Moving cross country, winter storm takes aim at Northeast

ABC News By Sunday the major storm continues to move across the country and reaches the Northeast with a mix of rain and snow

Wintry weather bedeviled Thanksgiving weekend travellers across the United States on Saturday as a powerful and risky storm moved eastward, dumping heavy snow from parts of California to the northern Midwest and inundating other areas with rain.

Authorities in central Arizona are searching for three children missing after a vehicle was swept away while attempting to cross a runoff-swollen creek amid unsafe, wintry weather that bedeviled drivers across large swaths of the western US over the Thanksgiving holiday. A storm-related death also was reported in South Dakota.

A weather warning issued on Sunday afternoon local time said heavy snow was expected in the Northeast, and rain or freezing rain with heavy snow was forecast for the Central Appalachians in the coming days.

Blizzard conditions early Saturday buffeted the High Plains.

American Airlines issued waivers for passengers traveling Sunday and Monday on flights to and from New York's John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports as well as Newark and the airline's hub in Philadelphia.

Greeley, Colo., officials canceled the city's annual Greeley Lights the Night festival because of the weather.

Police are also reminding residents not to park on roadways so that crews can plow and keep them clear.

As it moves toward the East Coast, it could deliver ice Friday to the middle of the country, then mess up travel into the Monday commute, CNN meteorologist Gene Norman said. The precipitation is expected to change to all snow overnight into early Monday morning. A blizzard warning has also been posted for an area along the North Shore of Lake Superior, including Duluth, where the snowfall totals could approach 20 inches.

Sunday is expected to be the busiest travel day ever for the USA airline industry, with 3.1 million passengers expected that day, according to the organization's estimates.

With an estimated 31.6 million passengers flying during the 12-day period around Thanksgiving, Sunday has been forecast as the busiest day ever recorded for USA air travel, with industry trade group Airlines for America predicting 3.1 million passengers. "Everybody thinks the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest; it is not".

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At Denver International Airport, there were 100 flights canceled Saturday because of high winds.

The system has already dumped heavy snow from parts of California to the northern Midwest and inundating other areas with rain.

In North Carolina, heavy snow with accumulations up to 6 inches is expected, according to the NWS, and some areas could see up to 12 inches of snow. The second of the three children turned up later Saturday.

"We want to bring her home safely to her family", Lt. Virgil Dodd of the Gila County Sheriff's Office said.

Highways elsewhere were closed down.

Roads were closed Saturday across eastern and southern Wyoming due to whiteout conditions.

In addition to hazardous traveling conditions, the ice and accumulating snow could bring down trees and wires, causing power outages, officials said.

Wind gusts could reach up to 45 miles per hour in Tennessee and 50 miles per hour in North Carolina, the NWS says.

Almost the entire lengths of both Wyoming interstates were closed Saturday.

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