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Wintery Storm Threatens Thanksgiving Travels

Getting home for the holiday could prove a challenge for many
Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013

Caltrans set a up a chains required station just south of Mountain High Resort in Wrightwood, Calif, on Friday, Nov 22, 2013. (AP Photo/The Victor Valley Daily Press, David Pardo)

A large storm already blamed for at least eight deaths in the West slogged through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and other parts of the southwest Sunday as it slowly churned east ahead of Thanksgiving.

After the storm slogs through the southwest, meteorologists expect the Arctic mass to head south and east, threatening plans for Tuesday and Wednesday as people hit the roads and airports for some of the busiest travel days of the year. Already, flight delays were expected at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and a spokeswoman said deicing equipment was being prepared as officials planned for the worst in a flurry of conference calls and meetings.

"It's certainly going to be a travel impact as we see the first few people making their way for Thanksgiving," National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Bradshaw said.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for chunks of North Texas from noon Sunday until midday Monday. Parts of Oklahoma are also under a winter storm warning, while an advisory has been issued for other parts of the state. A mix of rain and sleet began falling north of Dallas on Interstate 35 by midday Sunday, and areas of southwestern Oklahoma woke up to several inches of snow.

Several inches of snow fell overnight in Altus in far southwestern Oklahoma, said Damaris Machabo, a receptionist at a Holiday Inn motel.

"It looks great. I love the snow," Machabo said. The snow and freezing temperatures made driving in the area treacherous, but Machabo said she had no problems getting to work early Sunday. Forecasts called for more snow in the area later in the day.

Portions of New Mexico - especially in some of the higher elevations - also had several inches of snow, and near white out conditions were reported along stretches of Interstate 40 west of Albuquerque.

Then along the New Mexico-Texas border, into the El Paso area, a mix of snow, sleet and ice forced some road closures and created messy driving conditions.

By early Sunday, the weather was blamed for at least eight deaths in several fatal traffic accidents. The storm has caused hundreds of rollover accidents, including one that injured three members of singer Willie Nelson's band when their bus hit a pillar on Interstate 30 near Sulphur Springs, about 75 miles northeast of Dallas. In Arizona, when 8,000 cyclists participated in a rainy biking race, one cyclist died in a collision with a vehicle.

Dallas prepared for the ice by declaring "Ice Force Level 1," code for sending 30 sanding trucks to trouble shoot hazardous road conditions.

At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, spokeswoman Cynthia Vega said American Airlines and American Eagle were planning to delay or cancel flights as the day progressed. The possibility of ice on the runways led to a series of conference calls and meetings early Sunday, she added, noting the airport had liquid and solid deicers ready for use.

The storm system, though, was particularly hard to predict because a couple of degrees here or there with the temperature will determine whether regions see rain, sleet or snow, Bradshaw said.

"It's very difficult to pin those down," Bradshaw said. "It's slow moving and it's sort of bringing its energy out in pieces so it's kind of hard to time these as they come across with a great deal of accuracy."

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hyunbyung7

happy and blest season to all. be careful , the idea is to enjoy being with others.

November 25 2013 at 3:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jkclworldtravels

even with chains you can get stuck in heavy snow and what about those in front you stuck best is to stay home even if its work better to lose a days pay than be dead.

November 24 2013 at 11:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
tmquirk7

it was a beautiful,sunny day today in st.louis but the temperture never madeit to 30,,,going down to 15 tonight but it really feels about 5 to 10 deg.colder,,,,winter weaqther is here to stay

November 24 2013 at 11:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
faithrada

It's all about being prepared and using common sense.

November 24 2013 at 11:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Matthew

Those chain checkers need to tell that guy in the Bronco that his driver side headlight is blown.

November 24 2013 at 11:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jbahllywd2

It was a blue sky day and 72 today in Palm Desert, which is a 45-minute drive from Wrightwood, CA (as shown in photo). Always get a kick out of seeing palm trees juxtaposed in front of snow-capped mountains.

November 24 2013 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
treblereel

Jim, I am a liberal, I like Obama, Nancy Pelosi she does ok for lady against such odds. I don't have an EBT card, but I know some wonderful families that would go hungry without them. Some us having "W" in office forn 8 long years was too much. I don't think most of us from the middle class (that doesn't exist anymore) will ever recoup our loses example jobs, homes, education for our children, food on the table. We all live with weather good and bad at times. Grow up, if its bad out stay home.

November 24 2013 at 10:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to treblereel's comment
grandma1ca5nc

Hey don't knock the Bush years, I was a single mother with 3 kids got 2 through college under Bush, sure glad I did not need to try doing that under Obama, I could not have done it. More income now but harder to make ends meet, and the kids are grown, the girls married and my son engaged. Still give me back the Bush years

November 25 2013 at 2:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rose

qall I can say is happy thanksgiving to all.
there is nothing we can do about it, only hope for the best.

November 24 2013 at 8:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
skvy975

people here in NW PA expect snow on Thanksgiving and pray for it 4 days later for opeing day of deer season. cause that's how we roll.

November 24 2013 at 7:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
janyia2011

Living in NY state for all my life and living through feet of snow and ice, I never heard of a "chains Required" law. I guess the difference is There you guys drive On the snow, here we can drive IN the snow

November 24 2013 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to janyia2011's comment
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