Travel Alert: Threat of Ice, Snow, Rain and Mixed Precipitation for Southeastern United States
Due to a winter storm expected to affect portions of at least 21 states in the southeastern United States with ice, snow and mixed precipitation, FlyerTalk members will definitely be affected through at least Thursday, February 13, 2014, as evidenced in the following discussions listed below:
As with past articles here at The Gate pertaining to storms during this winter, I expect the above list to grow. Please report additional discussions pertaining to this storm in the Comments section below, as I would like to help ease the travel plans of as many FlyerTalk members as possible.
Flight delays are expected to continue through at least Thursday, February 13, 2014; so if you have a flight scheduled, your flight could be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. Check with the airline which operates your flight, just to be certain about your travel plans.
Schools, government offices and businesses in cities such as Atlanta have already proactively announced closings for Tuesday and Wednesday, February 11 and 12, 2014 due to the potential for a significant accumulation of ice — certainly more dangerous than snow in terms of travel purposes…
…and — despite the criticism and mockery of the gridlock in Atlanta as a result of the winter storm on January 28, 2014 which paralyzed many portions of the southeastern United States — ice was the real culprit for the problems which arose. Poor decisions by government officials, business owners and inconsiderate motorists only added to the gridlock.
The difference this time is that temperatures are not forecast to be unusually cold — a mixed blessing, as the frozen precipitation is not expected to last as long — but the higher temperatures are what will contribute to the possibility of ice caused by freezing precipitation. For example, meteorologists are predicting as much as three-quarters of an inch of ice to accumulate in the Atlanta area, which could lead to utility wires snapping and result in power outages; and trees could also fall under the heavy weight of the ice, causing potentially dangerous conditions — and because of that possibility of a dangerous ice storm, the entire northern half of the state of Georgia is under a state of emergency.
People will also be better prepared for the most part because of the timing of the storm; the advance notice of the storm; more proactive implementations by government entities; and as evidenced by the empty shelves of grocery stores and other business establishments which sell items needed for winter storm preparation and survival.
Locations expected to be impacted by ice include Birmingham, Columbia, Dallas, Atlanta and Charlotte — the latter three cities are the locations for hub airports for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and US Airways respectively, which should impact flights nationwide and possibly internationally — while Washington, Roanoke, Trenton, Asheville, Baltimore, Knoxville and Philadelphia can experience accumulations of anywhere between three and twelve inches of snow.
Snow accumulations of up to three inches are predicted for cities such as Memphis, Little Rock, Nashville and New York.
Rain can cause travel delays and cancellations as well — and rain is expected in locations such as New Orleans, Pensacola, Gulfport, Charleston and Houston, where a major hub airport is located for United Airlines.
Whatever you do, ensure that you please travel safely — and do not attempt to drive on ice.