Winter storms threaten Thanksgiving travel


(NBC News) – The Thanksgiving holiday is kicking off in tandem with severe weather.

A series of storms is poised to cause major problems for the more than 55 million people expected to travel between Wednesday and Sunday.

Two storms are moving in lockstep with holiday travel, bringing a miserable mix of heavy rain, snow and high winds.

“Storm 1 will bring heavy snow from the Rockies to the Upper Midwest Tuesday and Wednesday with strong winds south of its track,” a statement from the National Weather Service said Monday night. “Storm 2 arrives Tuesday into the West Coast with heavy mountain snow.”

Nearly four and a half million passengers are set to fly. Airports and the TSA are adding extra personnel to help cope with the influx, but delays and cancelations are still expected.

On Tuesday, the Denver International Airport reported at least 481 flight cancellations and 283 delays impacting 196,000 passengers.

Even those who plan to stay at home could see some impacts.

Organizers of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are keeping an eye on the forecast as winds could ground the iconic balloons.

Sustained winds of at least 23 mph and gusts of 34 mph would ground the balloons, the parade’s executive producer Susan Tercero said. She said the decision will be made closer to or on the day of the parade.

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