Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Storm May Complicate Holiday Travel Up to 6 Inches of Snow Could Fall before Thursday

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Storm May Complicate Holiday Travel Up to 6 Inches of Snow Could Fall before Thursday

Article excerpt

If you're traveling east for Thanksgiving, call Grandma and tell her you might be late.

Meteorologists say a storm gaining speed in the Gulf of Mexico will likely bring snow and heavy showers to the East Coast by Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year. As millions board planes and pack highways to make it home in time for Thanksgiving, heavy winds could delay flights and slow traffic across Pennsylvania and beyond.

Only a few areas expect blizzard conditions, so this is no "Snowmageddon" -- but try explaining that to your hosts while the turkey is slowly cooling on the dinner table as you rush from the airport.

"If you can travel Tuesday morning, that's a better option," AccuWeather meteorologist Dan DePodwin said. "While snow is not an issue for the big cities, it does look like wind and rain will cause delays."

Pittsburgh International Airport expects about 16,000 people to fly out on Wednesday, and a slightly larger number to return on Sunday, spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said. Traffic is heaviest from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., with waits in security lines that can exceed 30 minutes, she said.

According to AccuWeather, cities along Interstate 95 -- Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York -- will likely see only rain, with temperatures warming to between 40 and 50 degrees. Things get a bit frostier moving west, with snow expected through Appalachia, Central Pennsylvania and up into New York.

Pittsburgh is on the western edge of the storm. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch Sunday afternoon, warning the region to expect up to 6 inches of snow. Forecasters expect precipitation to begin tonight and through Tuesday, wrapping up Wednesday.

Snow has already piled up along the I-80 corridor, with the weather service reporting more than 20 inches dumped on Venango County.

A large storm already blamed for at least eight deaths in the West slogged through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and other parts of the Southwest on Sunday, leading to hundreds of flight cancellations as it slowly churned east. …

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