ALBUQUERQUE — A large storm already blamed for at least eight deaths in the West slogged through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and other parts of the Southwest on Sunday, leading to hundreds of flight cancellations as it slowly churned east ahead of Thanksgiving.
After the storm plows through the Southwest, meteorologists expect the Arctic mass to head south and east, threatening plans for Tuesday and Wednesday as people hit the roads and airports for some of the busiest travel days of the year.
More than 300 flights were canceled at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, representing about one-third of the scheduled departures, and a spokeswoman said deicing equipment had been prepared.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for chunks of North Texas through midday Monday. Parts of Oklahoma are also under a winter storm warning, while an advisory has been issued for other parts of the state. A mix of rain and sleet began falling north of Dallas on Interstate 35 on Sunday; areas of southwestern Oklahoma woke up to several inches of snow.
Near white-out conditions were reported along stretches of Interstate 40 west of Albuquerque.
Flagstaff in Arizona had 11 inches of snow by early Sunday. Metro Phoenix and other parts of central Arizona received from 1½ to 2½ inches of rain over the course of the storm.
By early Sunday, the weather was blamed for at least eight deaths in several fatal traffic accidents. A man was swept away by water in the Santa Cruz River in Tucson.
The storm also caused hundreds of accidents, including one that injured three members of singer Willie Nelson’s band when their bus hit a pillar on Interstate 30 about 75 miles northeast of Dallas.