Massive Storm Strands Many at Local Airports

Wednesday, Feb 2, 2011  |  Updated 7:32 AM EDT
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Get the latest forecast from Meteorologist Tom Kierein

Get the latest forecast from Meteorologist Tom Kierein

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Rain and melting snow made for wet roads this morning. This video is from Wheaton, Maryland.
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It was a long, sleepless night for passengers stranded at Reagan National Airport.

While the commute on local roads wasn't a problem, hundreds of flights out of the Washington area have been canceled because of the storm pounding the Midwest and Northeast.

Travelers have been scrambling to rebook their flights, but with a shortage of seats available, quite a few people were forced to spend the night in the terminal.

Thousands of flights have been canceled nationwide and many planes that did take off were rerouted to different airports to avoid the bad weather.

One group of students from Norway ended up with an interesting new itinerary. Their new booking has them taking five different flights to reach their final destination in the Dominican Republic.

Thankfully, those of us in the Washington region didn't feel those immediate effects of the storm.

But the next weather problem could be the wind.

Warm air never allowed precipitation to turn to ice overnight.  So instead of an icy morning commute, many saw a rainy one with the possibility of water ponding on roadways. 

Temperatures could rise into the mid-50s for a short period of time Wednesday morning and there may even be a chance of thunderstorms (and a half-inch of precipitation) before the next cold system enters the area.

When the cold air returns, the winds will start blowing. We could see wind gusts on Wednesday of up to 35 mph. Trees weakened by ice and snow could fall with those types of gusts.


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