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Bomb cyclone possible as arctic blast sweeps US

Arctic Blast Explainer
Winter Weather Chicago
Holiday Travel Weather Minnesota
Posted at 6:30 AM, Dec 22, 2022

Over 100 million Americans are under a winter weather advisory as an arctic blast brings once-in-a-generation winter weather this holiday weekend, the National Weather Service said.

The agency predicts a bomb cyclone, which the National Ocean Service describes as a rapidly intensifying storm, will hit Thursday and into Friday.

The weather service said temperatures in places like the Rockies, Plains and Midwest are rapidly seeing temperatures drop in a matter of hours.

The NWS said southern states like Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia are seeing windchills below zero as the extremely cold airmass moves along the Gulf Coast.

According to the agency, eastern states will see some coastal flooding, and the Plains, the Upper Midwest, and the Great Lakes could see blizzard-like conditions.

With the holidays around the corner, the winter weather could cause some headaches at the airports, which is leading to some airlines offering waivers to those whose travel plans are flexible.

United announced that because of the winter weather, they'd waive its change fee and any difference in fare on qualifying tickets for flights departing on or before Dec. 28 at many U.S. airports.

American said it'd waive change fees on qualifying tickets for those who plan to fly over the holidays at the 29 listed airports in the northeast that could be affected by the winter storm.

Southwest issued a travel advisory for airports in the midwest, saying that those with qualifying tickets traveling through Monday could rebook their flights "without paying any additional charge."

But the bad weather might not deter travelers.

Transportation Security Administration officials announced Tuesday that they expect travel to be near pre-pandemic numbers, predicting that the busiest travel days will be Thursday and Friday.

Temperatures are expected to rise shortly after Christmas, the weather service said.