Thanksgiving Week Weather Forecast: Major Storm Could Prevent Travel

By | November 17, 2023

Prepare for rain if you have Thanksgiving week travel plans in the eastern half of the United States and potentially heavy snow near the Great Lakes.

A storm system capable of dumping an inch or more of rain is expected to cross the Deep South, Tennessee Valley, Midwest, Southeast and East Coast between Sunday evening and Wednesday, along with a estimated 55 million Americans are expected to travel.

Periods of moderate to heavy rain – in and around major cities including Atlanta, Boston, Little Rock, Nashville, New York and Washington – could slow a significant portion of traffic. estimated 49 million Americans are expected to travel by car next week. Severe thunderstorms pose a risk for parts of the south Monday and Tuesday.

With temperatures warm enough for precipitation to fall as rain in most areas, effects on air travel should be limited. But some interior parts of the Northeast could see a few inches of snow Wednesday. And, in Western New York, there’s a chance of a significant lake-effect snow event Wednesday through Thanksgiving, just one year after Buffalo was buried by a historic snowfall.

Otherwise, most of the country appears to be dry on Thanksgiving Day and Friday, with cool temperatures across much of the eastern United States and mild temperatures across much of the west. Another storm system could impact the East next weekend, but confidence in the forecast is low for several days.

Sunday and Tuesday: The storm moves through the Deep South, the Tennessee Valley and the Southeast

After producing an initial period of rain Sunday into Sunday evening in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, the storm extends into the Deep South and the Tennessee Valley Monday through Tuesday. Showers and a more consistent period of rain are likely in places like Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Jackson, Mississippi; Knoxville, Tenn.; Small stone; Memphis; Mobile, Ala.; Nashville and Louisville.

Some thunderstorms and localized flooding are also possible, with a risk of isolated severe storms and gusty mountain winds. In some places the rain could even end in snow showers.

Early estimates of precipitation are generally between 0.5 and 1.5 inches, and perhaps up to about 2 inches in some locations. The rains would be beneficial for some regions facing drought, including Louisiana and Mississippi where drought has reached “extreme” to “exceptional” levels, according to the latest federal report. drought monitor.

Here are the forecast details for a selection of cities in the region:

  • Atlanta: Rain is expected to develop Monday evening and could last much of Tuesday. “Forecasters’ overall confidence in precipitation is high (>90%),” said the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Georgia. “Thunderstorms may occur during this event, although at this time the main risk for severe weather appears to be over Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.”
  • Birmingham, Alabama: Rain develops Monday evening, with “a marginal risk of a few severe storms in our far southern counties beginning Tuesday morning in the Southwest and ending in the Southeast late afternoon of Tuesday or early Tuesday evening,” the Birmingham Weather Service said.
  • Small stone: Showers and possibly thunderstorms could arrive as early as Sunday evening. The best chance for heavier rain appears to be Monday and Monday evening before drying out early Tuesday. “Localized flash flooding” is possible “where storms develop … although widespread flooding is not expected at this time,” the Little Rock weather service said.
  • Louisville: Precipitation and windy conditions are expected Monday evening through Tuesday. “There is a slight chance (15-20%) that snow will mix in briefly as precipitation leaves the area early Wednesday. However, no accumulation is expected,” the Louisville Weather Service said.
  • Memphis: Showers and thunderstorms could arrive Sunday evening. The best chance of heavier rain is Monday night. “This is a robust system with deep moisture available, so 1 to 2 inches of rain across the entire area seems like a good bet,” the Memphis Weather Service said.
  • Nashville: Showers are likely, and a few thunderstorms are possible, Monday afternoon through Tuesday. “We are expecting some very welcome torrential rain along with windy conditions,” the Nashville weather service said. “Currently, models keep any severe storm risk well to the south. »

Monday through Wednesday: The storm moves through the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The storm is likely to bring rain to much of the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast late Monday through Wednesday, as an area of ​​low pressure strengthens northward from the Greater South to the Great Lakes.

