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Thursday expected to be worst day for holiday travel

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Millions of Americans are expected to hit the road Thursday to head home after the Christmas holiday, but travel experts are warning drivers about heavy traffic.

AAA says Thursday, December 26 is expected to be the worst day for holiday travel. Drive times in the afternoon could be nearly double what they would normally be without traffic.

The travel agency tracked the worst times to drive in 10 of the largest metro areas. In Los Angeles, the worst travel window is from 4:25 p.m. to 6:25 p.m. Thursday with delays about 1.6 times worse than normal. In San Francisco, the worst time is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday with delays doubled compared to normal drive times.

Weather-related issues were also expected to make drive times longer.

The grapevine was closed late Wednesday because of snowy conditions. CHP offices on the Central and South Coasts said traffic was expected to be heavier along Highway 101 and other local roadways as drivers tried to make their way around the closure.

AAA says a record 115.6 million Americans were expected to travel during the holiday season, which started December 21 and runs through January 1. The travel agency says that's the highest number since AAA started tracking in 2000.

You can track the conditions on your drive using our live traffic map.

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Lindsay Zuchelli

Lindsay Zuchelli is the Executive Producer at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Lindsay, click here.


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