Unusually Bizarre Travel Alert February 2021: Winter Weather Slams Much of the United States and Southern Canada

This article is somewhat different than most articles here at The Gate which highlight travel alerts from airlines, as in addition to the travel alerts which are currently in effect for the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, many airlines have issued multiple travel alerts for much of the United States and southern Canada, which means that it would actually be easier to simply list portions of North America which are not undergoing winter weather or inclement weather this week.

Unusually Bizarre Travel Alert February 2021: Winter Weather Slams Much of the United States and Southern Canada

Approximately 60 percent of the United States will have snow or ice on the ground by the end of this coming week; and this bizarre weather pattern may affect as many as 200 million people in 36 states in the United States and British Columbia in Canada. United Airlines alone has issued travel alerts for at least 64 airports.

If that was not bad enough, a deep trough of frigid air will either challenge or shatter record low temperatures as far south as southern Texas…

…not to mention the portions of the United States which will be affected by rain instead of frozen precipitation.

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

As much as 36 inches of snow may be on the ground in the following areas:

  • South central Colorado in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains
  • North central Colorado in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains
  • Northeastern New Mexico
  • From the eastern panhandle of Texas to extreme south central Kansas to central Oklahoma, which includes Oklahoma City
Snow Atlanta December 8 2017

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Up to a foot of snow is forecast from west central New Mexico and central Colorado all the way to southwestern Maine, which includes — but is not limited to — Lubbock, Albany, Wichita, Albuquerque, Fayetteville, Boulder, Portland, Amarillo, Indianapolis, Syracuse, Springfield, and Colorado Springs; while up to six inches of snow is predicted from southwestern Canada and northeastern California all the way to extreme southwestern New York and central Pennsylvania, which includes Dallas, Pittsburgh, Portland, Kansas City, Cleveland, Montréal, Denver, Worcester, Saint Louis, Buffalo, Seattle, Columbus, Detroit, Burlington, Toronto, Boston, and San Angelo.

As much as three inches of snow is expected from western Canada and northern California all the way to southern West Virginia; as far south as northeastern Mexico; and as far north as southeastern Canada. Cities which are included in this area are Des Moines, Halifax, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Omaha, Chicago, Grand Junction, Peoria, Phoenix, Little Rock, Cedar City, Lincoln, Milwaukee, Boise, Memphis, Charleston, and El Paso.

Ice and Snow

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Meanwhile, ice will likely be a problem in much of Nevada; and from the Great Lakes region all the way to the Gulf Coast of Texas, which includes Houston and Corpus Christi; and a mixture of snow, ice, and rain is expected from extreme northern North Carolina all the way to southern New Hampshire, which includes New York, Providence, Wilmington, Richmond, Dover, Nashville, Atlantic City, Harrisburg, Baltimore, Hartford, Trenton, Philadelphia, Roanoke, Asheville, Newark, and the District of Columbia.

Rain continues to plague the southeastern United States from extreme southeastern Texas all the way to extreme southeastern Virginia, with the heaviest liquid precipitation forecast for most of the state of Florida — with the exception of South Florida. This includes Atlanta, Greenville, Jacksonville, Jackson, Daytona Beach, Baton Rouge, Huntsville, Charleston, Pensacola, New Orleans, Orlando, Gulfport, Tampa, Birmingham, Knoxville, Biloxi, Savannah, Clearwater, and Spartanburg…

…and if you think you are safer with rain instead of snow, think again: 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 ten airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this weather system:


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.

All photographs ©2017 and ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

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