US-NEWS-WEA-HOLIDAY-TRAVEL-GET

Motorists navigate an ice and snow-covered road on November 27, 2019 in Mason City, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/TNS)

Flooding rains, heavy snows and gusty winds across the U.S. are disrupting travel on one of the busiest days of the year and are threatening to keep Thanksgiving Day parade balloons from flying in New York City.

Two large storms are hitting as close to 55 million people are expected to take to the roads and air ahead of the U.S. holiday Thursday, according to AAA. Areas around Denver received 8 to 12 inches of snow, causing treacherous road conditions and complicating air travel.

Both coasts are also facing weather issues. In New York City, winds could reach 25 miles per hour on Thursday, threatening to ground the massive balloons at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. In Oregon and California, a powerful Pacific Ocean storm may bring snow by the foot across the Sierra Nevadas and torrential rains to southern California that could touch off mudslides, said Brian Hurley, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center.

“Where it is not snow, it is going to be very windy,” said Dan Pydynowski, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. “In a place like Chicago they are already seeing wind gusts of 50 miles per hour. Those winds will spread eastward tonight and tomorrow.”

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