Pacific Northwest storms could impact airline travel, expert warns

A meteorologist and aviation expert says it could be a setup for a mess out west

LOS ANGELES  – Concerns are growing on the current storm systems coming into the Pacific Northwest that will impact travel and the airline industry.

Meteorologist and aviation expert JP Dice says it could be a setup for a mess out west.

Forecasters are watching two systems coming this weekend and early next week; one in the Midwest and one from the Pacific that will slam California. 

"I think a double whammy. First and foremost, that system that you guys have been talking about here across parts of Kansas and into Missouri, around St. Louis, Kansas City, even the Memphis area over the next couple of days. That’s going to be a hotbed for severe weather, convective weather," Dice said.

The potential there, even for tornadoes, could slow down air travel, according to Dice.

"It’s not going to stop air travel, but it could cause some delays as some of those storm systems set up over those airports," Dice said.

The bomb cyclone that is moving into the Pacific Northwest is going to be a big rainmaker. But more importantly, for air travel, there will be some significant winds.

"We’re going to be looking at those wind gusts well over 30 miles per hour. That’s going to start slowing things down around Seattle and then down toward Portland," Dice said.

Dice recommends travelers stay close to their mobile device for updates from their airline because flights will probably be backed up and delayed.

"Be patient. Be prepared when you get out to the airport that those signs may change with some delays coming up as things start to back up. The airlines can really deal with this pretty well," Dice said.

Aircraft are capable of 30 miles per hour wind. While it may not be the most comfortable ride for passengers, it is certainly within the limits of that kind of aircraft. 

"So it’s not going to stop things, but it will slow things down at times, just depending on how many airplanes you can get off the ground and back into those airports," Dice said.

Just remember, patience is a virtue here.