Travel Alert: Winter Storm to Affect Southeastern United States
Expect delays in the southeastern United States on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 as portions of at least nine states from Texas to Virginia are preparing for an unusual winter storm which will bring rain, snow and an icy mix of precipitation — which could include ice, sleet and freezing rain — as well as relatively frigid temperatures as far south as northern Florida as the result of a high pressure system containing air from the Arctic.
Cities to be affected by this winter storm include Houston, Montgomery, New Orleans, Columbia, San Antonio, Charlotte, Biloxi, Austin and Atlanta — home of arguably the busiest airport in the world…
…and because Delta Air Lines is based in Atlanta — whose airport is the largest hub of the airline — passengers should prepare for flight delays and possible cancellations systemwide. Atlanta is also a hub airport for AirTran Airways. Additionally, Charlotte is home to one of three hub airports serving passengers of US Airways; and the international airport in Houston is a busy hub airport for United Airlines, which is based in Houston.
Although up to six inches of snow is forecast in areas which are expected to be hardest hit by the winter storm — not nearly as significant as the winter storms which pummeled portions of the northern United States, such as this storm earlier this month — airports in the southeastern United States are not used to dealing with winter weather. Although reports suggest that the international airport in Atlanta is prepared with enough equipment and supplies to deal with the winter storm, other airports may not be as well-prepared — meaning that lines to deice aircraft may result in long wait times or runways could take more time to clear, for example.
While it is possible that flight delays and cancellations could very well be kept to a minimum, it is important that you be prepared — and there is indeed a list of discussions pertaining to waivers on fees to change your flight plans if necessary:
- When will AirTran issue a weather waiver for ATL? Airtran Airways | A+ Rewards forum
- This week’s weather waiver! Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles forum
- Waiver: IAH Area Ice Storm United Airlines | MileagePlus forum
Flight delays are expected throughout the day; 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…
…and if your travel plans do take you to the southeastern United States, expect temperatures colder than normal. For example, the low temperature in Atlanta on Wednesday, January 28, 2014 is predicted to drop to 16 degrees Fahrenheit; while Pensacola in Florida is preparing for snow and a low temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit; and the low temperature in Gulfport in Mississippi may dip down to as low as 19 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ironically, people in the southeastern United States may want to head up to Anchorage in Alaska to warm up a little, where the low temperature for that same day is expected to be 25 degrees Fahrenheit — and Anchorage is expecting partly sunny skies with little chance for precipitation.
Imagine that — parts of Alaska are warmer than parts of Florida in the dead of winter in January.
Suntan lotion, anyone?!?