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Here’s Where Rain and Snow Could Disrupt Thanksgiving Travel Where Rain, Snow or Severe Storms Could Disrupt Thanksgiving Travel
(about 1 hour later)
A pre-Thanksgiving storm that may bring severe thunderstorms, gusty winds, heavy rain and snow as it tracks from the central to the eastern United States early this week could disrupt holiday travel, forecasters said. It’s that time of the year when airports and highways are abundantly crowded as hosts of travelers make their yearly pilgrimage for turkey and stuffing. A pre-Thanksgiving storm may make travel more difficult for many as some regions register severe thunderstorms, gusty winds, heavy rain and even snow at some high elevations.
“A vigorous upper-level trough” that is moving over the western United States will send a wave of “inclement weather rapidly from west to east” over the next couple of days, the National Weather Service Prediction Center in Maryland said on Sunday. A storm system that is developing over the country’s midsection on Monday morning will send a “wave of inclement weather through the eastern two-thirds of the country through the next couple of days,” forecasters with the Weather Prediction Center said.
As the system moves toward the Lower Mississippi Valley, there may be an enhanced risk of severe weather that could bring damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes, the Weather Service said. Whether wintry precipitation or just plain wet weather, the storm system could impact travel during one of the busiest travel days of the year.
By Tuesday, there will be a chance for widespread showers and thunderstorms for the Midwest, Ohio Valley and Tennessee Valley before heading into the Northeast. Here is when to expect the weather and how it could affect travel plans.
Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York urged caution ahead of Thanksgiving as “extreme winter weather” was expected to affect holiday travel plans across Western New York and the North Country. As the system evolves and moves toward the Lower Mississippi Valley, there is a risk for severe storms from East Texas and parts of Louisiana this afternoon and moving into portions of Mississippi and Alabama overnight on Monday.
“We are preparing for the worst-case scenario and warning motorists and homeowners and people now who will be traveling locally and outside the region to alter your travel plans,” she said on Friday. Tornadoes, some of which could be strong, high winds and hail are all possible during this period as these thunderstorms develop over the region.
She cautioned travelers against making Wednesday their main travel day. The threat of severe storms will decrease on Tuesday but an isolated tornado could still occur from Georgia into the Carolinas.
“You’ll be either stuck at home not able to travel, or worst case there, you could be stuck on one of the roads or the New York State Thruway,” she said. Widespread showers and thunderstorms stretching from the South to the Midwest may occur on Tuesday as the storm system moves quickly toward the Northeast in the evening hours.
The Weather Service office in Upton, N.Y., said on Sunday that the system would bring rain and wind but that snow was not in its forecast. On Friday, Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York urged caution ahead of Thanksgiving as “extreme winter weather” was expected to affect holiday travel plans across Western New York and the North Country.
“Thanksgiving will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid-40s,” the office said. While those earlier forecasts might have hinted at some winter weather disruptions this week, it doesn’t look like the impact will be as extreme.
High temperatures on Monday and Tuesday will remain below average from southern New England into the Mid-Atlantic, with temperatures in the 30s and 40s for New England and 50s into the Mid-Atlantic, the Weather Service said. Some areas could be cold enough to support some wet snow over the upper Midwest early on Tuesday, reaching eastward toward interior parts of New England by Tuesday night. There could also be some freezing rain possible, especially for the higher elevations.
The Weather Service in Boston warned on Sunday of the potential for “some front end high-elevation snow” starting Tuesday evening and Wednesday for southern New England but added that “quiet and cooler weather” was expected for Thanksgiving and into the holiday weekend. The major metro areas along the East Coast will mainly see rain and wind from Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning. Such weather would only cause a minor disruption to air traffic on a typical day, but its combination with an increase in volume from holiday travel means there is a chance of longer delays on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning at major airports in the Northeast.
Most of the unsettled weather will have pushed off the East Coast by Wednesday afternoon, leaving a tranquil Thanksgiving Day across most of the United States — and giving people something to be thankful for, even if it is a little bit delayed.