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Wintry weather leading to a few travel headaches

December 26, 2016

Chris Barrett walks in low visibility conditions in downtown Mandan, N.D., during the Christmas Day blizzard on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016.
(Photo: Tom Stromme, AP)

While much of the nation enjoys tranquil weather on Monday, wintry weather is causing some travel trouble across the nation’s northern tier for folks returning home from holiday celebrations.

A blizzard has buried the northern Plains under as much as a foot of snow, which has been blown around by winds of up to 50 mph. Nearly every highway across North Dakota and the western half of South Dakota is shut down, the National Weather Service said.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol warned that motorists who venture out in no-travel advisory areas travel at their own risk and “may become stranded, and emergency responders may not be able to reach them safely,” the Associated Press said.

Though the worst of the snow fell to the west of Minneapolis, dozens of flights were delayed Monday morning at the city’s airport, FlightAware said.

Travel hazards will persist across the region into Tuesday, despite the storm winding down, AccuWeather said.

Elsewhere, portions of New England will endure several hours of freezing rain Monday afternoon through early Tuesday, before changing over to mostly snow by later Tuesday, the weather service said.

In the western U.S., the Pacific Northwest will face another round of coastal rain and mountain snow Monday afternoon as a storm approaches from the Pacific Ocean. Snow will spread eastward into interior Washington and Oregon and the northern Rockies by Tuesday, the weather service said. Winter storm watches are in effect for portions of Washington, Oregon and northern Idaho.

Temperatures will be mild enough for rain in much of the central and eastern U.S. on Monday. Rain and thunderstorms are expected along and ahead of a cold front from eastern Texas, the Tennessee/Ohio Valleys and the Northeast Monday, the weather service said.

Rain in cities such as Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Nashville, Little Rock and San Antonio could lead to delays at airports due to the low clouds and poor visibility.

The South will continue to see unusually mild weather with 70 million people seeing temperatures of at least 65 degrees Monday, the Weather Channel said. So far this month, a few locations in Florida, including Miami, have had their warmest December on record.