Major Storm to Complicate Major Travel Day

NWS Warnings, Advisories Issued

November 30, 2019 - 7:07 pm
Bad Thanksgiving Weekend weather moving in from the midwest.

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Getting home from your Thanksgiving Weekend is about to get wet, cold and complicated.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Litchfield and Fairfield counties, effective 11 a.m. Sunday through 7 a.m. Tuesday. NWS is predicting 7-13 inches of snow and sleet in those areas.

NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Hartford, Tolland, New Haven and Windham counties, and most of Middlesex County, also effective 11 a.m. Sunday through 7 a.m. Tuesday. Currently, NWS is calling for a mix of ice and snow, with accumulations of about 4-11 inches around Hartford.

New England will get the tail end of a large system that dumped heavy snow from parts of California to the northern Midwest, and inundated other areas with rain.

Another system is forecast to develop in the mid-Atlantic Sunday, moving as a nor'easter into Monday.

Authorities found the bodies of two young children, including a 5-year-old boy, and a third child was missing in central Arizona after a vehicle was swept away while attempting to cross a runoff-swollen creek. A storm-related death also was reported in South Dakota. 

The city of Duluth, Minnesota, issued a ``no travel advisory'' beginning at noon Saturday because of a major snow storm it termed ``historic.'' Duluth officials asked the public to be patient as plows clear roadways and recommended that drivers stay off the roads to prevent accidents and let officers respond more quickly to emergencies. 

Airlines at O'Hare International and Midway International in Chicago reported average delays of 15 minutes as a winter storm headed toward the Midwest with heavy snow and ice and gusty winds. The companies said they had canceled 27 flights at O'Hare and two at Midway as people scramble to get home on the year's busiest travel weekend. 

``Tomorrow, the airlines anticipate to be the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving period at both O'Hare and Midway,`` said Karen Pride, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Aviation. ``Everybody thinks the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest; it is not."

Authorities in the western states were still grappling Saturday with the aftermath of heavy rains and snow over the busiest travel weekend of the year.

In Arizona, officials initially found body of the 5-year-old about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) downstream from where the vehicle they were riding in was swept away Friday, said Gila County sheriff's Lt. Virgil Dodd. The second of the three children turned up later Saturday. The sheriff's office didn't provide the second child's age and gender.

The agency said Saturday two other children and two adults who were in the vehicle were rescued from a small island and the bank of the creek in Tonto National Forest northeast of Phoenix. Sheriff's officials initially had said six people, including four children, were rescued Friday at locations along the creek. 

High winds and ice were making travel almost impossible in other places. A 100-mile section of Interstate 80 in Nebraska and Wyoming closed Saturday morning because of high winds and blowing snow.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation said I-80 was closed in both directions and advised against travel in the state's Panhandle region. Several other roads and highways also were closed.

Back-to-back snowstorms and strong winds combined to serious complicate travel by land across much of the rest of Wyoming, where roads were closed in the eastern and southern parts of the state because of whiteout conditions. the poor conditions in Wyoming.