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Memorial Day weekend forecast: ‘Violent’ tornadoes and ‘hurricane’ winds threaten to batter central US

Memorial Day weekend travel ramps up

Memorial Day weekend travel and celebrations may be disrupted by dangerous storms across the US.

“Violent” tornadoes with wind gusts exceeding 90 miles per hour are likely in Oklahoma and Kansas on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Softball-sized hail is also possible in the region.

Throughout the central US, “very large hail, hurricane-force gusts, and strong tornadoes are all possible” this weekend, the NWS forecasts.

Areas of several states, including Texas and New Mexico, are also facing extreme fire danger this weekend due to high winds, low humidity and ongoing drought conditions, the NWS said.

Meanwhile, severe thunderstorms bringing 80-mile-per-hour wind gusts hit Iowa and Illinois throughout Friday. Flights at Chicago O’Hare International Airport were on an average delay of one hour thanks to the thunderstorms, according to FlightAware.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts this weekend will bring the busiest Memorial Day travel in 19 years, with some 43.8m people traveling at least 50 miles.

Thursday’s storms in the northeastern US prompted travel chaos in New York’s airports.

New York City’s LaGuardia Airport and John F Kennedy International Airport had almost 700 delays and 90 cancellations throughout Thursday.

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Where did Memorial Day start and why do Americans celebrate it?

Memorial Day, which also marks the unofficial start to summer, is observed annually on the last Monday of May, with most Americans receiving the day off from work.

The nation commemorates the holiday with a service at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, with the president typically laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Read more about the holiday from The Independent’s Chelsea Ritschel:

Katie Hawkinson24 May 2024 23:00

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Nearly half of all Chicago flights face delays

43 per cent of flights at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport are delayed as of Friday afternoon, according to FlightAware.

More than 500 flights have been delayed and 18 canceled since thunderstorms blew into the region this morning.

Memorial Day travelers going to the midwest or central US may also see their celebrations dampened as the National Weather Service forecasts dangerous thunderstorms with large hail and potential tornadoes.

Katie Hawkinson24 May 2024 22:30

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Be cautious: Extreme fire danger expected in several states this weekend

Areas of several states, including Texas, New Mexico and Arizona are under red flag warnings for extreme fire danger this weekend.

These conditions are exacerbated by high winds, low humidity and ongoing drought conditions in the southwestern US, according to the National Weather Service.

On Thursday, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a warning to celebrate Memorial Day responsibly — and a reminder that fireworks are banned on BLM-managed public lands.

Katie Hawkinson24 May 2024 22:00

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Popular Memorial Day destination to see strong storms, rip currents

Miami, Florida — a popular vacation destination for Memorial Day weekend — will see strong thunderstorms bringing the risk of rip currents off the southwestern coast, according to the National Weather Service

Those celebrating at the beachfront destination may also face a brutal heat index of 105F next week.

Miami, Florida, pictured, will see thunderstorms and high heat this Memorial Day weekend
Miami, Florida, pictured, will see thunderstorms and high heat this Memorial Day weekend (Getty Images)

Katie Hawkinson24 May 2024 21:30

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Chicago flights delayed by average of an hour as thunderstorms roll in

Flights at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport are on an average delay of one hour due to thunderstorms, according to FlightAware.

An estimated 50,000 people will be passing through airports today as Memorial Day weekend begins, according to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

Katie Hawkinson24 May 2024 20:59

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‘Violent’ tornadoes possible in Oklahoma, Kansas

“Violent” tornadoes with wind gusts exceeding 90 miles per hour are likely in Oklahoma and Kansas on Saturday.

Softball-sized hail is also possible in the region.

Katie Hawkinson24 May 2024 20:30

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ICYMI: Ocean heat and La Nina combo likely mean more Atlantic hurricanes this summer

Get ready for one of the busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, thanks to unprecedented ocean heat and a brewing La Nina, experts say.

With hurricane-like winds already brewing in the Midwest this holiday weekend, here’s what you need to know about the upcoming hurricane season:

Katie Hawkinson24 May 2024 20:00

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Extreme fire danger, excessive heat expected in several states this weekend

Areas of several states, including Texas, New Mexico and Arizona are under red flag warnings for extreme fire danger this weekend.

These conditions are exacerbated by high winds, low humidity and ongoing drought conditions in the southwestern US, according to the National Weather Service.

On Thursday, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a warning to celebrate Memorial Day responsibly — and a reminder that fireworks are banned on BLM-managed public lands.

Meanwhile, Corpus Christi and much of southern Texas will face excessive heat this weekend.

The heat index — that is, what the temperature feels like to people — could reach up to 118F.

“Take extra precautions when outside,” the National Weather Service advises. “Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing. Try to limit strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Take action when you see symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”

Katie Hawkinson24 May 2024 19:30

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WATCH: Memorial Day weekend forecast for central US

Severe storms in the central US to last through the holiday weekend

Katie Hawkinson24 May 2024 19:00

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Nearly 200 flights delayed in Chicago

Almost 200 flights into, out of or within the US at Chicago O’Hare International Airport have been delayed today, according to FlightAware.

Much of Illinois and Iowa are under severe thunderstorm and flood watches this afternoon.

Meanwhile, some 50,000 people will be passing through airports today as Memorial Day weekend begins, according to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

Katie Hawkinson24 May 2024 18:30


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