This week as well as before, during and after Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 24th), the stormy forecast could unfortunately impact millions traveling across the friendly skies and highways of America to celebrate the holiday. The northern half of the nation is supposed to bear the brunt of a series of multiple storms and snow but travelers should be aware other areas of the U.S. will be either affected directly or indirectly from the big storms.
For sure, traveling to spend time with family and friends for Turkey Day is one of the best ways to jumpstart the holiday season. This year, the American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts 48.7 million of us will be traveling 50 miles or more to celebrate between Wednesday, November 23 and Sunday, November 27 -- the greatest volume of travel during this American holiday weekend travel since 2007.
According to Henry Margusity, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather Global Weather Center, generally tranquil weather nationwide will cease at the end of this week. Stormy weather is expected to build early next week, continuing into Thanksgiving. For those who have traveled on the busiest national travel week of the year before -- whether by land or air you know what that means: Unpredictable and sporadic travel DELAYS with a capital "D."
Weekend Travel Disruptions November 19-21
After pounding the northern Plains with snow and blizzard conditions, another storm will reorganize and affect the Great Lakes and Northeast this weekend, explains Margusity. This could bring the first snowfall of the season from the Great Lakes to the Northeast.
Motorists should be prepared for wet and icy highway conditions, using maximum caution when traveling across highways, turnpikes, expressways and roads throughout the areas which are likely to be affected. In addition, drivers should also be on the alert while navigating through strong winds and bands of snow storms.
The same storms that could impact those on land, might also cause airline delays from Chicago to Detroit and Pittsburgh this Saturday and Sunday and then as the storms move east, delay flights from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York Sunday to Monday.
More Travel Delays Thanksgiving Week Forecasted
The problem is that as the initial barrage of storms exits the Northeast, there's another new storm that will arrive on the Pacific coast Sunday night to Monday with rain as far south as Southern California. As it moves eastward, this storm will drop snow across the Intermountain West in addition to rain, wind and blowing dust in the Southwest.
This storm potentially might cause disruptions by the middle of next week in major city hubs from Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Detroit to Cincinnati, Nashville, Atlanta and New Orleans. That same storm may cause rain in the mid-Atlantic and New England with rain or snow possible inland.
The deluge continues as that storm leaves the East Coast with yet another new storm coming into the Northwest bringing heavy rain into the region as well as snow in the Cascades and northern Rockies the day prior to Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Travel Advice from the Experts
Paul Pastelok, AccuWeather's lead-long range meteorologist has some sage advice for everyone no matter where you'll be in the USA between now and the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
"The track and speed of the storms will vary," Pastelok states, "with the bulk of the direct weather impacts over the northern half of the U.S. during this holiday period. Regardless of calm weather at your departure or destination point, inclement weather at other airports could displace aircraft and crews and lead to delay or cancellations."
For more weather details as Thanksgiving approaches as well as current weather conditions year-round, visit accuweather.com.