iStock(NEW YORK) — On Thanksgiving Eve — the busiest travel day of the year — a snowstorm is burying roadways in the Midwest as a separate powerful storm barrels through California.
The first storm blew through the Midwest Wednesday, dumping up to 15 inches of snow in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, more than 6 inches across northern Wisconsin and over 9 inches in Minneapolis.
Officials with the city of Minneapolis have declared a snow emergency.
Wind gusts climbed to 66 mph in Valparaiso, Indiana, and 61 mph at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
The storm also caused four reported tornadoes — two in Louisiana and two in Mississippi.
The storm is moving on, but it’s leaving strong winds behind in the Northeast, impacting millions Wednesday night and Thanksgiving morning.
Wind advisories were issued for Wednesday night in Philadelphia and in the Washington, D.C., area, where gusts may reach 50 mph.
The winds may even keep balloons from flying in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
“We’re going to call a lot of audibles,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison said Wednesday morning.
At full height, the balloons fly at 55 feet. They can be lowered to 10 feet if the winds are too strong.
During the parade, sustained winds up to 25 mph and wind gusts up to 40 mph are possible.
Meanwhile, a separate storm is pounding the West Coast with rain.
The storm set numerous records overnight, including an unofficial all-time low-pressure record in California. Low pressure indicates the power of a particular storm.
The rain has been falling along the California coast throughout the day Wednesday and is threatening to bring heavy downpours and flash flooding along with it.
By Thursday night, the rain will be focused over the Southwest, with heavy rain possible in Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Southern California.
California’s mountain ranges are also bracing for several feet of snow. The snow coupled with gusty winds could pose major travel disruptions.
These two storms left over 300,000 customers without power across eight states on Wednesday. California and Indiana were impacted the most.
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