More than 1,300 flights to or from US airports were delayed late Sunday morning during the post-Thanksgiving travel spree as severe weather including rain, strong winds and snow swept through major cities.
Nearly 55 million people were expected to travel 50 miles or more from their homes this Thanksgiving weekend — a 98% increase from pre-pandemic levels, according to the AAA. In addition to the 1,333 flights delayed at 11:45 a.m. ET, 52 US flights were canceled, according to FlightAware.com.
On Sunday, there were wind warnings for about 14 million people in the Ohio Valley and Southeast, including Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; and Asheville, North Carolina.
A wind gust of 53 miles per hour was reported in Kentucky early Sunday morning. Gusts this afternoon will range from 25 to 35 miles per hour.
Rain fell in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions Sunday morning, threatening morning travel for cities including Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Nashville and Charlotte, North Carolina .
This rain patch will continue to move northeast, bringing the heaviest downpours to New York City, Washington, DC and Boston early to mid-Sunday afternoon.
Rain will end mostly in the late afternoon and early evening in the Northeast, but some isolated showers may persist late Sunday evening into early Monday morning in parts of New England, with a transition from rain to snow for some in northern Maine.
Storm totals will range from 0.5 to 1.25 inches of rain in the eastern third of the country.
Another developing storm system has continued to bring heavy rain to the Pacific Northwest in addition to mountain snow this weekend, with winter weather and gale warnings in place from Washington to Colorado, according to the Weather Service.
Sunday’s heaviest snow will affect parts of the Cascades and Northern Rockies with totals generally ranging from 2 to 7 inches and localized amounts in excess of 15 inches, which is possible for higher elevations and mountain passes. It will also be quite windy, with possible gusts of up to 65mph, which will severely limit visibility and make travel dangerous.
Snow from this system will fall south on Monday, impacting Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Total snowfall ranges from 6 to 12 inches, with locally higher amounts possible at the higher elevations, according to the weather service. Wind gusts will also remain high in this region early in the week, with gusts of around 30-50mph.
Looking ahead, this storm system will bring an increased risk of severe weather in the middle and lower Mississippi Valley on Tuesday.
Christine Rapp contributed.