‘Historic’ Storm To Disrupt Holiday Travel As 20 Million People Face Brutal Weather. Here’s What You Need To Know

Nov 25, 2019, 4:27 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 4:03 pm
Just in time for Thanksgiving, millions of travelers will get walloped by several storms across the...
Just in time for Thanksgiving, millions of travelers will get walloped by several storms across the country.

(CNN) – Millions of Thanksgiving travelers in the U.S. will get walloped this week by several storms, including a dangerous system threatening parts of the West Coast.

From California to Michigan, 20 million people are under winter weather advisories, watches or warnings, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said. And we’re still 26 days from the official start of winter.

A “historic” storm is heading towards southwest Oregon and northwest California Tuesday and Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. The storm is currently forecast to rival the strength of a Category 1 hurricane and pack wind gusts up to 74 mph — stronger than hurricane force, CNN Meteorologist Judson Jones said.

The pressure could drop to a record low for November and all-time for the region, the NWS said.

Track weather and travel forecasts here

Here’s what else to expect from coast to coast:

California: Get ready for flash floods and snow

A severe storm will pummel California this week, bringing heavy snow in the mountains and heavy rain to the coast and valleys, Hennen said.

“Winter storm warnings cover the Sierra, where snow will be measured in feet starting Tuesday and lasting into Friday,” he said.

Up to two feet of snow could cover the mountains outside Los Angeles.

Elsewhere in Southern California, more than 10 million people are under flash flood watches from San Diego to Anaheim, where 1 to 3 inches of rain could make this Thanksgiving very soggy.

The Rockies and the Midwest: Get your shovels out

Weather warnings are in effect for Denver, where a winter storm will likely dump 10 to 15 inches of snow over the next few days, Hennen said Monday.

“The same storm will spread into the Midwest and likely drop 8 to 12 inches of snow in Minneapolis,” he said. Iowa and Michigan will also get hammered with snow starting Wednesday.

“Winds and rain will slow airports from the Midwest all day (and) into the major hubs in the Northeast during the afternoon and evening,” Hennen said.

Further south in the Plains and Mississippi Valley, gusty winds and strong storms will develop Tuesday into Wednesday.

The Northeast: Planes and Charlie Brown could get grounded

Ferocious winds and rain could wreak havoc Wednesday for airline passengers in the Northeast.

You know it’s bad when the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade might have to ground those massive, iconic balloons.

The balloons can’t be flown when sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph, per New York City regulations.

There’s good reason for that. In 1997, the Cat in the Hat balloon injured four people after intense winds forced it astray.

Once the Northeast recovers from the brutal winds Wednesday and Thursday, travelers headed home Sunday will face another round of tumultuous wind and rain.

Everywhere: Bring your patience on the road

If you’re driving to see loved ones this Thanksgiving, expect more company on the road.

AAA predicts the second-highest number of travelers in over a decade this Thanksgiving week.

The automobile associations expects 1.6 million more travelers on the road compared to last year, thanks in large part to lower gas prices.

Wednesday is expected to be the most congested day of the week, and cities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Houston and San Francisco could see more than three times their normal levels of traffic.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


FILE PHOTO - (Deseret News)...
Andy Rose, CNN

Colorado police release video of police car with suspect inside hit by a train

Colorado police released videos that show a suspect who was detained by police and placed inside a police cruiser that was hit by a train.
18 hours ago
President Joe Biden presents Elton John with the National Humanities Medal after a concert on the S...
Shawna Mizelle and Sam Fossum, CNN

Biden surprises Elton John with National Humanities Medal at White House

President Joe Biden on Friday presented Sir Elton John with the National Humanities Medal, surprising the music icon following a performance on the South Lawn of the White House.
18 hours ago
John Cena has completed a new accomplishment: breaking the world record for most wishes granted thr...
Zoe Sottile, CNN

John Cena breaks Make-A-Wish record after granting 650 wishes

Actor, wrestling legend, and perpetual meme subject John Cena has completed a new accomplishment: breaking the world record for most wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
18 hours ago
Americans Alexander John-Robert Drueke, right, and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, left, are pictured here aft...
Kylie Atwood, CNN

2 Americans captured by Russian-backed forces are back on US soil

Two Americans who had been held by Russian-backed forces for more than three months were back on US soil Friday afternoon.
18 hours ago
An illustration shows NASA's DART spacecraft and the Italian Space Agency's LICIACube prior to impa...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

What will be visible when DART spacecraft crashes into tiny asteroid

The NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test aims to make history on Monday at 7:14 p.m. ET when it slams into Dimorphos, a tiny asteroid moon orbiting the larger asteroid Didymos.
2 days ago
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL) questions U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Al...

DOJ prosecutors recommend against charging Rep. Gaetz in sex-trafficking probe

Prosecutors have recommended against charging Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz in a federal sex-trafficking investigation, according to a source familiar with the matter.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
‘Historic’ Storm To Disrupt Holiday Travel As 20 Million People Face Brutal Weather. Here’s What You Need To Know