Region under winter storm warning for Wednesday

Thanksgiving travel could be treacherous as a strong storm was expected to reach the region tonight, potentially dumping up to 10 inches of snow in parts of Dickinson County, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS office in Marquette has issued a winter storm warning for Dickinson, Iron, Ontonagon, Gogebic and southern Houghton counties starting at 1 a.m. and extending through 6 p.m. Central time Wednesday.

Some areas could get up to 16 inches, with lower amounts of 2 to 5 inches expected east of Norway, the NWS office said.

A blizzard warning is in effect for the same time period for Keweenaw County.

The storm is part of a system expected to move across the Plains later today, bringing high wind and snow to Minnesota, Wisconsin and upper Michigan.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area could see its biggest November snowfall in nearly a decade, and travel is northwestern Wisconsin “is going to be chaotic,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Brent Hewett.

The Minneapolis airport could be hit, but Chicago, with its two big airports, should only see rain from the storm, weather service officials said.

This month, AAA predicted that the number of travelers over a five-day stretch starting Wednesday will be the second-highest, behind only 2005, despite rising costs for a road trip.

At the start of the week, a gallon of regular cost $2.59 on average, up 3 cents from a year ago, and rental cars averaged around $75 a day — their highest Thanksgiving price since AAA started keeping track in 1999. Hotel rooms are a mixed bag, with prices falling from last year at highly rated hotels but rising slightly at midrange ones.

For those who are flying, the airlines expect traffic to be up about 4% from this time last year. Airlines added about 850 flights and 108,000 seats per day on average to handle the increase over last year’s crowds, according to the trade group Airlines for America.