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Wayne Post
  • Foul weather threatens to snarl holiday travel

  • Forecasters are predicting a stew of foul weekend weather including a flood watch in the region.
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  • By JIM SALTER
    Associated Press
    Holiday travelers in the Midwest and in parts East and South were keeping a leery eye Friday on a band of foul weather that stretched across the nation's midsection and that was threatening to mess up opening weekend of one of the year's busiest travel periods.
    The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the region, including Ontario County, due to a dramatic warm-up and heavy rain possible this weekend.
    The flood watch is in effect from Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening.
    Forecasters were predicting a stew of foul weekend weather, from freezing rain then snow in the north to torrential rain in the Ohio Valley and Appalachia and possibly even tornadoes in parts of the South.
    The worst of the storm wasn't expected to hit Midwest population centers until Saturday, and although few flights had been cancelled as of midday Friday, the weather was taking a toll on air travel: FlightStats.com reported more than 1,900 U.S. delays, with the most at Chicago's O'Hare, Denver International, and the three big New York-area airports.
    The foul weather could cause headaches for the estimated 94.5 million Americans planning to travel by road or air during this holiday season, which runs from Saturday through New Year's Day. Concerns were similar to just a month ago, when a winter storm hit just as people were traveling for Thanksgiving.
    By Sunday night, the storm systems will be hammering the East Coast. Some New England and mid-Atlantic states could see rare winter thunderstorms.
    Tom Kines, an AccuWeather meteorologist, said the unsettled weather comes as a cold front in the northern U.S. clashes with unusually warm and humid air coming up from the South. He said that warm air will lead to record or near-record highs in many places over the next day or two. Nashville could reach into the 70s on Saturday. New York City could approach 70 degrees on Sunday.

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