A massive snowstorm is expected to hit someÂ of the country’s busiest travel destinations on Christmas Eve and Christmas day,Â potentially wrecking the holidays for millions of Americans.
Accuweather is now predicting thatÂ ‘significant’ snow will fall in the midwest before barreling along the EastÂ Coast.
The timing couldn’t be worse as 87 millionÂ people are headed out of town for the holidays, the vast majority of whom willÂ be driving to their destinations.
The damaging snow is supposed to start in theÂ Rockie Mountains, gaining steam as it heads along the Oklahoma and TexasÂ panhandles in the late afternoon to early evening of Tuesday.
From there, it will head up towards the GreatÂ Lakes and move eastward throughout Wednesday. Once it reaches the East Coast, itÂ will begin in the Washington, D.C. area before moving up towards the southernÂ parts of the Northeast, potentially reaching New York, Connecticut, NewÂ Hampshire and possibly Massachusetts.
Powerful winds and snow whipped parts of theÂ eastern United States on Saturday, carrying the promise of a white ChristmasÂ while threatening to cause havoc for the many Americans traveling for theÂ holidays.
The storm moving in from the Midwest wasÂ sending strong winds into the mid-Atlantic states and southern New England andÂ buried parts of Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin in more than a foot of snow earlierÂ this week. Several inches of snow fell on Saturday in parts of westernÂ Pennsylvania.
By 4.30pm EST on Saturday, the winter stormÂ dubbed ‘Draco’ had delayed 5,843 flights in the United States andÂ canceledÂ 131, leaving desperate holiday travellers scrambling to findÂ alternative routesÂ home. The high winds could threaten to delay even more flights at airports inÂ New York, Philadelphia and Washington, meteorologists said.
Newark airport had the most cancellations,Â with 11 flights called off and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago still hadÂ the greatest number of delays, with 239 flights taking off later thanÂ scheduled.
More than 87 million Americans areÂ expectedÂ to travel 50 miles or more away from home over the holidays,Â the travel andÂ auto groups AAA has forecast. Nearly nine out of 10 willÂ be on the roads, itÂ said.
On Saturday, high winds and gustsÂ wereÂ predicted in the New York City metropolitan area, easternÂ Pennsylvania,Â Delaware and New Jersey, the National Weather Service said as it issued winter storm warnings in many of those areas asÂ well as parts ofÂ Northern California and Oregon.
The service urged people to be careful ofÂ snow covered road and very poor visibility that would make drivingÂ hazardous.
It predicted dangerous conditions due toÂ winds for upstate New York, northwestern Connecticut, southernÂ Vermont andÂ western Massachusetts.
A new storm could bring snow to theÂ centralÂ Appalachians, northern mid-Atlantic and southern New England onÂ Christmas EveÂ or Christmas Day, Accuweather.com said.