wyoming on Tuesday, and was barrelling eastward toward the Great Lakes region in the central US.

It will bring heavy rain and snow far into southern California, where it could raise the risk of mudslides, said Mr Brian Hurley, a senior branch forecaster at the US Weather Prediction Centre in College Park, Maryland. One system pounded Western states with rain and snow, while an East Coast storm dumped snow as its high winds knocked out power.

A jet waits for takeoff Tuesday at Denver International Airport, where travelers have seen hundreds of flights canceled amid heavy snow.

The mountain ranges in California and Nevada could get over 3 feet of snow.

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About 1,100 passengers had to spend Monday night at the airport, spokeswoman Alex Renteria told CNN.

The weather conditions were life-threatening as cars slid across the roads, including in Colorado where one person was killed and three others were injured in a multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 70 Tuesday, according to The Weather Channel.

"That could be a coast-to-coast storm", he said.

"Thanksgiving is over then", she said.

After the rain earlier this week, the weather cleared up in time Thursday morning for many Thanksgiving Day activities and is expected to stay dry through the long holiday weekend, the National Weather Service said.

Organizers prepared for the possibility of grounding the iconic balloon characters because of 40 to 50 miles per hour (64 to 81 kph) wind gusts in the forecast.

The nasty weather and blizzard conditions have also forced the closure of major travel routes, including Interstate 5, the main thoroughfare from OR into California.

In New York, the system could mean disappointment for fans of the larger-than-life balloons flown at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Organisers have said they will make a decision today morning.