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U.S. holiday travelers brace for foul, wet weather

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 21, 2013 at 11:46 a.m.

CHICAGO — Freezing rain. Snow. Thunderstorms. Even tornadoes. Much of the nation braced for foul weather on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, as a wet winter storm created travel worries from Chicago and Detroit to Boston and New York.

Forecasters were predicting everything from freezing rain and snow in the north to torrential rain in the Ohio Valley and Appalachia and possibly even tornadoes in the South.

The worst of the storm was expected to hit Midwest population centers on Saturday evening, giving some travelers a window at the start of the holiday rush to get through airports and along highways with little disruption. But by late morning, the number of flight cancellations and delays were both creeping up into the low hundreds, most of them at major hub airports, according to aviation tracking website FlightAware.com.

It's bad timing for the estimated 94.5 million Americans planning to travel by road or air during this holiday season, which runs from Saturday through New Year's Day, and those hitting the roads for some last-minute shopping.

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