Travel Alert Update: Heavy Snow and Blizzard Conditions; Severe Weather Expected
A s an update to this travel alert I posted two days ago, starting tomorrow, Monday, February 1, 2016, vast portions of the central United States are expecting heavy snow and blizzard conditions; severe weather with the possibility of tornadoes; and possibly significant travel delays are expected as a result — which is why 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.
Blizzard conditions and accumulations of up to 18 inches of snow are expected in cities such as Lincoln, Omaha, Des Moines and Green Bay — but 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.
Cities such as Denver, Minneapolis, Aspen, Kansas City, Santa Fe, Casper, Madison, Colorado Springs, Sioux Falls and Milwaukee are also expecting snow from this weather event and could experience blizzard conditions at times; but accumulation is expected to be six inches or fewer. Travel delays are still expected for this region.
Heavy snow and blizzard conditions are not the only outcomes expected from this strong storm system…
Severe Thunderstorm Alert
…as severe thunderstorms with the possibility of damaging hail, blinding downpours of rain, damaging winds and flooding — and even tornadoes in some locations — are expected to impact cities such as Saint Louis, Little Rock, Biloxi, Memphis, Birmingham, Lexington, New Orleans, Montgomery, Evansville, Chattanooga, Louisville and Nashville on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 and through Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, the severe weather threat could impact portions of the southeastern United States — including Jacksonville, Raleigh, Orlando, Macon, Charleston, Greenville and Tampa — with possible strong thunderstorms and flooding.
Meanwhile, rain is expected for cities such as Atlanta, Boston, New York, Pittsburgh, Providence, Portland, Newark, Baltimore, Richmond, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Burlington, Concord and Washington, D.C. Although the rain is not expected to be a major event, do not be surprised if there are any travel delays as a result of this inclement weather as well.
Reasons For This Significant Weather
The main reason for the significant weather is due to a strong cold front approaching an unusually warm air mass — as much as 20 degrees warmer than normal — which will result in a potentially volatile situation with unstable weather. Also, the moist and unusually warm air is being brought in from the Gulf of Mexico by a strong low pressure system, which will head northeast — steered by a strong jet stream — as the storm progresses.
Discussions Pertaining to This Winter Storm
FlyerTalk members who planned on traveling through the early part of this week will definitely be affected, as evidenced in the following discussion listed below — with more discussions expected to be launched in additional forums:
- DEN/Rockies/Plains Region weather waiver 31 Jan to 2 Feb 2016 United Airlines | MileagePlus forum
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 — regardless of whether your origination or destination airport is located within either the cold or warm sectors of this weather event — 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.
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.
In addition to United Airlines, waivers are also being issued by Delta Air Lines. Expect waivers from other airlines to follow.
Source of weather map: AccuWeather.