Thanksgiving Travelers Face Snow and Colder Weather

State College, Pa. — 17 November 2010 — reportedthis Wednesday update on the travel for Thanksgiving.

Northeast and Great Lakes (ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI, NY, PA, NJ, MD, DE, VA, WV, KY, OH, IN, MI):

Travel conditions early in the week look good as mild weather will be in place across the region. We may have some snow problems moving across parts of Michigan Tuesday which will affect Interstate 75 north of Saginaw. The tough part of the Thanksgiving travel period will stretch from Thanksgiving Day to Nov. 27. We are predicting that much colder weather will move into the Northeast and Great Lakes, and during the time the cold air comes in, a storm may occur. The big questions are where and when snow will fall. We do know that it will turn cold and that lake-effect snow will fall around the lakes after Thanksgiving. That means travel along I-80/90 from western New York into Indiana will be impacted by lake snow as will most interstates across Michigan. It also means that I-80 and the PA Turnpike may have travel problems due to snow by Saturday and Sunday. If a storm does occur, we maybe looking at a significant amount of snow and roads will be impacted.

Later Next Week


As for airport delays, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston, New York and Philadelphia will be all impacted in some way by the weather. Expect delays at these airports prior to Thanksgiving.

Southeast (NC, SC, GA, FL, TN, AL, MS):

Overall, this will probably be one the best areas of the country for travel prior to Thanksgiving. Warm weather and mainly dry road conditions will prevail Monday through Wednesday. The exception will be southern Florida where showers and thunderstorms may slow travel along I-95.

Midwest and Northern Plains (WI, IL, MN, IA, NE, ND, SD):

A turn to much colder weather will occur across the Midwest early in the week. Snow problems will be confined to parts of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Snow is possible in these areas, and that may lead to poor travel conditions along I-90, I-94, I-35 and I-80. In addition, snow across western Nebraska late Monday into Tuesday may cause icy travel along I-80. It appears now that from Thanksgiving into the weekend will be just dry and cold across the region, but depending on the storm that we are watching for the East, that may change.

Airport delays can be expected at Minneapolis and Milwaukee.

Southern Plains (KS, AR, MO, OK, TX, LA):

Showers and thunderstorms early in the week will slow travel along I-20 and I-40. Heavier rain may develop across parts of Missouri by Wednesday, and that may lead to flooding issues. It is not out of the question that severe storms develop across parts of Oklahoma by Wednesday as well. Much colder weather will arrive by the end of the week, but it would appear the cold weather just sweeps right in with little impacts on interstates.

Airport travel delays may occur at Dallas due to the thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday.

Northwest and Rockies (WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, CO):

There will be a lot of travel problems Monday into Wednesday as wintry weather will occur. Very cold weather will move into the Northwest, and that means snow and wintry travel along most of the major interstates. The passes like Lookout Pass and Snoqualmie Pass along I-90 will be hit particular hard by heavy snow. Chain laws may be in effect over the passes.

Airport delays will occur at Seattle and Portland.

Southwest (CA, NV, UT, AZ, NM):

The wintry weather will occur across parts of Nevada and Utah early in the week. It would appear that I-80 over Donner Summit will have snow problems and could have chain laws for the amount of snow that may occur, so check ahead if you are traveling over the summit. In addition, we are expecting snow along I-80 from Reno to Salt Lake City Monday and Tuesday, and perhaps into Wednesday. Travel delays and perhaps even scattered closures are possible along I-80 due to the snow and blowing snow. Delays are likely at Salt Lake City airport Monday into Wednesday due to the weather.

airport travel delays

By Henry Margusity, Expert Senior Meteorologist for

Updated 11-17-2010

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