December 5, 2023
Posted: November 18, 2023 12:49 pm
The Northeast and the Midwest are both in line to see a potent storm sweep across the region just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The timing of this weather maker could create problems for those hoping to get a head start on holiday travel.
Eastern Half of U.S. in Line for Messy Weather Pattern
This upcoming weather maker will deliver a host of impacts, ranging from heavy rain to gusty winds to the possibility of ice and snow. A number of major cities could see travel disruptions ahead of the holiday. This includes Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and New York City. The American Automobile Association (AAA) is estimating that nearly 4.7 million Americans will travel via air during the week surrounding Thanksgiving.
Travel may also be challenging on the roadways thanks to heavy rain. A large portion of interstates 80, 81, and 95 will be in the potential impact zone of ponding and decreased visibility. The AAA predicts that almost 50 million people will take to the roads for the holiday.
A cold front set up a chance of moisture in the Appalachians on Friday before the rain began to march into the mid-Atlantic to start the weekend. The storm will then get its start early next week, coming together and pushing across the Great Lakes and beyond.
There is a small window of snow to fall across the top terrains of northern New York state and into New England late Saturday afternoon and into the overnight hours. By Sunday, the risk of snow on the roadways could create isolated travel issues in northern Pennsylvania, central portions of New York, and up into northern New England. Motorists need to be aware of the chance of light snow and reduced visibility.
The biggest severe weather threat with this early week storm will happen over the lower Mississippi Valley when thunderstorms are forecast to fire up on Monday. This line of storms will dump rain across much of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys as it moves to the northeast later Monday night. The moisture will then extend over the Great Lakes and central and southern zones of the Appalachians on Tuesday.
This will translate to potential disruptions in air travel in Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland by Monday night. While the risk is small, there is also the chance that the temperatures will be cold enough to support the development of snow in northern Illinois, Wisconsin, and into northern Michigan.
The rain will be a nuisance for those in the mid-Atlantic and portions of New England on Tuesday. However, this system is forecast to move out to sea on Wednesday.
Cold Air Will Trigger Gusty Winds for Midwest
A mass of dry and cooler air will push into the Midwest by Wednesday. This weather pattern will generate gusty winds that could spell trouble for airports over the busiest travel day of the week.
In addition to the rain and areas of low visibility, the system will also come with the chance of foggy conditions across much of the Northeast on Tuesday. This fog could lead to air travel delays in major hubs such as New York City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
Boston will see the worst of the weather later Tuesday and into Wednesday. You can expect travel conditions to improve across the Northeast on Wednesday. However, the cold air trailing the storm system will deliver a shot of lake-effect snow during the middle of the week.
This lake-effect snow will be most likely in northern and central Michigan and northeastern Ohio on Tuesday and Wednesday. The potential of wintry conditions will be an issue late Wednesday in northern New York state and the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania. The western and central portions of New York may also see a shot of snow during this time period.
The good news is that drier conditions are on tap for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday for the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. This forecast will set up good weather for shopping and traveling back home after the holiday.
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