Early Thanksgiving weather looks like rain on the busiest travel day of the year

Early Thanksgiving weather looks like rain on the busiest travel day of the year

Thanksgiving is a week away, and so is the busiest travel day of the year.

AAA expects 55.4 million Americans to hit the road (or rail or sky) during the Thanksgiving travel period between Wednesday, November 22, and Sunday, November 26.

However, the Thanksgiving travel weather forecast may have something to say about those plans. In an early forecast, AccuWeather says a rainstorm will move through the region from west to east at peak time midweek.

AccuWeather warns that wet weather is expected to arrive by Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving 2023.

But anyone traveling early to or through the Lehigh Valley will likely be in good shape. The National Weather Service says anyone taking the week off could experience some rain through Friday night, ending Saturday morning. Saturday will be breezy and the weekend cool, but dry weather is expected at the start of the week.

The next round of rain is expected to pour across Pennsylvania and New Jersey later Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the forecast. Either way, “well-laid (travel) plans may be upended or slowed by storms in parts of the country,” AccuWeather says.

In a daily forecast video a week ago, Bobby Martrich of Lehigh Valley-based EPAWA Weather Consulting noted that some models are pointing to the possibility of snow in north-central Pennsylvania Tuesday evening, though at this point it’s just something to watch.

Steven DiMartino, a meteorologist who heads a weather forecasting company in New York, New Jersey, views the early part of the day before Thanksgiving as the most problematic travel time. “The morning hours will be very humid, with heavy rain at times,” Di Martino said in a video forecast. “You might want to plan on being late.”

The trip back for Thanksgiving appears to be less eventful. AccuWeather says there could be some rain on the weekend of November 24-26, although that is still more than a week away.

The best and worst times to travel on Thanksgiving

AAA says the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is its busiest, with the worst time to travel between 2 and 6 p.m.; For the best Wednesday ride, hit the road before 11 a.m

The worst hours to travel on Thanksgiving itself are between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; It’s best to start before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m., says AAA.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is worst between noon and 4 p.m., while the weekend after the holiday is worst between 3 and 5 p.m.

Current weather radar

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Steve Novak can be reached at snovak@lehighvalleylive.com. Len Melisurgo can be reached at LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com or @LensReality.

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