Holiday travel rush

Associated Press
Window on an American Eagle plane is covered with snow before it is de-iced at O'Hare International Airport Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in Chicago. As Americans and Canadians ushered in the first official day of winter, the weather provided a variety of surprises. Snow and ice hit Michigan, Canada, New England and upstate New York. Some other eastern regions had temperatures in the 60s and 70s. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

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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.

Making it harder for forecasters to stay a step ahead, 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 like Nashville, where it could surpass 70 degrees. (AP)

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