Heavy snow piled up Wednesday in parts of the Northeast and Appalachians while rain drenched locations closer to the coast as a winter storm disrupted millions of travelers heading out for Thanksgiving.
Nationwide, nearly 475 flights had been canceled and more than 3,600 had been delayed as of late afternoon Wednesday, according to flight-tracking service FlightStats. Some of the worst delays were at Philadelphia and the three New York City area airports.
Although the storm will be long gone by Thursday morning, howling winds in its wake could spell trouble for some of the big balloons at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City:
Several Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons won't take off Thursday morning if sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph. Temperatures in the low 30s with winds of at least 15-20 mph are forecast for Thursday, according to AccuWeather. Gusts could reach 40 mph.
And as for Black Friday, dry weather conditions will dominate the vast majority of the country for those traveling or out shopping on Friday, reports the Weather Channel.
Snow fell in the Appalachians and portions of the interior Northeast on Wednesday. A heavy snowstorm forecast for Pittsburgh -- and dubbed the "Gobblegeddon" -- failed to develop as snow turned to rain in the city, but did strike northern counties, bringing more than 9 inches to Mercer County.
In western New York, 4.5 inches fell in the first snowfall of the season in Buffalo thatThe Buffalo News described as "Hallmark perfect."
Snow was reported falling as far south as Atlanta on Wednesday. The city picked up 0.4 inch of snow, the weather service reported, which was only the third time measurable snow fell there in November since 1930.
Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories remained in effect as of late afternoon in the central and southern Appalachians, portions of northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania, upstate New York and northern Maine, the weather service reported. More lake-effect snow was forecast to fly on Thursday around the Great Lakes.
Flood watches also remained in effect for drenched eastern portions of the Northeast.
Earlier Wednesday, the weather service confirmed that an EF-2 tornado hit Atlantic Beach, N.C., injuring two people.
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"The timing of the storm couldn't be worse," admitted Chris Vaccaro, spokesman for the weather service in Silver Spring, Md.
This was the same storm that blitzed the Southwest earlier in the week, killing at least 12 people in traffic accidents.
More than 43 million people were expected to travel over the long holiday weekend, according to AAA. The overwhelming majority - about 39 million people - will be on the roads.