Snow Atlanta December 8 2017
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Travel Alert November 2022: More Airlines Issue Travel Waivers For Substantial Snow Event in Great Lakes Region

Flights have already been canceled — and...

At least three feet of snow is already on the ground in some areas of the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada; so if that region is in your travel plans over the next few of days or so, 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 latest winter weather system which is forecast to bring record amounts of snow to the region.

Travel Alert November 2022: More Airlines Issue Travel Waivers For Substantial Snow Event in Great Lakes Region

Although up to 72 inches — that is the equivalent of six feet — of snow is expected to fall in the greater Buffalo metropolitan area, Watertown in New York, and Parry Sound in Ontario, snow is forecast through Sunday, November 20, 2022 in the Great Lakes region from northern Wisconsin and southern Ontario all the way to northern New York State and extreme southern Québec.

Buffalo receives an average of 95 inches of snow per year — but it could receive as much as 50 percent of that total during this one winter storm.

Most of the substantial accumulations of snow will occur at the southern and eastern locations of each of the Great Lakes due to lake-effect snow. As much as four inches of snow per hour could fall in some areas…

…and an unusual phenomenon called “thunder snow” — which is a thunderstorm that involves snow instead of rain — has been occurring on and off for as long as seven hours.

Warmer than usual water in the Great Lakes is the main reason why this otherwise typical winter weather event is considered unusual — even for this region. The temperature of the water is as high as in the mid-50s, when it is usually in the mid 40s to upper 40s Fahrenheit. This difference in temperature — combined with cold air moving in — is why a substantial amount of snow is expected to accumulate.

A winter storm watch and a lake effect snow warning has been issued for the greater metropolitan area of Buffalo and across southwestern New York; and a state of emergency was issued by Kathy Hochul — who is the current governor of the state of New York — effective as of yesterday morning, Thursday, November 17, 2022 due to the weather forecast.

Additionally, strong winds are possible in the Great Lakes region, where high temperatures are expected to be limited to the upper 20s to low 30s Fahrenheit.

Structures are expected to be compromised due to the weight of the snow. Electric power outages are already being reported.

The football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns this coming Sunday, November 20, 2022 has been moved to Detroit “due to public safety concerns and out of an abundance of caution in light of the ongoing weather emergency in western New York” — and the radar images appear to be similar to the official logo of the Buffalo Bills.

Some people are welcoming the snow.

Expect more flights to be delayed or canceled as a result of this winter weather event, which could be historic and recorded in the record books when all is said and done.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to, from, or within the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada over the next few of days or so, 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.

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

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for Albany, Buffalo, Burlington, Rochester, and Syracuse for Wednesday, November 16, 2022 through Sunday, November 20, 2022; and Thursday, November 24, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse for Thursday, November 17, 2022 through Friday, November 18, 2022; and Monday, November 21, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Buffalo, Burlington, Erie, Ithaca, Rochester, and Syracuse for Tuesday, November 15, 2022 through Sunday, November 20, 2022; and Thursday, November 24, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Chicago for Tuesday, November 15, 2022 through Thursday, November 17, 2022; and Sunday, November 20, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued travel alerts for Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse for Thursday, November 17, 2022 through Sunday, November 20, 2022; and Sunday, December 4, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued a travel alert for Buffalo for Thursday, November 17, 2022 through Saturday, November 19, 2022; and Tuesday, November 22, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued a travel alert for Buffalo for Thursday, November 17, 2022 through Saturday, November 19, 2022; and Wednesday, December 14, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Porter Airlines has issued a travel alert for Saint John’s for Friday, November 18, 2022.

Final Boarding Call

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.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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