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    Holiday Travel: Wind, Lake-Effect Snow in the Northeast

    By By Meghan Evans, Meteorologist
    December 26, 2012, 2:38:50 AM EST

    High winds and lake-effect snow are threatening to delay holiday travelers across the Northeast today.

    Meanwhile, a storm train will continue to impact the West with rain and mountain snow. Travel may be difficult both in the air and on the ground.

    Jump to Flight Delay Risk Chart for Big U.S. Cities

    AAA predicts that 93.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this holiday season, an increase of 1.6 percent compared to last year. Of that estimate, 90 percent (84.4 million) of them, more than a quarter of the U.S. population, are projected to travel by automobile. Meanwhile, air travel is expected to increase 4.5 percent from 2011.


    400x266_12191428_friday


    High Winds, Lake-Effect Snow Continues in the Northeast


    Following the Midwest blizzard, biting winds are howling across the mid-Atlantic and southern New England.

    The strength of the winds threaten to delay flights, including at the main New York City airports, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

    This morning, a ground stop was issued at Dulles airport for arrivals due to strong winds. It has since been lifted.

    The winds have also triggered lake-effect snow downwind of lakes Erie and Ontario today. The heaviest lake-effect snow, creating the most dangers for motorists with reduced visibility and slick roadways, are streaming across New York State.

    A few flurries will even streak down to New York City and Boston, but will not create problems for motorists.

    Brisk winds will continue to chill the Northeast on Sunday, but will not be as strong as today--reducing the number of potential flight delays. Additional lake-effect snow will persist across New York State and northern Pennsylvania.


    400x266_12191426_holidaytravel1219


    Rain, Mountain Snow May Cause Delays, Hazards in the West

    Yet another Pacific storm will have an impact on portions of the West through this weekend. Low-elevation rain and heavy mountain snow will continue.

    Southern Oregon and northern California are expected to receive the brunt of the heaviest rain. Travelers of the I-5 corridor should be prepared for blinding rain.

    Flight delays will be possible in both San Francisco and Sacramento.

    Meanwhile, heavy mountain snow is expected to clobber the northern and central Sierra. Travel along I-80, including Donner Pass, is likely to be impacted.

    Low clouds and some rain will also cause some delays farther north, including in Seattle and Portland.

    Snow in the Washington Cascades may lead to slippery and dangerous driving conditions along major mountain passes in Washington, including Snoqualmie, Stevens and White passes.

    On Sunday, some low-elevation rain and mountain snow will also advance farther inland across Idaho, western Montana, Nevada, Utah and western Wyoming.

    Late-Weekend Showers, Fog in the South


    No weather-related travel issues are anticipated for the Deep South today as dry weather will dominate. Showers may blossom across portions of Texas into the central Gulf states as moisture is ushered in from the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.

    While the showers are not expected to be particularly widespread or heavy, there could be lowered visibility in isolated downpours along I-10 and I-20.

    Depending on how strong the flow is from the Gulf, the potential exists for some areas of dense fog during the morning and midday hours Sunday. Travel along I-10 may be slowed in lowered visibility. Flight delays may be possible at times in Houston and Shreveport, La.


    Holiday Travel: Weather-Related Airport Delays

    Airport
    Sat. 12/22
    Sun. 12/23
    Boston
    Likely
    (windy)
    Possible
    (windy)
    New York JFK
    Likely
    (windy)
    Possible
    (breezy)
    Philadelphia
    Likely
    (windy)
    Possible
    (breezy)
    Pittsburgh
    Likely
    (windy; snow)
    None
    Baltimore
    Likely
    (windy)
    None
    Washington Dulles
    Likely
    (windy)
    None
    Atlanta
    None
    None
    Miami
    None
    None
    Detroit
    Possible
    (breezy)
    None
    Cincinnati
    None
    None
    Chicago
    None
    None
    Minneapolis
    None
    None
    Dallas
    None
    None
    Denver
    None
    None
    Seattle
    Possible
    (low clouds, rain)
    Possible
    (low clouds, rain)
    Salt Lake City
    None
    None
    San Francisco
    Likely
    (low clouds, rain, breezy)
    Possible
    (low clouds, rain)
    Los Angeles
    None
    None

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