An icy storm blamed for at least 10 fatal accidents in the West brought a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain to parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas on Monday as it trudged eastward. The storm could severely hamper air and road travel during the busy Thanksgiving travel period.
Meteorologists said they expected the Arctic air mass to head south and east and threaten plans for Tuesday and Wednesday as people hit the roads and airports for some of the busiest travel days of the year in the run-up to the holiday on Thursday.
Some of the country's busiest airports -- New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Boston -- could see big delays.
Nearly 300 American Airlines and American Eagle flights were canceled in and out of Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport Monday because of the weather, spokeswoman Laura Masvidal said, mirroring disruptions at the air hub a day earlier.
The storm dropped more than 10 inches of snow on parts of southwestern Oklahoma overnight, and a winter weather advisory remained in place for much of the southeastern part of the state, with freezing rain and sleet predicted.
The National Weather Service, meanwhile, issued a winter weather warning for southwestern Arkansas. The region should prepare for the worst of the storm through Monday afternoon, forecasters said, warning of ice accumulation on roads. It downgraded the forecast for North Texas to a winter weather advisory, saying the area would experience light freezing rain and sleet but not temperatures as cold as originally forecast.
Early Monday, the weather service said southwestern Oklahoma experienced some snow late Sunday, with 10 inches reported in Granite and 13 inches of snow reported in Vinson. Both towns are in the western part of the state.
Around dawn in Dallas, where a mix or rain and sleet hit around midday Sunday, temperatures edged above freezing, but rain continued to make roads treacherous and slick.
The storm hit California, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona last week.
Portions of New Mexico had several inches of snow — especially at higher elevations — and near whiteout conditions were reported near Albuquerque. Flagstaff, Ariz., had 11 inches of snow early Sunday, and metropolitan Phoenix and other parts of central Arizona were drenched with several inches of rain, causing the cancellation of sporting events and parades.
The weather was blamed in at least 10 deaths in traffic accidents, and it was a factor in hundreds of rollover accidents, including one that injured three members of singer Willie Nelson's band when their bus hit a pillar on Interstate 30 near Sulphur Springs, about 75 miles northeast of Dallas.
Early Monday, the Texas Department of Public Safety said two people died in separate wrecks Saturday night on snow-covered roads near Amarillo and Dumas.
Ninety percent of travelers this week will drive, according to the American Automobile Association, and an estimated 38.9 million people -- 1.6 percent fewer than last year -- are expected to drive 50 miles (80 kilometers) or more from their home.
Air travel will be busier than usual this Thanksgiving.
This holiday will likely see the most air travelers since 2007, according to Airlines for America, the industry's trade and lobbying group, with the busiest day being Sunday, an estimated 2.56 million passengers. Wednesday is expected to be the second busiest with 2.42 million passengers.
Al Jazeera and The Associated Press
Sorry, your comment was not saved due to a technical problem. Please try again later or using a different browser.