Wall of Storms Threatens Holiday Travel

'Timing couldn't be worse,' weather service says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 27, 2013 2:16 AM CST
Traffic moves in heavy rain in Fort Walton Beach, Florida last night.   (AP Photo/Northwest Florida Daily, Mark Kulaw)
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(Newser) – A wall of storms packing ice, sleet, and rain could upend holiday travel plans as millions of Americans take to the roads, skies, and rails today for Thanksgiving. So far, the deadly storms barreling into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast have not resulted in many flight delays or cancellations, but forecasters expect the weather to worsen throughout the day. "The timing of the storm couldn't be worse," a National Weather Service spokesman says. "We are seeing numerous threats as the storm is beginning to develop and intensify."

Heavy rain and breezy conditions will hit the East Coast from the Carolinas to the Northeast today, the weather service says, with ice and snow a possibility in the Appalachians, western Pennsylvania, and western New York. The storm system, which developed in the West, has been blamed for at least 11 deaths, half of them in Texas. It didn't hit Arkansas as hard as expected, but even a weaker than expected storm system is potentially bad news the day before Thanksgiving—usually the busiest travel day of the year. Some 43 million people will be on the move over the weekend, more than three million of them flying, and the weather could snarl takeoffs and landings at some of the busiest hubs on the East Coast, including New York; Washington, DC; Philadelphia; Boston; and Charlotte.

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