Post-Thanksgiving travel could be hampered by severe weather across the country
Heavy rain and strong winds are expected across the southern Great Plains this weekend from Texas to Mississippi, where it is already raining, threatening post-Thanksgiving travel plans, according to the National Weather Service.
A deep upper level low will continue to bring rain to the region and slowly move to the Central Plains on Saturday, affecting major cities including Dallas, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Memphis, Tennessee.
Nearly 55 million people were expected to travel 50 miles or more from their homes this Thanksgiving weekend, 98% of pre-pandemic levels, according to AAA.
Wind advisories are in effect for about 9 million people across the Southeast, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Birmingham, Huntsville, and Asheville, Alabama. These watches are in effect Saturday night through Sunday morning as wind gusts up to 40 mph are possible.
By Sunday morning, the rain will shift to the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes region, which could affect morning commutes to cities including Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee.
This wall of rain will eventually reach the Northeast on Sunday afternoon, affecting New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. The heaviest downpours should end between 4 pm and 6 pm, with the rain ending in the late afternoon.
Although the risk of severe weather is very low on Sunday, there will be the possibility of high winds and frequent lightning that could affect travel, especially in the Northeast.
Another developing storm system will also continue to bring heavy rain in addition to snow to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest this weekend, according to the weather service.
Winter weather advisories are in effect for parts of the Cascades and Northern Rocky Mountains, including northern Idaho, Montana, and southeastern Wyoming.
High wind watches are also in effect for this region through Sunday, with gusts up to 50 to 70 mph possible. This will create dangerous travel conditions, especially at higher elevations and passes.