Thanksgiving is here and whether you’ve hit the road or gone to heaven, hopefully you’ve reached your destination with minimal headaches. Thanks in large part to relatively calm weather so far this week, airlines have reported minimal delays and cancellations.
Unfortunately, that could change in the coming days as a more active weather pattern emerges across the eastern US.
But first good news. The weather is looking great for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Mostly sunny skies are announced and above all the wind stays light, so there shouldn’t be any restrictions for the balloons.
Active weather begins on the Southern Plains on Thanksgiving Day.
“The primary concern leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday will be the potential for a dynamic low-pressure system that can hit parts of the Southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley with heavy rainfall, snow and thunderstorms,” the Weather Prediction Center said.
Cities like Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, Tennessee, Shreveport, Louisiana and Little Rock, Arkansas will all experience rain and the possibility of thunderstorms as we go through the day, which could impact any outdoor cooking plans.
While the timing of the rains may not be the best, nearly 70% of the South continues to suffer from drought, so the rains will be beneficial. Widespread totals of 1 to 2 inches, with isolated higher amounts are expected from east Texas to Mississippi.
Rain showers will spread north along a cold front late Thursday afternoon and into Thursday night for the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. This rain will be more scattered and much lighter compared to the lower Mississippi Valley.
Heavier rain from the Mississippi Valley spreads to the deep South Thursday night and Friday morning, while light rain from the Ohio Valley spreads to the Northeast. Most of this rain will push its way offshore on Friday afternoon.
While the western U.S. is set to experience calm weather for Thanksgiving, Southern California is anticipating another event in Santa Ana that will bring increased fire to the Los Angeles area, particularly the San Gabriel Mountains of Ventura Valley. Wind gusts in excess of 40mph are expected and can reach as high as 60mph in some higher areas. These winds combine with low relative humidity to create adverse fire conditions.
As the rain moves east, the persistent upper-level low will bring temperatures cold enough for snow in parts of West Texas.
“The backside of the upper low over the southern High Plains should have enough cold air to produce heavy snow accumulations in parts of eastern New Mexico and far western Texas beginning Thanksgiving night and continuing through Friday,” das said Weather Prediction Center. “Snow accumulations of 3 to 8 inches, with locally higher amounts, particularly in higher terrain, are possible with hazardous travel conditions likely.”
“There is still some uncertainty as to the timing and placement of the heaviest band of snow associated with this system, but folks doing holiday shopping or traveling within the Texas Panhandle should consider the impact of Thursday night through Friday morning snow.” , it is said in the weather forecast center.
“We have the potential to graze snow where one area gets little to no snow and another area gets several inches of snow at short range,” the National Weather Service in Amarillo said.
Further east, it will rain in central Texas on Friday. Rain will spread to east Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley late Friday and Saturday when the snow stops. Another widespread 1 to 2 inches is expected, increasing some locations to 4 inches between Thursday and Saturday.
On Saturday night, the rain will again move east into the Ohio Valley and Deep South.
As Sunday progresses, the rain will continue to move east, hitting much of the east coast from northern Florida to New England.
This will likely cause travel delays to many of the major hubs, from Chicago, Detroit and Charlotte in the early morning to New York, Philadelphia and Washington in the afternoon.
While the rain is expected to cause East Coast travel delays, very little snow is expected this time.
“The good news is that temperatures should be warm enough that almost all US precipitation will fall as rain, but the bad news is rain and strong winds for wet roads and potentially long Sunday airport delays for the big ones Hubs will be in the Northeast,” said CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen.