Your Must-See News Headlines for Today, November 21

The days leading up to Thanksgiving could be a real mess on the roads. Severe weather systems are expected to tangle travel plans for much of the country.

A rare meteor storm is expected to light up the sky before midnight.

And is there a second Joker in the works? The director responds to the rumors.

Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.

TOP STORY: Thanksgiving Travel Could Be Rough

If you’re planning to travel more than a few miles to a relative’s house for Thanksgiving, you may need to leave earlier than you originally planned. The big holiday is one week from today and forecasters are already warning that severe weather patterns could interrupt travel plans for millions of people.

Meteorologists say that the central portions of the United States can expect rain and snow, especially on Tuesday and Wednesday. According to Accuweather, the upper Midwest is expecting blizzard conditions next week. Heavy snow is forecasted to hit from Denver to Minneapolis. It’s too soon to tell if Chicago will be hit with snow or whether the system will dump rain instead.

Severe thunderstorms are expected to stretch into southern states. Depending on how the system shifts, forecasters say the Midwest and the Northeast could also see freezing weather and slick conditions.

Next Wednesday is the busiest travel day during the long Thanksgiving weekend. AAA reports that an estimated 55 million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles this year, with more than 49 million of them planning to drive.

Transportation analysts say that drivers can expect trips to take up to four times longer than normal due to increased congestion next Wednesday; severe weather could slow down that estimate even further. Flights could also be delayed or canceled depending on the severity of projected snowstorms.

WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: Rare ‘Unicorn’ Meteor Storm Is Expected to Be Visible Tonight

Check out the night skies this evening! Scientists say that much of the United States should be able to see a dazzling light show just before midnight. The Earth is passing through space debris left behind by an unknown comet.

It’s called the Alpha Monocerotid meteor storm. It’s referred to as the “unicorn” meteor storm because the word “Monocerotid” comes from the Greek word for “unicorn.”

According to the American Meteor Society, scientists Peter Jenniskens and Esko Lyytinen have predicted that this year’s event will be a much more spectacular display than usual. They say that there could be about 400 meteors visible and that the entire show will last no longer than about 45 minutes. The “unicorn” meteor storm is expected to be at its peak at 11:50 PM Eastern Standard Time. Of course, this is dependent on clear skies. Click here for a live stream of the event.

Other experts have expressed skepticism about whether the meteor storm will be this big. Bill Cooke from the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office says he questions whether the outburst will occur at all. He explained on NASA’s blog that researchers don’t actually know enough about this mysterious comet to accurately predict the magnitude of the meteor storm. “The intensity of the outburst is very dependent on the size of the parent comet’s orbit. If it is much smaller, or larger, the distance from the stream center will be bigger, and there will not be any sky show, just the normal AMOs, puttering along with their normal rate of 3 or so meteors per hour. And since we have not yet discovered this mysterious parent comet, who knows how close the estimate of the orbit is to the actual?”

OFF-BEAT: ‘Joker’ Director Says There’s No Contract For a Sequel Right Now

Don’t get all excited about a Joker sequel just yet. There have been reports that director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix are teaming up again for a follow-up film.

Joker has been a box office hit, having already earned more than $1 billion. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Phillips had a meeting with Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich on October 7 about obtaining the rights to develop multiple DC origin movies. THR reported that Phillips and Emmerich agreed that he would direct at least one more DC film.

However, Phillips is disputing this report. He told the Indie Wire that THR had “jumped the gun” with its report. He disregarded the idea that he would have walked into Warner Bros and asked for the rights to multiple movies at one time. “I’m not the kind of guy who goes marching in saying I want these 40 titles. I just don’t have the energy.”

Phillips also stated that there is no current contract to develop a Joker sequel. There is no script in the works at the present moment, but that could change. Phillips

Phillips maintains there are no deals in place nor is there a script being developed at this time. He says that he and Phoenix have talked about a sequel, and hinted that it’s likely to happen in the future. But there’s nothing concrete at the moment. “A movie doesn’t make a billion dollars and they don’t talk about a sequel. Joaquin and I have publicly said we’ve been talking about a sequel since week two of shooting because it’s a fun thing to talk about. But the [THR] article was referring to other things than that that were just frankly untrue.”


Fifth Democratic Debate

GettyFifth Democratic Debate

  • Who do you think “won” last night’s Democratic debate? Vote here.
  • Antonella Barba, a former American Idol contestant, was scheduled to receive her sentence today after pleading guilty to drug possession with intent to distribute.
  • Former National Security Council member Fiona Hill and diplomat David Holmes are testifying today in the impeachment hearing.
  • The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is unlikely to take place this year.
  • Tom Hanks just found out he is related to Fred Rogers of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Hanks portrays Rogers in an upcoming movie.

Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here.

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