Travel Alert August 2017: Tropical Storm Irma to Affect Southeastern Coast of the United States

If eastern portions of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and southern Delaware are in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to the effects from a tropical system which has not officially been named yet.

Travel Alert August 2017: Tropical Storm Irma to Affect Southeastern Coast of the United States

Tropical Storm Irma

What is to be named Tropical Storm Irma sits in the Atlantic Ocean east of the coastline of the United States, which is outlined with purple lines. Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

The tropical disturbance is expected to strengthen to Tropical Storm Irma sometime over the next few days as it is expected to cause minor beach erosion, rough surf, coastal flooding, strong rip currents, windy conditions and significant rain. Power outages and localized flooding is possible.

Airports which are expected to experience interruptions and delays in operations include — but are not limited to — those in Savannah, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, Richmond and Newport News.

Other airports which are expected to be affected to a lesser extent — but may eventually be included in the travel alerts of airlines — include Raleigh-Durham and Virginia Beach.

Sustained winds associated with this storm are currently at 40 miles per hour; and the storm is moving northeast at 12 miles per hour. Up to four inches of rain is expected in some areas. Landfall is not expected to occur from this storm.

Although the sustained winds have passed tropical storm strength, the storm is not organized well enough to be named — and it has until the end of the day tomorrow to get its act together. Regardless of whether or not it is officially named Irma, people in affected areas need to treat this system as though it were a tropical storm.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to anywhere in the southeastern United States over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this winter weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. If you are driving in any of these areas, watch out for deteriorating weather conditions and traffic problems.

Here are three airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:

  • Delta Air Lines has issued a travel alert for nine airports in three states for Tuesday, August 29, 2017; and Friday, September 1, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for seven airports in three states for Monday through Tuesday, August 28 through August 29, 2017; and Friday, September 1, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for four airports in three states for Monday through Tuesday, August 28 through August 29, 2017; and Friday, September 1, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Summary

What is expected to be Tropical Storm Irma is not expected to strengthen into a hurricane — let alone cause nearly as much devastation as Hurricane Harvey, which is currently a tropical storm — but do not be surprised if additional airlines post travel alerts due to this particular storm as it progresses up the east coast of the United States.

Even if the storm is never officially named, the travel alerts issued from the aforementioned airlines are indeed real. Take advantage of the waivers for no charge if you are affected by the travel alerts.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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