Two significant weather disturbances are causing headaches for holiday travelers, including one moving inland on the West Coast and another traversing from Upper Midwest to the Northeast, reported NPR News. More than 50 million people across the country are under winter weather alerts as the holiday shopping weekend comes to an end.
The first storm is expected to impact Seattle to Los Angeles, dumping feet of snow across higher elevations, and heavy rain and gusty wind to coasts and valley regions.
There are already flight delays for Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles airports on Sunday morning.
The National Weather Service (NWS) warns "travel is highly discouraged" between Saturday morning and Monday evening across portions of Northern California and Nevada, where winter storm watches or warnings have been posted. The Sierra Nevada region could expect several feet of snow at higher elevations.
Snow forecast for I-80 & HWY 50. Heaviest snow amounts expected Saturday evening into Sunday. Up to 2-3 feet of snow are possible at pass levels. Snow decreases Monday night, with lighter snow accumulations continuing into Tuesday. Avoid travel by Saturday afternoon! #cawx pic.twitter.com/adotwjm2sf— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) November 29, 2019
Heavy rain and gusty winds are forecasted for the coasts and valleys through Monday with rainfall totals 2 to 4 inches. Mudslides and flooded roadways are likely for parts of Northern California.
NWS meteorologist Lara Pagano said the second storm has already created a nightmare for travelers in the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes from Friday through Sunday. The storm is then expected to dump a mix of wintery precipitation across the Northeast from Sunday into Monday.
"We're seeing travel impacts for the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes, and then that's going to transition into portions of the Northeast for wintry precipitation as we get through the remainder of Sunday, Sunday night and then getting into Monday as well," says Pagano. The Great Lakes region is going to see "significant snow and blizzard conditions that will continue into early tomorrow."
Traveling north and west of Sioux Falls today? That may not be very easy, or even possible in some cases. A major winter storm will continue to take shape today and come to an end through the day on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/upbfUO7xAj— NWS Sioux Falls (@NWSSiouxFalls) November 30, 2019
The storm is expected to arrive in the Northeast by late Sunday afternoon. New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts could be setting up for a "nasty evening...complete with snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain. 8 pm radar shown below," tweeted Ed Vallee, head meteorologist at Empire Weather.
He said, "We continue to be concerned for very heavy snowfall in the southern Green Mountains, Berkshires, and Monadnocks, where we expect 8-16" of accumulation by Tuesday, varying with elevation."
NWS tweeted that the winter storm could create "difficult travel conditions across parts of the Eastern US Sunday & Monday. The big storm that moved onto the west Coast last Tue will reach the Eastern US this weekend, redeveloping off the Delmarva coast Sun evening & moving Northeast on Monday."
Wintry weather will produce some difficult travel conditions across parts of the Eastern US Sunday & Monday. The big storm that moved onto the west Coast last Tue will reach the Eastern US this weekend, redeveloping off the Delmarva coast Sun evening & moving northeast on Monday. pic.twitter.com/TqhkWvBNSu— NWS Eastern Region (@NWSEastern) November 29, 2019
NYC Sanitation Department Commissioner Kathryn Garcia told reporters at a Saturday press conference that 705 storm spreaders are "loaded" and ready to combat the winter storm. The city could see 1 to 4 inches, Garcia said.
Airports from Philadelphia, New York, and Boston are expected to be hit with delays through Monday.
From start to finish, this Thanksgiving holiday season has been a nightmare for travelers on both coasts.