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Weather May Have Major Impact on Thanksgiving Holiday Travel

For many, the Thanksgiving Holiday travel period begins in earnest as early as Monday in anticipation for Turkey Day on Thursday.

After a spring and summer of turbulence, the airlines are hoping for a smooth ride and are expecting that, according to Airlines for America CEO Nick Calio, who spoke to TravelPulse earlier in the week.

But there is one variable out there that can change everything.

Even in the spring and summer we saw how disruptive a single thunderstorm could be to air traffic in a chain of events. Now factor in the snow, sleet, and ice. With 55 million people expected to travel 50 miles or more this week for the holiday, forecasters are looking at a mixed back.

Forecasters say that the incoming weather system could add to the delays that air passengers and motorists face, beyond those expected due to the sheer volume of travelers.

Major hubs such as Chicago, Atlanta and New York could all face impacts.

Meteorologists with AccuWeather say there are some definite trouble signs, including ‘a storm is expected to move into the Pacific Northwest with rain and mountain snow on Tuesday. Seattle and other lower elevations in western Washington will face the brunt of the storm's rain as around a foot of snow potential in the Rocky Mountain.’

"This part of the storm will pack most of the energy needed for the bigger storm to form later in the week," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bill Deger explained.

The South could be set, and high-population areas such as in the mid-Atlantic around New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. are on guard. While those might be packed with people, it becomes troublesome for airlines and airline passengers when storms delay – or cancel – flights in areas where airlines have hubs that act as major places for switching planes. Think American Airlines in Charlotte, North Carolina, for instance, or even Florida, where budget carrier Spirit is located.

This article originally appeared on Travel Pulse

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