Super Bowl or Ice Bowl? Deep freeze following Packers, Steelers to Texas

The current winter weather pattern stretching from the Midwest to the Northeast is snarling travel plans for more than half of the nation and has been called one of the worst winter storms the country has ever seen.

For those heading to Arlington for this weekend’s Super Bowl, this travel could mean long delays and potentially canceled flights.

Teams arrived on Monday, but the Dallas-Forth Worth Airport was closed for a time on Tuesday due to sleet, ice and snow, The Washington Post reported and has currently re-opened only with one runway. Media Day, however, is still taking place as scheduled.

On the Monday after the game, some 40,000 people are expected to depart from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, possibly the single biggest day in the airport’s history, said American Airlines spokesman Ed Martell in Market Watch. Some have expressed fears that bad weather combined with extreme volume could snarl travel plans for many.

The Texas forecast for Sunday is currently 62 and sunny, according to Weather.com, but the lingering effects from other parts of the country earlier this week could affect flights.

Want to stay up-to-date? Be sure to follow all of our Super Bowl coverage.

49 of 50 U.S. states have snow

49 of the 50 U.S. states now have snowWith ferocious blizzards pounding the East Coast, and a number of other storms blowing across the western U.S. and plains states, the country now has the presence of snow in 49 of the 50 states. An arctic blast rolled across the country earlier this week, sending temperatures falling in southern states that normally are spared winter’s wraith. Only Florida remains free of snow at the moment.

Despite the fact that snow was found in all 50 states last February, it is a rare occurrence to have so many places in the U.S. have snow on the ground at the same time. According to CNN, meteorologists estimate that approximately 69.4% of the lower U.S. states are currently buried under some amount of snow. Alaska of course has snow all year round and it is not uncommon for Hawaii’s Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea mountains to have snow throughout the winter either.

The news didn’t improve as the week has gone along. A Midwest storm combined with the one that hit Atlanta a few days back, and created the massive blizzard that dumped plenty of the white stuff on the New England states yesterday. Many residents in the Northeast are still digging out from 10+ inches of snow, and travelers have been left stranded throughout the country as well.

Here in Texas, where I live, we’re suppose to hit 60 degrees Fahrenheit by the weekend. But for those of you living in less warm conditions, keep your chin up. We still have several months of winter to go, and we’re probably not through the worst of it yet. Perhaps now would be a good time to take up snowshoeing or skiing?

Winter weather still causing travel delays in Germany

Hamburg, Germany, germany, weather, winterTwo weeks ago we reported how winter weather had caused travel delays in Europe. One of the worst-hit areas was Germany, with thick ice on the roads, canceled flights, an an overworked rail system.

Now it appears Germany’s bad winter isn’t over. Cold temperatures and thick ice on the roads has prompted Berlin’s fire brigade to declare a weather state of emergency. Yesterday about 180 people were injured because of falls or auto accidents. One crash involved a tour bus and 30 people were injured. Numerous flights have been delayed or canceled. Other parts of Germany are also affected, although the capital appears to be the hardest hit.

Current conditions in Berlin are cold and foggy, meaning that the ice won’t be going away anytime soon. If you’re travel to, from, or within Germany over the next few days, be sure to check ahead to see if your plane, bus, or train is running on time. If you’re driving, get chains and go slow.

[Clever photo of snowy Hamburg courtesy user Alexsven via Gadling’s flickr pool]

Five reasons why you’ll be miserable during Thanksgiving travel

snow stormWe’ve all heard that the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest of the year for air travel. And, the roads tend to get clogged up with people going to visit friends and family – not to mention stuff their faces with turkey, potatoes and other traditional holiday fare. Travel isn’t going to be fun tomorrow, but you already know that.

But, do you know why?

Personally, of course, I have no doubt you do. Like me … like everyone … you have your own collection of Thanksgiving travel horror stories (and we’d love to read them, so leave a comment!). There’s also a big picture though, which provides a bit of context as to why this travel day can be unbearable.

Let’s take a look at five reasons why Thanksgiving travel is going to suck this year:


TA’s Thanksgiving travel trends survey found 28% say Turkey Day traveling stresses them out, especially heavy traffic.less than a minute ago via HootSuite

1. You won’t be alone: AAA estimates that more than 42 million people will be traveling at least 50 miles from home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Whether you’re in an airport or on the road, you won’t be alone. Be ready to share – you won’t have a choice.

2. It gets more crowded than airports: I’ve flown my share of Thanksgiving Eves, and it is miserable. But, the roads will probably be tougher (as I cope with childhood memories that fall short of fond). AAA notes that 94 percent of these travelers – 39.7 million people – will reach their holiday destinations by car. Traffic mean’s a whole lot of “Alice’s Restaurant” while you wait to merge.

3. The weather won’t help: according to CNN, there are “[w]inter storm warnings, watches and advisories” starting in California, Utah and Nevada and going all the way up to the Canadian border. Blizzards are on the list for most of Utah, western Colorado and southern Idaho.

Have the sense to stay off the roads when driving would be colossally stupid.

4. The media won’t help: doubtless you’ve seen a few stories about body scanners and “National Opt-Out Day.” If you think this won’t lead to longer lines at airport security checkpoints (if a mass protest actually happens), you’re out of your mind. Indignation means longer waits, so if National Opt-Out Day happens, I hope for your sake you’re a supporter. There’s a good chance you aren’t, though, as 64 percent of Americans say they support the scans, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll.

There’s also a good chance you’re living in a dream world, since 70 percent of respondents to that poll believe the new TSA procedures won’t affect their flying plans.

5. It always does: right?

So, what’s your worst Thanksgiving travel experience? Leave a comment below to let us know!

[photo by atlih via Flickr]