‘Whiteout conditions’ and floods force motorists off the road

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Some are already planning weekend trips for travel in America next week

Guests to the US as millions head for Black Friday and the Thanksgiving holiday holiday will find themselves bathed in a gloomy sight: a deepening blizzard affecting a large portion of the country.

Whiteout conditions are being reported in the East Coast, while what little rain is falling on the West Coast is being mixed in with blinding snow.

Carbon monoxide from vehicle exhaust fumes is set to add to the misery.

The snow is cold, thunderstorms are expected in the West and over-cast skies and rain are impacting the South and Mississippi states.

The US Department of Homeland Security has issued a “be on the lookout” alert for motor vehicle fires and it says that tens of thousands of travellers will lose power, potentially for several days, during the cold and wet.

The Department is warning businesses in low-lying areas and flood-prone regions to take heed of the record high levels of the Chesapeake Bay that will affect parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia and North Carolina.

In addition, advisories and warnings are being put in place for the cancellation of flight plans, the Coast Guard is set to assist with search and rescue efforts, airports are restricted in terms of passenger loads and the National Weather Service is issuing advisories for meteorologists.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Several storms pummelled the US last week – including the sudden icing of Philadelphia’s L&I

To address the expected outbreaks of travel problems, the American Automobile Association (Aaa) has issued several tips and safety precautions for motorists and Americans heading to their Thanksgiving holiday destinations.

These include:

Create an emergency preparedness kit; including fuel, food, medication, flashlight, flares, extra blankets, basic tools, a tow rope, gloves, a hat, warm clothing, earplugs, as well as clearing snow off the roof of your vehicle if necessary. Carry flares and jump starts or gas in the trunk in case you are caught in a severe snowstorm.

During poor weather conditions, power outages or accidents, it is important to have extra gasoline in the gas tank, extra blankets, an extra blanket for your vehicle, as well as, reflectors and brake flares to be able to see better in deteriorating conditions.

Be careful not to be confused by approaching winter conditions due to rising temperatures.

Increase the distance between you and your vehicle in case of any traffic accidents or road closures.

If you encounter an ice-covered road, reduce your speed.

If your vehicle becomes disabled during a severe weather event, move over immediately and move all vehicles in your path to avoid any crashes, extrications or worse.

Cross between lanes and exit where you can to increase your visibility.

If you are traveling to other cities or states or within a long distance, combine errands or merge for the best possible results.

At least 4 million Americans are expected to fly this Thanksgiving. That is a decrease of more than 14% compared to 2016, which is predicted to be one of the most crowded travel days of the year.

There has been a 28% decrease of the number of passengers going through Heathrow airport, which also said it expects travel will be “significantly impacted” by bad weather from the storms.

The Canary Islands, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Cabo (Canary Islands), the Canary Islands, Spain, Genoa (Italy), Almeria (Spain), Teruel (Spain), and Belize are bearing the brunt of the wet and snowy weather.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption However, many states in the midwest and southeast saw little to no snow fall, which is good news for travelling plans

Winter storm warnings and advisories are in place for various parts of the state including North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

While flights into and out of airports such as Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Portland, and Austin, Texas, are being grounded, service is expected to resume on Tuesday (local time).

According to the latest weather outlook, the storm is forecast to move through the region on Tuesday with only isolated rain showers in the west.

Southwest Airlines has issued an unusual travel alert for Tuesday and a change to travel plans is advised.

The current outlook says: “Cloudy days with a warming trend. Overcast days and a prolonged warm pattern for much of the eastern half of the nation.

“A strong storm system is forecast to move through the central/eastern United States with periods

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