A storm system that brought heavy snow and strong winds to the Great Plains and the Midwest was moving toward the Northeast on Sunday, forecasters said, threatening to complicate holiday travel plans.
As of Sunday morning, the storm had brought 14 inches of snow in Fargo, North Dakota, and about a foot in western Nebraska and northern South Dakota. The system is expected to move across the Great Lakes and arrive in New England by Tuesday morning, bringing the possibility of severe ice storms, said Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
Several airlines issued travel notices for the upper Midwest as a result of the weather, including United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, offering people who are traveling just ahead of the new year the chance to change tickets without being charged a fee.
Burke said that snow and ice could affect air travel in Boston but that the worst weather was not expected to hit major airports.
“It’s not the type of weather that would close down a major airport,” he said. “Maybe expect some delays, but not too bad, considering.”
Road travel, particularly in the upper Midwest or the Great Plains, could be dangerous, he said.
As the storm intensifies, strong winds will affect some of these areas, causing poor visibility and “making the driving conditions quite hazardous, if not locally impossible, for the next couple of days,” Andrew Orrison, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center, said.
“We’re looking at areas of Missouri, up in Iowa, as far south as eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas seeing some heavy rains,” he said.
For Sunday and Monday, across a large area of the Midwest, temperatures could be as much as 30 degrees above normal, he said.
Come Monday, areas farther east, including the Ohio Valley, could see unusually high temperatures.
“Many of these areas are going to be seeing temperatures well up into the 50s and the 60s,” Orrison said. “Much warmer than it should be for this time of the year.”
The temperatures are a function of the storm, he said, which is bringing up warmer air from the South.