Skip to content

Massive storm could paralyze holiday, business travel at the worst possible time


A major storm with the potential of accumulating snow will cause significant business and travel disruptions this week.

Key Highlights

AccuWeather anticipates the risk that 2/3 of the nation's flights on Thursday and Friday.

Blizzard conditions are expected at major airports, with up to 5,000 flights could be delayed or canceled.

There is a risk of a "flash freeze" on highways, where any standing water can immediately ice up, creating slippery conditions as temperatures rapidly plummet.


AccuWeather expert meteorologists are also keeping a close eye on the potential for a massive storm system that can bring accumulating snow and blizzard conditions ahead of the holiday weekend to The Great Lakes region.

AccuWeather forecasts there can be a 1500-mile stretch at risk for blizzard conditions. Falling or blowing snow with winds of at least 35 mph, reducing visibility to a quarter mile or less for at least three hours, is possible with this intense winter storm from parts of Central Kansas to northwestern Quebec in Canada.

>> STORM UPDATE:  Major storm with snow, bitter cold temperatures to create dangerous conditions across the nation

AccuWeather anticipates the risk that 2/3 of the nation's flights on Thursday and Friday could be impacted by the major storm at the worse possible time, right before the holidays, with increased passenger volume. This storm amplifies this impact because major hubs will be impacted significantly, with blizzard conditions expected at the major airports in Chicago and Detroit, a major hub for Delta. Further east, the storm is expected to bring heavy rain and gusty winds to major airports along the I-95 corridor, including Dulles, Reagan National, Baltimore/Washington, Philadelphia, and all of the New York City airports well as Boston.

Thu Travel

Due to these impacts, up to 5,000 flights can be delayed or canceled at major and smaller regional airports. This storm may cause significant slowdowns or, in some areas, nearly halt flight operations, perhaps the worst such situation in many years.

>> FOLLOW US on LinkedIn for essential weather updates that could impact your business. 

Fri Traval

Travelers can be stuck at airports, and it may take the entire air system days to recover, given the holiday weekend and the substantial task of getting planes and airport crews where they need to be to restore some sense of normalcy to air operations. AccuWeather recommends connecting airports and the final destination. If you have the flexibility to move your trip ahead to fly before the storm arrives – that can be helpful toward getting to your destination with a reduced risk of delay and cancellation.


Businesses in the path of this major storm should prepare for the following: 

  • Retail: Shovel and salt walkways, dry high-traffic areas inside near your entrance, and keep all floors clear to help prevent falls and reduce liability.
  • Business interruptions due to extended power outages. 
  • Ground logistics disruption from drifting snow, downed trees, and power outages due to road closures.
  • Prioritize cold weather concerns for outdoor workers.

Protect your business and team members by making the best weather-impacted decisions with AccuWeather's Snow Warning Service, backed by forecasts and warnings with Superior Accuracy™. AccuWeather's Snow Warning Service offers location-specific forecasts and 24x7x365 consulting services for snow, ice, blizzards, and other winter-hazard events. 

AccuWeather's Snow Warning Service features include: 

  • Precise weather event start and end times
  • Total expected snow and ice accumulations
  • Specific changeover times for snow, ice, and rain
  • Hourly temperatures and wind conditions before, during, and after the storm
  • Post-storm weather conditions, including verified precipitation amounts. 

Subscribe to our AccuWeather for Business Blog for the latest news and weather updates that will impact you and your business. 


Serving more than half of Fortune 500 companies and thousands of businesses globally, AccuWeather is recognized as the most accurate source of weather forecasts, warnings, and data in the world.

Are you winter ready? 

Learn more about how AccuWeather's Snow Warning Service can help your business be better prepared.