3 winter storms could affect millions of travelers over Thanksgiving holiday

The National Weather Service is warning millions of Thanksgiving travelers to be careful because at least three winter storms will be hitting many parts of the country.

These storms are expected to affect a record number of travelers heading out for the Thanksgiving holiday. More than 55 million people will travel on the road and by air, according to AAA.

That’s an additional 1.6 million people compared to last year, which is a 2.9 percent increase, AAA reported.

A majority of them will be driving to their destination – about 49.3 million, according to the auto agency. Many metropolitan areas will be heavily impacted by traffic, with some cities seeing an increase of more than three times the normal drive time.

Some of those areas impacted by major traffic congestion include Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Detroit and Chicago.

As for flying, about 4.45 million Americans are expected to take to the skies.

On the West Coast, a winter storm will move into the region by Tuesday night. The low-pressure system will bring strong winds and heavy rains to much of the region and snow in the mountains. Areas as low as 3,000 feet could see as much as 2-3 feet of snow, according to the NWS.

Winter storm watches will be in effect Tuesday morning until late Thursday for many areas on the West Coast.

Another storm will move into the Midwest by Tuesday night after hitting the Rockies, northern Plains and western High Plains, the NWS reported. Snow is expected from the Rockies to Wisconsin, while strong winds will affect Texas and Oklahoma as well as parts of neighboring states.

Rain and thunderstorms will develop over the central Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley and some areas will see heavy rain. The conditions will continue through to the East Coast.

The NWS also reported that a system moving east will bring in heavy rainfall from Philadelphia and New York City to Boston. Heavy snow will impact northern New England up to northern Maine until at least Tuesday.