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Thousands of flights delayed as holiday travel gets underway

As the busy Thanksgiving travel period revs up, weather is slowing things down.

More than 2,000 flights within, into and out of the U.S. have been delayed and almost 30 were canceled Tuesday as a storm system bringing rain and strong winds threatens holiday travel across the South and Northeast.

The storm system is expected to move from the Midwest by midday into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, causing issues on the road and in the air. While most on the East Coast will see rain, some snow and ice will break out across parts of the interior Northeast and northern New England.

On the southern side of the storm system, heavy rain and severe thunderstorms will move across parts of the Southeast. Montgomery and Mobile in Alabama and Pensacola, Florida, are the largest cities at severe risk, where damaging winds will be the main risk on Tuesday. An isolated tornado in the area can’t be ruled out.

A total of 2,072 flights have been delayed and 29 had been canceled as of Tuesday afternoon, according to More than 70 of the delays occurred at Los Angeles International Airport.

Major airports affected by Tuesday’s gusty winds and rain include Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City-area airports.

On Wednesday, the bulk of the large storm system will clear the East Coast by lunchtime, with just lingering showers and some gusty winds possible along the Interstate 95 corridor during the morning hours.

Heavy snow and wind will last through sunset for Maine, before all precipitation ends by midnight. Two to 6 inches of snow could fall in parts of New England, with isolated totals up to 8 inches possible at higher elevations across New Hampshire and Maine.

While the two days leading up to the holiday will be challenging because of weather hazards, Thanksgiving Day itself looks to be relatively tranquil across much of the U.S. The only exception will be the risk for accumulating snow across parts of the Northern Rocky Mountains, including Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

This is good news for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, where it will be mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid-40s. Winds are forecast to be breezy around 15 mph, which well below the wind threshold and should allow the balloons to fly high with no issue.

Across the Northeast, temperatures are expected to be in the high 50s and sunny, while in the Southeast there will be a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures in the 70s and above.

In the Midwest, it’s expected to be sunny with a cool breeze and highs in the 40s. The Southern Plains will have a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures in the 60s.

Those in the West Coast can expect sun with temperatures in the 60s in California and the 40s and 50s for the Pacific Northwest.

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