A massive winter storm is expected to put a damper on holiday travel across the United States.
A massive storm is expected to become a cyclone that will bring heavy snow and blizzard conditions between Wednesday and Friday evening across the Plains, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, Northeast and some interior areas of the mid-Atlantic, according to the Washington Post. This winter storm is also expected to impact more than 110 million Americans who are expected to travel, whether its on the road or in the air.
Airports in the eastern U.S. are expected to see a huge amount of delays and cancellations due to strong winds. The Washington Post said that the strong winds could lead to power outages as well.
Major airports in the Midwest and Great Lakes as well as Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport are expected to have to deal with some serious travel disruptions, according to the Washington Post. The worst conditions are expected late Thursday evening into Friday.
The National Weather Service issued a warning of a potential blizzard set to hit Chicago the hardest, according to CNN. In preparation for that, different airlines have been working on plans for waivers, including United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. A waiver is a process in which fee changes and fare differences are waived or modified during rebookings and so forth in the month of December.
United Airlines is offering four separate winter weather waivers, including one in the Midwest, one in Texas, one for the East Coast and another for the central and northwestern United States, according to CNN.
Southwest Airlines has issued a “Rocky Mountain and Midwest Winter Weather” waiver, and American Airlines has issued a waiver for travel in, out and through about 30 airports in the Midwest as well as a waiver for over a dozen Northeast locations, according to CNN.
The Washington Post said nearly 50 million Americans are under winter storm warnings. The upcoming storm is expected to strengthen explosively and make it possibly qualify as a “bomb cyclone,” which is an intense kind of mid-latitude storm. It is expected to be a life-threatening event.
This storm has the potential to bring the coldest Christmas since 1989 in many areas, according to the Washington Post.