Ice pellets, snow frustrate millions of holiday travelers


CHICAGO (AP) — A storm with a 2,000-mile footprint threatened to frustrate Christmas travelers from Texas to Nova Scotia with a little of everything Mother Nature has to offer, from freezing rain, ice and snow to flooding, thunderstorms and possibly some tornadoes in the South.

Some of the millions of people hitting the roads and airports Saturday squeaked through before any major weather hit, but as the afternoon wore on, some cancellations and delays started to mount at major aviation hubs.

Forecasters said roads that are passable one minute could become treacherous the next as a cold blast on the backend of the storm turns rain to ice and snow.

The system was a weird swirl of wintry and spring-like weather as it passed over areas in the Midwest with freezing temperatures and places such as Nashville, where it could surpass 70 degrees.

The worst of the storm was expected to hit Midwest population centers Saturday evening, giving some travelers a window to get through airports and along highways with little disruption. Flight cancellations were creeping up above 400 around the country, according to aviation tracking website FlightAware.com.

 

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