A massive winter storm containing snow and heavy rain could disrupt travel for millions of Americans who will be returning home from the Thanksgiving holiday on Sunday, regarded as the busiest travel day of the year.
Snow began moving into the Chicago region on Sunday morning, reducing visibility at O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport, which could trigger flight delays elsewhere in the United States.
Inclement weather in other large cities could cause a domino effect of delays, as well, forecasts show.
In Detroit, a chilly rainfall will develop throughout the day on Sunday, with some wintry mix possible. Cleveland has a similar forecast, with cold rain throughout the day.
Major cities in the Northeast along the I-95 corridor such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City will see rain developing on Sunday afternoon and turning heavier into the night. In New York City, the rain is expected to begin after sunset, around 5 p.m., but the timing of the heaviest rain is not expected until overnight and the early morning hours Monday.
While major problems are not expected in Atlanta, another major travel hub, some rain showers could develop later on Sunday.
Widespread, 1 to 2 inches of rainfall is forecast across states like Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
The snow from the storm will be limited to higher elevations in northern New England. Up to 2 feet of snow could fall in the mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
The storm will have mostly moved off of the Northeast by Monday morning as people head back to school and work, with the exception of leftover rain in northern New England.
However, lake effect snow will begin to affect communities in western New York as the storm system moves out.
As the storm moves out, the cold air will move in behind it, creating conditions for heavy snow to blanket the area as the cold air passes over the relatively warm water in the Great Lakes.
The National Weather Service has issued lake effect snow warnings for most of the eastern shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Heavy snow bands will form on Monday and Tuesday, creating near-white-out conditions at times.
Snow amounts will be extremely localized based on the location of the bands, but some communities could see up to 2 feet of accumulation in the coming days, forecasts show.
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