The Thanksgiving weather forecast includes snow and thunderstorms this week, disrupting travel plans
The days leading up to Thanksgiving, typically among the busiest for travel, are expected to see severe weather that could impact the holiday plans of millions of Americans heading to see loved ones.
A strong system will move east over the next few days, bringing several risks including heavy rain, strong winds and severe storms to the eastern half of the country that could severely impact travel.
Monday was expected to be a volatile day, with 10 million people at risk of severe storms across a region stretching from eastern Texas to the lower Mississippi Valley and western Alabama.
Storms are expected to move through eastern Texas in the late afternoon, then pass through Louisiana and eventually into western Alabama during the afternoon and evening hours.
Of particular concern to forecasters was the risk of strong, long-term tornadoes after sunset. Nighttime tornadoes are more than twice as likely to be deadly than daytime tornadoes.
While damaging winds and tornadoes were the main risks, the possibility of large hail cannot be ruled out. There will also be a risk of heavy rain, but the speed of this system will likely limit flash flooding.
Jackson, Mississippi; Alexandria, Shreveport and New Orleans in Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama, was all metro areas at risk for severe storms on Monday.
It’s been a quiet fall season when it comes to severe weather, with Monday showing up The first major hurricane threat since late August Anywhere across the country.
In addition to severe storms hitting Southern states and the Gulf Coast, heavy rains are also expected to cause travel delays across parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes.
Major airport hubs that could see rain or storm delays on Monday include Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Dallas, Houston and New Orleans.
On Tuesday, a large storm system is expected to move east, bringing rain to the mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes region and wintry precipitation to the interior Northeast.
Strong to severe storms are also expected to continue to roll across parts of the Gulf Coast, Southeast and into the mid-Atlantic. The greatest threat from tornadoes on Tuesday will be from southern Alabama into the Florida Panhandle.
The main airport hubs that can expect weather-related delays on Tuesday due to rain, wind or thunderstorms are Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City area airports.
By Wednesday, the storm will move away from the East Coast, but northern New England and Maine will still see rain and snow through the evening.
Centers like Atlanta and Charlotte can handle persistent rain in the early hours of the morning, as can Washington, Philadelphia and New York. Boston is the largest center that could face strong winds and rain until the afternoon hours on Wednesday.
The big Thanksgiving week across the country wouldn’t be complete without winter weather also hampering travel in locations.
Monday’s snowfall will likely impact travel across Colorado, with Denver’s hub forecasting 2 to 6 inches of snow and winds that could reach 30 to 55 mph.
On Wednesday, large parts of New England will be at risk for wintry weather, as well as the threat of snow and ice. Total snowfall will likely range around 4 inches, with up to 10 inches possible at the highest elevations. It will also be possible to obtain a light glaze.
While the travel week will be challenging due to the numerous weather threats across the country, Thanksgiving itself is expected to be very enjoyable for most parts of the country.
Temperatures are expected to be relatively seasonable across the country, and while the Gulf Coast may get some scattered showers, and the northern Rockies may handle more rounds of snow showers, it looks like the majority of the country will remain mostly dry.