Other than frigid temperatures, travelers reported few problems Wednesday as they headed to see family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday.
At the Tri-Cities Airport, things were going smoothly Wednesday afternoon, and it seemed the longest line was to get out of the parking lot.
Some arriving passengers reported slowdowns at other airports because of the weather. But threats of a nationwide protest against what some have called unnecessarily intrusive passenger screenings didn't materialize, and airports around the country reported no unusual delays.
"I don't feel like it's the busiest travel day of the year," Brent Miles said. The Ontario, Calif., resident flew into the Tri-Cities with his wife, Janel, to spend the holiday with her family.
Janel said she had received advance notice of the freezing temperatures in her hometown.
"I had to go buy mittens, hat and a coat," she said. "I'm surprised at all the snow."
Jameson Rowe flew back from Reno, Nev., to spend Thanksgiving with relatives. He said he had to rebook his flight after the Salt Lake City airport was closed by bad weather Tuesday night, but he was happy to see snow in the Tri-Cities.
"I've never seen this place covered in snow when I flew in," he said.
AAA predicted 11 percent more people will travel this week compared with last year. Of the estimated 42.2 million people traveling during the holiday, 39.7 million, or 94 percent, were expected to go by car.
But the weather is not cooperating with those planning to drive. Monday's storm dropped several inches of snow around the Northwest, and single-digit temperatures followed.
Eastbound traffic on Interstate 90 near the summit of Snoqualmie Pass was backed up more than 10 miles starting at 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. A collision and holiday traffic were responsible.
Travelers were told to expect snow on all mountain passes during the weekend. Another storm is expected to hit tonightand bring possible snow, sleet and freezing rain.
Temperatures will remain cold with highs not expected to reach above freezing until Saturday.
Drivers were advised to make sure their cars were ready for the trip and to carry emergency supplies.
Those in the Tri-Cities planning to hit the stores on Black Friday can expect cold temperatures and a chance of freezing rain early in the day.
"Black Friday looks to be a little icy for you guys," said Rob Brooks, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Pendleton.
"It looks like it's going to be a sloppy weekend," he said. "It's just not a good travel weekend."
Cathy Kessinger: 582-1535; firstname.lastname@example.org