A massive snowstorm is expected to hit some  of the country’s busiest travel destinations on Christmas Eve and Christmas day,  potentially wrecking the holidays for millions of Americans.

Accuweather is now predicting that  ‘significant’ snow will fall in the midwest before barreling along the East  Coast.

The timing couldn’t be worse as 87 million  people are headed out of town for the holidays, the vast majority of whom will  be driving to their destinations.

The damaging snow is supposed to start in the  Rockie Mountains, gaining steam as it heads along the Oklahoma and Texas  panhandles in the late afternoon to early evening of Tuesday.

From there, it will head up towards the Great  Lakes and move eastward throughout Wednesday. Once it reaches the East Coast, it  will begin in the Washington, D.C. area before moving up towards the southern  parts of the Northeast, potentially reaching New York, Connecticut, New  Hampshire and possibly Massachusetts.

Powerful winds and snow whipped parts of the  eastern United States on Saturday, carrying the promise of a white Christmas  while threatening to cause havoc for the many Americans traveling for the  holidays.

The storm moving in from the Midwest was  sending strong winds into the mid-Atlantic states and southern New England and  buried parts of Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin in more than a foot of snow earlier  this week. Several inches of snow fell on Saturday in parts of western  Pennsylvania.

By 4.30pm EST on Saturday, the winter storm  dubbed ‘Draco’ had delayed 5,843 flights in the United States and  canceled  131, leaving desperate holiday travellers scrambling to find  alternative routes  home. The high winds could threaten to delay even more flights at airports in  New York, Philadelphia and Washington, meteorologists said.

Newark airport had the most cancellations,  with 11 flights called off and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago still had  the greatest number of delays, with 239 flights taking off later than  scheduled.

More than 87 million Americans are  expected  to travel 50 miles or more away from home over the holidays,  the travel and  auto groups AAA has forecast. Nearly nine out of 10 will  be on the roads, it  said.

On Saturday, high winds and gusts  were  predicted in the New York City metropolitan area, eastern  Pennsylvania,  Delaware and New Jersey, the National Weather Service said as it issued winter storm warnings in many of those areas as  well as parts of  Northern California and Oregon.

The service urged people to be careful of  snow covered road and very poor visibility that would make driving  hazardous.

It predicted dangerous conditions due to  winds for upstate New York, northwestern Connecticut, southern  Vermont and  western Massachusetts.

A new storm could bring snow to the  central  Appalachians, northern mid-Atlantic and southern New England on  Christmas Eve  or Christmas Day, Accuweather.com said.


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