Travel Alert: Heavy Snow and Blizzard Conditions Expected for Portions of the Central United States

ast week, many portions of the eastern United States were blasted with heavy snow and blizzard conditions — which resulted in the shattering of weather records in some areas.

Next week, portions of the central United States — from as far south and west as Arizona to as far north and east as Wisconsin — are expected to have their turn; and you are advised to consider postponing your travel plans if you plan on traveling to or from the areas forecast to be affected by this latest storm, as significant travel delays are expected.

Up to 18 inches of snow is expected in portions of cities — such as Cheyenne, Colorado Springs, Denver, Sioux City, Omaha, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Madison and Milwaukee — at the start of February, meaning that any groundhogs which reside in those areas will most likely not emerge to see if they cast shadows to predict the weather for the next six weeks…

…and even though Chicago is not expected to be impacted directly, its airports could experience significant delays and cancellations of flights — especially as both American Airlines and United Airlines share an airport as one of their hubs.

Power outages, heavy snow, extremely low visibility with whiteout conditions, and damaging winds exceeding 50 miles per hour in some areas are possible if you are in the region during this weather event.

An icy mix of precipitation is expected for cities — such as Santa Fe, Amarillo, Wichita, and Chicago — within a narrow band. Rain is expected for cities such as Saint Louis and Chicago.

Summary

At the time this article was written, travel waivers were not yet being offered by airlines — but that could change by the time you read this article.

Expect for flights operated by airlines based both within and outside the United States to be delayed or cancelled if you decide not to exercise your option to change your itinerary free of charge; but also expect delays and possible cancellations of flights even though neither the origination or destination airports may not be directly affected by the inclement weather.

Also expect ground transportation — such as roadways and train systems — to be inoperable or be of limited use during this winter storm. Portions of Interstate 25, Interstate 29, Interstate 35, Interstate 40, Interstate 70, Interstate 80, Interstate 90 and Interstate 94 could either be difficult to navigate or temporarily closed; so driving may not be an option for you.

If you have travel planned, call the airline operating your flight — as well as the hotel property where your room is located and rental car facility — for the latest updates and to find out all of the options available to you.

Although none exist as of yet, expect discussions to be launched by members of FlyerTalk and InsideFlyer  pertaining to this potential blizzard event.

Source of weather map: AccuWeather.

3 thoughts on “Travel Alert: Heavy Snow and Blizzard Conditions Expected for Portions of the Central United States”

  1. Adam says:

    Oh no… Do you think this will affect my Tuesday flight from MSP-NRT?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      It is still a little too early to tell definitively, Adam, as even the slightest shift in the path in which the low pressure system associated with this storm will take could cause a significant difference in the forecast…

      …but if your flight is during the morning or early afternoon on Tuesday, your flight might not be affected much or at all, as right now, it appears that the most significant part of the snow event in Minneapolis will be in the late afternoon on Tuesday through the overnight hours into Wednesday.

      I hope that your flight departs on time. More importantly, I wish for you safe travels…

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