Winter Storm Expected to Slam Parts of the Country This Weekend, Impacting Holiday Travel

·2 min read
Close-up of winter car tires mounted on a sport utility vehicle
Close-up of winter car tires mounted on a sport utility vehicle

Massimo Calmonte/Getty Images

A winter storm is expected to dump snow and bring freezing temperatures to states all across the U.S., complicating travel over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

The storm, dubbed Winter Storm Izzy, is expected to take a U-shaped track from the northern plains all the way to New England starting over the weekend and stretching into Monday, The Weather Channel reported. The travel headaches will start on Friday with snow falling in parts of Minnesota, Iowa, and eastern Nebraska before continuing into northern Missouri, northeast Kansas, and western Illinois on Friday night.

The fast-moving storm will hit the northern plains into the Mid-Mississippi Valley, according to the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center, where "8-12 inches of snowfall will combine with gusty winds to produce hazardous to dangerous travel conditions to begin the weekend."

By Saturday night, the storm will turn into a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain over parts of northeast Georgia into northern South Carolina and North Carolina. At the same time, Arkansas, southern Missouri, Kentucky, and parts of Tennessee are expected to see snowfall.

The storm is then expected to move across the Appalachians to West Virginia and southwestern Virginia, but The Weather Channel noted there is some uncertainty in that part of the forecast.

That snow — and potentially some sleet and freezing rain — will then move into the mid-Atlantic states Sunday before hitting the Northeast on Sunday night. Travelers can expect to see from six to 12 inches of snow north and west of the Boston-Washington Interstate 95 corridor, The Weather Channel reported.

The National Weather Service tweeted the storm will be met with freezing temperatures as an "arctic high builds across the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, & Northeast through Sat., ushering in cold air. The cold and wind leads to -30F wind chills in ND (North Dakota) / MN (Minnesota) and -40F wind chills in northern New York & interior New England."

By Monday night, the storm is expected to exit into Atlantic Canada.

Several airlines have issued travel alerts for the weekend, including Delta Air Lines, which issued one for the Southeastern United States starting Friday; United Airlines, which issued one for the Eastern U.S. starting Saturday; Southwest, which issued weather advisories for both the Midwest and South; and American Airlines, which issued an advisory for the Southeast.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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