AUSTIN (KXAN) – A major storm and Arctic outbreak will likely bring significant travel disruptions nationwide during the busiest travel week of the season. Although Austin may not see the snow or negative temperatures, people hoping to get out of the city for the holiday may need to prepare.
AAA estimates over 110 million people will travel this holiday, a jump of over 3 million people likely traveling versus last year.
The storm will bring some of the coldest air that many states have experienced in over 10 years. Low temperatures for many in the Northern Plains may not even climb out of the minus teens and 20s with afternoon highs staying below zero degrees for a few days.
While the extreme cold can cause power outages, icy conditions (on roadways and tarmacs), and can even cause car trouble (including low tire pressure), it won’t be the Arctic air that will be the most responsible for travel disruptions. It will be the powerful winds, snow and blizzard conditions that this storm brings that will be the most impactful.
From the Plains to the Midwest and Great Lakes, this storm will likely drop a dry and powdery snow, accumulating over a half a foot for many. This light snow carried by over 40-and-up-mph winds for many locations will bring poor visibility for many airports. This will make traveling and roads impassible and create many airline delays and cancelations that could trickle across the country.
KXAN’s First Warning Weather team breaks down the timing of expected travel delays over the next few days throughout the U.S.:
Timeline of expected travel delays
If you are heading to the airport at any point this week, airlines are advising to double check your reservation online or through their apps for any cancelations or delays. Many airlines offer waived changed fees if you rebook your flight to arrive at an earlier or later time.