Winter ‘bomb’ rattling busy U.S. travel season with frigid temperatures, heavy snow

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United Airlines Holdings Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., American Airlines Group Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. issued travel waivers for a vast swath of the country ahead of the storm.

The massive winter storm bearing down on the central United States is threatening to rapidly strengthen into what meteorologists call a bomb cyclone that will dump blinding snow on Chicago, throw holiday travel into chaos and send an arctic blast as far south as Texas.

A storm undergoes bombogenesis and becomes a bomb cyclone when its central pressure, a measure of its strength, plunges 24 millibars in 24 hours. The conditions are ripe for this system to fit that bill, said Tom Kines, a meteorologist for AccuWeather Inc. An estimated 112.7 million people will travel 50 miles or more from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2, up by 3.6 million from last year and getting close to prepandemic levels, according to AAA, a provider of travel insurance. United Airlines Holdings Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., American Airlines Group Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. issued travel waivers for a vast swath of the country ahead of the storm, allowing passengers to rebook their upcoming holiday travel with no fees.

For New York, Washington and the other large cities in the Northeast, the main threat will be rain and wind, according to Bob Oravec, a senior branch forecaster for the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. While temperatures will drop late Friday in New York, there will likely be just a few flurries. But the front and buffeting winds may still make travel difficult at eastern airports.

Source: Holiday News (holidaynews.net)

 

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