December 5, 2023
Posted: November 23, 2022 9:24 am
A massive storm that is moving across the entire width of the county is bringing the chance of rain, thunderstorms, and snowfall to much of the U.S over the Thanksgiving holiday. The impacts of this weather maker will be felt on the actual holiday and beyond.
Storm Takes Aim at Southeast on Thanksgiving
Although the West Coast and the Midwest saw the effects of this storm system earlier in the week, it will be the Southeast that is under the gun on Thanksgiving Day. The storm coming in from the western U.S. will take aim at the southeastern corner of the state starting Thursday and lasting through the weekend, potentially complicating both travel and Black Friday shopping.
The storm will pull up moisture that is coming up from the Gulf of Mexico to serve as fuel for heavy rain across the southern Plains and the Mississippi Delta area on Thanksgiving. A general 2 to 4 inches of rain will fall in the Southeast and the lower Mississippi River Valley. The hardest hit areas will likely be eastern Texas stretching to northern Georgia and into portions of the Carolinas.
Up to 6 inches of rain may fall in northeastern Texas, the northern tier of Louisiana, and northwestern Mississippi. While this amount of rain will create a soggy holiday, there is no doubt that this region of the nation can use the rain.
Travelers should be prepared for poor visibility and water on roadways along parts of interstates 10, 20, and 40. Be sure to leave yourself extra time to account for the holiday traffic combined with the inclement weather. This one-two punch could create havoc on many interstates.
The Mississippi River has been in the news recently for its historic low water levels. The river has seen a bit of relief in recent weeks thanks to a series of rain storms that hit the Ohio Valley down into the Gulf Coast region. This next storm system should boost these levels further, potentially making it possible for barges to move through the waterway with ease once again.
Timing of Precipitation
Dallas and Houston will see the heavy rain start to fall by Wednesday night, predicted to hang on through Friday. Farther east in areas such as New Orleans, you can expect the worst of the rain to fall Thursday through Friday night.
Moving deeper into the Southeast, Atlanta is forecast to see two rounds of torrential rain. The first soaking is predicted to take place Thursday night with the second round moving in on Saturday. This amount of rain will almost certainly complicate travel along the Interstate 85 corridor.
The weather maker will also bring the threat of thunder and lightning to the Southeast on Saturday. Gusty thunderstorms may put a damper on any Small Business Saturday shopping in this area. The zone of impact will stretch as far south as Central Florida on Friday and Saturday.
Most of the severe weather is expected for later in the weekend due to a mass of cold air parked over the area. The only area likely to see severe storms on Thanksgiving is the northwestern corner of the Gulf Coast. By Friday, this threat of storms will move to the north-central Gulf Coast, bringing the chance of severe weather to the Interstate 10 corridor.
The threat of severe weather will move deep into the Southeast on Saturday night. This will put the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia under the gun for thunderstorms.
Significant Snowfall for Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles
The cold air along the northwestern edge of the storm will trigger the chance of heavy snow across the the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma as well as eastern New Mexico starting late Thanksgiving and potentially sticking around through early Saturday. You can expect a general 6 – 12 inches of snow with the greatest accumulation happening in northwestern Texas. This includes the cities of Amarillo and Lubbock.
Although this part of the Plains will see cold temperatures, above average readings will be the norm in the Southeast and the Gulf Coast regions. Temperatures will hover in the 60s and 70s by Sunday and Monday after the precipitation exits.
The South Central U.S. will begin to see an improvement in the weather on Saturday with the Southeast finding relief by Sunday. This clearing will make it easier on travelers hoping to get home by the start of the week.
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