Weather threatens US Thanksgiving travel

Millions of US Thanksgiving holiday travellers may have their plans disrupted due to bad weather.
Millions of US Thanksgiving holiday travellers may have their plans disrupted due to bad weather.

The holiday plans of tens of millions of Americans travelling for Thanksgiving Day are expected to be disrupted by heavy snows and strong winds from two powerful storms predicted to sweep across the western half of the United States.

Some 55 million travellers will fly or drive at least 80 km from their homes for Thursday's Thanksgiving, according to the American Automobile Association.

The first storm is expected to dump more than 30 cm of snow on Monday evening, as wind gusts reach more than 70kp/h in an area from southern Wyoming to central Colorado.

The same storm will then drop 15.2 to 30.5 cm of snow as it moves east across Nebraska and Kansas and into Minneapolis on Tuesday before reaching the upper Great Lakes by Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

A second strong storm is expected to dump heavy snow on parts of the Pacific Northwest from Tuesday night, with blizzard-like conditions in Oregon and Northern California, the NWS said.

In the western half of the country, dozens of winter storm watches and warnings are in effect, complicating the plans of many would-be travellers.

Hazardous weather is expected on the East Coast starting late on Wednesday and into Thanksgiving, the NWS said.

The wind could force the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City to ground its balloons, after one balloon in 1997 blew into a crowd and injured four people.

Australian Associated Press