A so-called “bomb cyclone” is expected to bring rain, wind, and snow from the West to East Coasts through the weekend.
The storm will make travel conditions difficult in parts of the West over the Thanksgiving holiday.
In an update at around 2 p.m. Wednesday, the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed the “weather pattern remains in a very active mode going into the Thanksgiving holiday and holiday weekend.”
Flash flood, winter weather, and wind watches, warnings, and advisories are in effect across much of the United States, it noted.
Already, the storm has produced heavy snowfall from the Rocky Mountain region to the upper Great Lakes region, and it will focus “most of its precipitation across northern New York State into New England tonight into Thanksgiving day.”
“It’s going to be bad,” said Todd Krause, a NWS meteorologist, reported NBC News. “The snow is going to come down hard. It’s going to come down fast,” Krause added. “Visibility is going to be very, very poor during the height of the snowstorm.”
The Weather Channel reported that the storm underwent bombogenesis and dropped more than 24 millibars of air pressure in 24 hours.
“What this means that the storm is unusually intense and capable of producing high winds. On Tuesday night, the pressure dipped to at least 973.4 mb in Crescent City, California. This value was an unofficial all-time record for the lowest sea-level pressure observed anywhere in the state of California,” the network wrote, citing NWS data.
The Pacific Northwest was hit by high winds as a result of the drop in pressure, with the Oregon town of Cape Blanco recording 106 mph gusts on Tuesday afternoon, according to the report.
At least 491 flights have been canceled across the United States, Reuters reported.
“The first storm will be a strong surface low tracking eastward across the Great Lakes on Wednesday…
Another storm […] reached the Oregon Coast Tuesday evening as a low pressure record setter for the month of Nov., with a central pressure near 970 mb!”https://t.co/wG4b0zFnrT pic.twitter.com/PIioWZ1OWB
— National Weather Service (@NWS) November 27, 2019
The weather woes set in as a near-record 55 million Americans followed through on plans to use to planes, trains and automobiles to travel at least 50 miles for Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, according to the American Automobile Association.
“There are apocalyptic storms all over the country and 50mph winds! Why would things not be the worst. Anyway pray 4 me,” said a Twitter user going by the name of Abigail H., who was leaving Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday.
— NWS Medford (@NWSMedford) November 27, 2019
Wind gusts of up to 40 mph forecast for Thursday morning threatened to sideline the Macy’s New York City Thanksgiving parade’s 16 giant balloons for safety reasons. Organizers have said they will make a decision on the day of the parade.
Reuters contributed to this report.