East Coast nor'easter, travel delays, NFL title games: 5 things to know this weekend – USA TODAY

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A powerful nor’easter was forecast for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast from Friday night into Saturday, a storm that’s predicted to bring blizzard conditions to coastal areas from Virginia to Maine. Speaking about the East Coast storm, AccuWeather chief meteorologist Jon Porter said it will be “a dangerous, life-threatening storm.” Officials also said wind-blown snow could make travel “nearly impossible.” Forecasters say the storm could unload over three feet of snow and up to 90-mph winds as it pounds eastern New England. The storm is classified as a nor’easter, named because of the direction that the winds blow as the system moves up the coast. It’s also likely to become a “bomb cyclone,” a storm that rapidly intensifies as it undergoes “bombogenesis.” 
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The formidable nor’easter that is expected to hit the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast this weekend will upend travel plans as more than 5,600 U.S. flights have been canceled between Friday and Sunday. Airlines canceled more than 1,450 Friday flights within, into, or out of the U.S. and delayed over 5,650, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. The storm has affected many Saturday flights as well, with more than 3,500 U.S. flights canceled as of 7:30 a.m. ET. Hundreds of Sunday flights have already been canceled as well. Travelers should check their flight status before heading to the airport and look into whether their flight is covered by travel waivers that will allow them to rebook without additional charges. USA TODAY senior consumer travel reporter Dawn Gilbertson notes there is “a disconnect between what passengers think they are owed and what airlines owe them when flights plans go haywire.” Some rules are dictated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Others are up to individual airline policies.
The NFL is down to its final four teams and the Super Bowl participants will be decided in Sunday’s conference championship games. The Kansas City Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC title game (3 p.m. ET, CBS) and the San Francisco 49ers visit the Los Angeles Rams (6:30 p.m. ET, Fox) for the NFC crown. Kansas City is looking to reach the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season, while the Bengals are hoping for their first trip since 1988. The Rams and 49ers have both recently won the NFC, Los Angeles losing to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53 and San Francisco falling against the Chiefs a year later.
“We Need to Talk About Cosby,” the new four-part docuseries about Bill Cosby directed by comedian/CNN host W. Kamau Bell, is screening at the Sundance Film Festival Saturday and premiering on Showtime Sunday night (10 p.m. ET/PT). “Cosby” serves up a compellingly nuanced look at the actor and stand-up comic formerly lauded as “America’s Dad,” but now an accused serial sex abuser whose alleged crimes took place even as he entertained and inspired millions and stood up for Black Americans. Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt responded to the docuseries, saying that “Cosby vehemently denies all allegations waged against him,” and complained that a “professional documentary” should instead target what he  “prosecutorial violations … He wants our nation to be what it proclaims itself to be: a democracy.” 
World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty defeated No. 27 Danielle Collins in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) in the Australian Open women’s final Saturday to win the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup. Barty is the first Australian to win the Melbourne-based Grand Slam since Chris O’Neil in 1978. This comes after Barty became the first Australian woman to advance to the final of the year’s first Grand Slam since Wendy Turnbull in 1980. The win in Melbourne is Barty’s third Grand Slam singles title after winning the 2019 French Open and Wimbledon in 2021. On the men’s side, after all the talk about Novak Djokovic possibly becoming the first man to win 21 Grand Slam titles thanks to a stellar 2021 campaign, No. 6 seed Rafael Nadal may beat him to the record with a victory in the men’s final Sunday. He’ll play against No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia, who is seeking his second consecutive major after winning the 2021 U.S. Open. 
Contributing: The Associated Press


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