Detroit, Cincinnati, Hartford, Connecticut and Raleigh, North Carolina, are among the cities that can expect a period of rain, along with the Interstate-95 corridor including Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Richmond and Washington. Chicago and St. Louis appear to be near the northwest edge of the storm system, making it more uncertain how much rain they will receive.

Early precipitation estimates range from about 0.5 to 1.75 inches for many locations, which would have a slight impact on drought conditions that have extended into parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

Here are the forecast details for a selection of cities in the region:

  • Boston: A burst of moderate to heavy rain and gusty winds are possible Tuesday evening through Wednesday. “At this point, the track appears to be far enough inland that it will not draw in cold air in the event of appreciable winter precipitation. But nothing is set in stone,” the Boston weather service said.
  • New York City: A period of moderate to heavy rain and gusty winds is possible Tuesday afternoon through early Wednesday. “Potential for wind gusts of 35 to 50 mph. Potential for flooding also for any locations receiving a large amount of rain in a short period of time, especially if those locations have poor drainage,” the weather service in Upton, New York, said.
  • Philadelphia: Periods of rain appear likely Tuesday through Wednesday morning. “Early indications are that about 1 to 2 (inches) of rain is possible,” the weather service in Mount Holly, New Jersey, said. “Everything is on the table, from heavy rain and flooding, to severe weather and thunderstorms, to high winds and coastal flooding.”
  • Raleigh, North Carolina: Chances for showers arrive late Monday night, with rain likely Tuesday, then diminishing late Tuesday night or early Wednesday. Some thunderstorms are possible, but there is “lower than average confidence in the potential for severe weather,” the Raleigh Weather Service said.
  • Richmond: Rain is likely at times between late Monday night and Wednesday morning. “Confidence is slowly increasing that we will finally see beneficial precipitation,” the weather service in Wakefield, Virginia, said. “The heaviest precipitation will likely occur during the evening and night of Tuesday, with perhaps even some rumbles of thunder.”
  • Washington: The risk of showers increases Tuesday, with periods of moderate to heavy rain possible Tuesday afternoon through early Wednesday. “These rains should be largely beneficial given the dry conditions…but urban stagnation could occur due to leaf-clogged drains,” the Weather Service office serving Baltimore-Washington said.

Mainly dry weather is expected across the region by Wednesday evening through the bank holiday weekend.

Buffalo, Western New York, prepares for ‘significant’ lake-effect snow around Thanksgiving

Rain is expected to develop Tuesday around Buffalo and Western New York, with periods of rain through Tuesday evening. Winds gust from the south Tuesday evening as a cold front approaches, then after the cold front passes, they remain breezy from the west Wednesday through at least Friday.

As west winds blow cold air over the relatively fresh waters of Lake Eerie and Lake Ontario, rain will likely change to snow by Wednesday evening. While it is too early to predict snow accumulations or where the heaviest snow bands might settle, “the pattern suggests a significant lake effect snow event…that could continue until through Thanksgiving weekend,” the Buffalo Weather Service said.

Lake effect snow is also possible Tuesday through Wednesday in northern Wisconsin and western Michigan.

Thanksgiving Day Temperatures: Cold in the East, Mild in the West and South

From Wednesday through Sunday next week, including Thanksgiving Day, cool conditions are expected across most of the eastern two-thirds of the country. Daytime high temperatures could reach just 20 to near 30 in the Northern Plains and Great Lakes; the 1930s and 1940s in the Central Plains, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast; and the 1940s and 1950s in the southern Plains and interior parts of the Southeast.

Relatively mild weather is forecast for the same period in the far West of the country, particularly in California and Arizona, where daytime highs are forecast in the 60s and 70s. Thanksgiving highs are also expected to reach the 1960s. 60 and 70 to the Gulf and Southeast coasts.

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