A series of brutal winter storms Wednesday were pummeling most of the United States, making travel extremely difficult as Americans prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday.
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 500 flights were canceled and more than 9,000 delayed, according to the website FlightAware.
More than 50 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from their homes this year, making it the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000.
After wreaking havoc on the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountains, a storm pushed into South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin later in the day.
But the National Weather Service said the West was not yet done. It forecast a bomb cyclone, a system that brings a rapid drop in air pressure, that will bring heavy snow and wind gusts of up to 120 kilometers per hour.
"It's one of those things, you couldn't make it up if you tried," National Weather Service meteorologist Brent Hewett said of back-to-back storms forming around the holiday.
For much of the Midwest and Northeast, the National Weather Service is predicting high winds and heavy snow, prompting state and local officials to urge residents to avoid travel — a tall order on the eve of a holiday.