More Updates to Massive Winter Storm Travel Waivers February 2021

Multiple travel alerts continue to be released by many airlines for much of the United States and southern Canada due to massive winter storms which keep sweeping across both countries, which means that simply listing portions of North America which are not undergoing winter weather or inclement weather this week would actually be easier to do.

More Updates to Massive Winter Storm Travel Waivers February 2021

Almost 75 percent of the United States already has snow or ice which is currently on the ground — which broke a record — and this bizarre weather pattern has affected at least 210 million people in 46 states in the United States and seven provinces in Canada, with at least 32 deaths which have been attributed to the recent winter storms. Greater than four million people in Texas and at least seven other states are already without electricity, heat, or water due to power outages — with no idea as to when electric power, heat, or water will be restored, as many of them have been without those utilities for at least four days.

United Airlines alone has issued travel alerts for at least 51 airports; and American Airlines has issued travel alerts for at least 59 airports, as hundreds of flights have already been canceled this week.

Source: National Weather Service of the United States.

If that was not bad enough, a deep trough of frigid air has either challenged or shattered record low temperatures as far south as southern Texas with some of the coldest temperatures in as many as 126 years…

…to the point at which Shreveport in Louisiana experienced a colder morning than Fairbanks in Alaska…

…as well as colder in Texas than in Maine…

…not to mention the portions of the United States which have been affected by rain, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes instead of frozen precipitation. At least three people were killed as a result of a powerful tornado in southeastern North Carolina, where greater than 50 homes were damaged.

The Cascade Mountain range of Washington and Oregon is covered by as much as 60 inches — yes, five feet — of snow in the higher elevations.

As much as 36 inches of snow is currently on the ground in the following areas:

  • Western Colorado in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains
  • Eastern California in the higher elevations
  • Central Utah
  • North central New Mexico
  • Portions of eastern Washington, northeastern Oregon, southwestern Montana, and western Wyoming
Snow Atlanta December 8 2017

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

In addition to what is already currently on the ground from recent storms, up to a foot of snow is forecast from the extreme eastern panhandle of Texas to northeastern Arkansas and from eastern West Virginia to extreme southern New Hampshire, which includes — but is not limited to — New York, Boston, Fort Smith, New Haven, Martinsburg, Providence, Harrisburg, Little Rock, Albany, Wichita Falls, Lancaster, Hartford, Worcester, and Newark; while up to six inches of snow is predicted from northeastern Texas all the way to eastern Nova Scotia, which includes Cleveland, Louisville, Fort Worth, Memphis, Saint John, Syracuse, Columbus, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Toronto, Cincinnati, Portland, Tulsa, Burlington, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Halifax, Lexington, and Buffalo.

As much as three inches of snow is expected from northwestern Texas all the way to Newfoundland and Labrador; and cities which are included in this area are Baltimore, Saint Louis, Saint John’s, Roanoke, Indianapolis, Nashville, Montréal, and the District of Columbia.

Ice and Snow

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Meanwhile, ice will likely be a problem from central Texas all the way to southeastern Long Island in New York, which includes New York, Nashville, Austin, Atlantic City, Richmond, San Angelo, Knoxville, Wilmington, Richmond, Dover, Baltimore, Trenton, Philadelphia, Newark, and the District of Columbia. Up to one inch of ice is possible in some of these areas — especially along the Appalachian Mountains from southwestern North Carolina and extreme northeastern Tennessee all the way to northern Virginia, including Asheville, Roanoke, and Charlottesville.

Rain and severe weather continues to plague the southeastern United States from extreme southeastern Mississippi all the way to eastern North Carolina, with the heaviest liquid precipitation forecast for the panhandle of the state of Florida, southeastern Alabama, and southwestern Georgia, where heavy thunderstorms with a chance of isolated tornadoes are also possible due to unstable air which is caused when warm air clashes with much colder air, creates energy, and wrings out moisture. This includes Tallahassee, Macon, Charleston, Wilmington, Pensacola, and Savannah…

…and if you think you are safer with rain instead of snow, think again: in addition to the aforementioned three fatalities in North Carolina, one person was killed in a fiery accident involving at least a dozen vehicles in the northbound lanes on Interstate 75 in Cobb County north of Atlanta because of a car which hydroplaned off the road and struck a guard rail, which caused a chain reaction which involved multiple tractor trailer trucks and closed the entire highway for the rest of the day on Thursday, February 11, 2021.

Numerous other highway and traffic accidents occurred around the United States this past week because of the weather — including a massive accident in Fort Worth which killed at least six people.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If the aforementioned regions of the United States and Canada are in your travel plans 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 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 the affected areas, watch out for deteriorating weather conditions and traffic problems.

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

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for:
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
  • Southwest Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
  • JetBlue Airways has issued travel alerts for 15 airports in seven states for Thursday, February 18, 2021 through Friday, February 19, 2021; and Wednesday, February 24, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
  • Spirit Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Austin, Dallas, and Houston for Sunday, February 14, 2021 through Wednesday, February 17, 2021; and Wednesday, February 24, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Nine airports in the Northeastern region of the United States for Thursday, February 18, 2021 through Saturday, February 20, 2021; and Thursday, February 25, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Air Canada has issued a travel alert for Newark for Thursday, February 18, 2021 through Friday, February 19, 2021.

Summary

Additional airlines may issue travel waivers as a result of this unusually massive winter weather event. You will be kept apprised as the newsroom here at The Gate is flooded with weather alerts and travel waivers.

Okay — so The Gate does not have a newsroom filled with intrepid reporters and the latest equipment and technology. You get the idea. I simply want to ensure that you stay safe — which is why I cover weather which may not be included in the travel waivers which are issued by airlines.

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…

…and just keep in mind that Spring starts next month; and relief from this winter weather is coming soon…

All photographs ©2011, ©2017, and ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

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