Your holiday travels may be coming to screeching halt this year – and you can also forget about a white Christmas. A mix of drenching rain, severe thunderstorms, and strong winds will bring a wet Christmas to much of the United State’s East Coast, while snow and rain is expected to strike the Northwest and Rockies.
Weather reports predict the rain and balmy temperature over most parts of the United States the next couple of days will shatter nearly all hope for smooth travel, as well as any wintry snowfall on Christmas day.
“It’s going to be a rainmaker, for sure. There’s the threat of locally heavy rain and this system could be windy enough to disrupt travel at airports in the East,” Roy Lucksinger, lead meteorologist at The Weather Channel, told NBC News.
Because of the expected forecast, aviation experts at the National Weather Service are reporting that a “high impact event” has the potential to create major flight delays in many airports on Wednesday, Christmas Eve. And with AAA expecting 98.6 million Americans to travel 50 miles or more from home during this year-end holiday season, flight delays are a challenge no one wants to see play out.
“We worry about any kind of weather when it comes to holiday travel,” Weather Prediction Center meteorologist Brian Hurley said, according to USA Today. “A lot of airports will be affected. It doesn’t look like we will have significant snow, but with the rain and wind, delays are imminent.”
“Especially on Christmas Eve, the rain is going to be heavy enough, and there is going to be wind, so I’d think there will be some delays and a slower go than usual on the interstates,” added Dan Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist. “Certainly not the ideal travel day.”
According to weather.com, the US’s East and Northwest aren’t the only areas getting hit with bad luck. Airports in Charlotte, Atlanta, and the major Florida hubs may also be affected due to the severe weather, with delays even reaching as far west as Cincinnati and Detroit. Further defers, from snow and/or wind, in addition, are possible in Chicago, Milwaukee, and perhaps St. Louis.
Wisconsin and northern Michigan are the only two regions to maybe – just maybe – enjoy a white Christmas, Hurley said. (Speaking for myself, a white Christmas isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.)