Wicked weather threatens to upend best-laid Thanksgiving travel plans

Posted at 8:01 AM, Nov 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-26 08:01:58-05

(CNN) -- If your spouse is mad that you forgot to make Thanksgiving travel plans, try not to rub this in too much:

The whole family may be glad you stayed at home, as a winter storm threatens to upend the best-laid plans.

The nasty weather tantrum has already left a mess on its march from California through Texas and Oklahoma. And after soaking the South on Tuesday, it will ice up roads in the Northeast, said CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.

"All of these interstates, all of these roads across Pennsylvania -- the Thruway, the Turnpike, 80, 90, 66; they all will have ice and snow to the west of the big cities."

If you're driving ...

Snowmageddon won't hit any of the major cities. And it may only rain on the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

But west of the Big Apple, Philadelphia and Boston, the wicked weather will pile snow onto roadways, just as far-flung relatives are zipping in to town.

AAA projects 43.4 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday.

Drive carefully.

The storm has already left more than 100 wrecks and claimed at least 12 lives.

On Saturday, Willie Nelson's concert tour bus slid off the road in Texas and struck an embankment, sending three band members to the hospital. The 80-year-old singer was not on board.

If you're flying ...

With an estimated 25 million Americans taking to the skies this week to eat turkey with loved ones, planes will be as stuffed as bellies.

Passengers on nearly 500 flights out of Dallas/Fort Worth airport had to find alternate routes when the storm iced the area over the weekend.

The outlook, however, looked positively rosy early Tuesday morning. None of the major airlines had cancellations planned.

"We decided to leave early, and we're just going to keep our fingers crossed," said Beth Hundley, who was taking a flight from Washington Dulles International Airport to Des Moines, Iowa.

But the snowy weather has yet to hit its target. It should finish icing up New England by Friday.

"The issue they run into is if you cancel one flight there, may not be capacity on the later flights to accommodate all the displaced passengers," said Danial Baker, who runs flight tracking website

The weather may put a further dent on the trip home, as winds rev up to 40 miles per hour as the holiday wraps up, Myers said.

It could make flying harder and cause some of you to miss work Monday.

And then you'll have to deal with an angry boss.

CNN's Dave Alsup, Rene Marsh and Holly Yan contributed to his report

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By Ben Brumfield