Updates to Massive Winter Storm: Unusually Bizarre Travel Alert February 2021

Multiple travel alerts continue to be released by many airlines for much of the United States and southern Canada due to a massive winter storm which is 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.

Updates to Massive Winter Storm: Unusually Bizarre Travel Alert February 2021

Approximately 60 percent of the United States will have snow or ice on the ground by the end of this week; and this bizarre weather pattern may affect as many as 200 million people in 36 states in the United States and three provinces in Canada. Greater than four million people in at least eight states are already without electricity due to power outages. United Airlines alone has issued travel alerts for at least 58 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 with some of the coldest temperatures in decades…

…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. Up to one inch of ice is possible in some of these areas — especially along the Appalachian Mountains from southwestern North Carolina all the way to western Maryland.

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 — and many of these areas will experience black ice on the roads due to plummeting temperatures as frigid air is ushered in. 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 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:

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for 21 airports in three states for Sunday, February 14, 2021 through Wednesday, February 17, 2021; and Sunday, February 21, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for:
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • 24 airports in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada for Monday, February 15, 2021 through Tuesday, February 16, 2021; and Friday, February 19, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Denver for Sunday, February 14, 2021 through Monday, February 15, 2021; and Saturday, February 20, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Houston for Tuesday, February 16, 2021 through Thursday, February 18, 2021; and Sunday, February 21, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • 32 airports in five states in the southern and central plains region of the United States for Sunday, February 14, 2021 through Monday, February 15, 2021; and Friday, February 19, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Alaska Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Seattle and Portland for Saturday, February 13, 2021 through Monday, February 15, 2021; and Sunday, February 21, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Five airports in the state of Texas for Monday, February 15, 2021 through Wednesday, February 17, 2021; and Tuesday, February 23, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • 19 airports in nine states for Sunday, February 14, 2021 through Monday, February 15, 2021; and Monday, March 1, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Ten airports in six states for Monday, February 15, 2021 through Tuesday, February 16, 2021; and Tuesday, March 2, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued travel alerts for Austin, Dallas, and Houston for Sunday, February 14, 2021 through Monday, February 15, 2021; and Thursday, February 18, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued travel alerts for ten airports in five states for Saturday, February 13, 2021 through Monday, February 15, 2021; and Wednesday, March 3, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Spirit Airlines has issued travel alerts for Austin, Dallas, and Houston for Sunday, February 14, 2021 through Monday, February 15, 2021; and Thursday, February 18, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Air Canada has issued travel alerts for:
  • WestJet Airways has issued travel alerts for:

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.

All photographs ©2017 and ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “Updates to Massive Winter Storm: Unusually Bizarre Travel Alert February 2021”

  1. Jacob says:

    Good job with the extensive weather reporting. I’m impressed with the extensive details you posted.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I appreciate your comment, Jacob.

      Thank you very much!

  2. stogieguy7 says:

    Thanks to lake effect snow from this storm, Milwaukee will end up with well over 6 inches from this storm and parts of Chicago already have over one foot. Watching the Weather Channel, I noticed the conspicuous lack of coverage of this area in their reports on this storm (whatever they named it).

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for the update, stogieguy7.

      By the way, I am opposed to the penchant of The Weather Channel to name winter storms…

      …and if there is any way I can improve coverage of the weather for travel purposes, please let me know.

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