A storm system poised to traverse parts of the country between Sunday and Wednesday could significantly impact flights and long road trips, potentially affecting the holiday period, as shared by AccuWeather’s meteorologist Brandon Buckingham with USA TODAY.
As Thanksgiving approaches, an anticipated surge in traveling for Thanksgiving might face weather-related hurdles, according to forecasts
Buckingham pointed out the imminent arrival of impactful weather, mentioning the potential for severe thunderstorms to intensify starting Sunday in the Southern Plains. These storms are expected to move eastward, reaching the Southern United States by Monday’s conclusion and extending into the Southeast by Tuesday. According to AAA’s forecasts, more than 55.4 million Americans will embark on journeys spanning 50 miles or more traveling for Thanksgiving, with around 49.1 million individuals opting for road travel a figure marking the third-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2000, trailing only 2005 and 2019. Meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration foresees screening over 30 million passengers throughout this period.
Buckingham recommended that early travelers heading through the Eastern Seaboard and Great Lakes region on Monday may steer clear of the worst effects of heavy rain and thunderstorms, which could otherwise lead to traffic snarls and potential delays later in the week.
The National Weather Service cautioned about a pre-Thanksgiving storm potentially affecting travel from the central to eastern U.S., bringing forth severe thunderstorms, gusty winds, heavy rain, and snow
While Thanksgiving and subsequent days are expected to be milder in most areas, regions like Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming might experience mountain snow, beneficial for ski resorts. The storm’s highest impact is projected on Monday in southern U.S. states like Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, according to Buckingham.
The storm system’s gradual eastward movement into Tuesday poses a risk of severe weather, including thunderstorms in parts of the South. Later on Tuesday, the storm system will shift towards the Eastern Seaboard, bringing a “shield of steady rain” and winds into the Northeast, potentially affecting traveling for Thanksgiving.
Tuesday night into Wednesday morning might be crucial for major hubs in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, experiencing heavy rain from Washington, D.C., to Boston, potentially slowing down road and air traveling for Thanksgiving. Areas from northeastern Pennsylvania to northern New England might witness slippery road conditions due to a mix of ice and snow. Additionally, Buckingham highlighted potential challenges for Thanksgiving parades with large balloons due to blustery winds on the day.