Thanksgiving is here, and whether you hit the road or took the train to heaven, hopefully you made it to your destination with minimal headaches. Thanks in large part to the relatively quiet 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 takes shape over the eastern United States.
But first some good news. The weather for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade looks excellent. Mostly sunny skies are on the way and most importantly the wind will remain light so there should be no restrictions on the balloons.
Active weather gets underway in the Southern Plains on Thanksgiving Day.
“The main area of concern heading into the Thanksgiving holiday will be the potential for a dynamic low pressure system to impact parts of the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley with heavy rainfall, snow and thunderstorms,” the Weather Prediction Center said.
Cities including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, Tennessee, Shreveport, Louisiana and Little Rock, Arkansas will all experience rain and the possibility of thunderstorms as we move through the day, which could affect any outdoor cooking plans.
Although the timing of the rain may not be the best, Almost 70% of the South is still in drought, so the rain will be beneficial. Widespread totals of 1 to 2 inches, with isolated higher amounts expected from eastern Texas to Mississippi.
Showers will spread northward along a cold front late Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening for the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. This rain will be more scattered and much lighter compared to the Lower Mississippi Valley.
The heavier rain from the Mississippi Valley will spread through the Deep South Thursday night and Friday morning, while the light rain in the Ohio Valley will spread into the Northeast. The bulk of this rain will push offshore by mid-afternoon Friday.
While the western United States will experience quiet weather for Thanksgiving Day, Southern California is expecting another Santa Ana event, which will bring an elevated fire to the Los Angeles area, especially the San Gabriel Mountains in the Ventura Valley. Gusts are expected to top 40 mph and could even reach 60 mph in some of the higher terrain. These winds will combine with low relative humidity to create unfavorable fire conditions.
As the rain pushes eastward, the stubborn upper level 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 impactful snow accumulations for parts of eastern New Mexico and far west Texas beginning Thanksgiving night and lasting through Friday,” the Weather Prediction Center said . “Snow accumulations of 3 to 8 inches, with locally higher amounts, especially in the higher terrain, are possible with hazardous travel conditions likely.”
“There is still some uncertainty regarding the timing and location of the heaviest band of snow associated with this system, but people holiday shopping or traveling within the Texas Panhandle should consider the impacts of the snow Thursday night-Friday morning ,” the weather forecast. said Center.
“We have the potential of binding snow where one area could get little or no snow and over a short distance another area could get several inches of snow,” the National Weather Service in Amarillo said.
Farther east, it will be all rain in central Texas on Friday. The rain will spread to East Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley late Friday and Saturday as the snow ends. Another widespread 1 to 2 inches is expected, bringing some places up to 4 inches between Thursday and Saturday.
Saturday night, the rain will again push east into the Ohio Valley and Deep South.
During the day on Sunday, the rain will continue to move further east, affecting much of the eastern seaboard from northern Florida to New England.
This is likely to cause travel delays to many of the major hubs, from Chicago, Detroit and Charlotte early in the day to New York, Philadelphia and Washington in the afternoon.
While the rain is expected to cause travel delays to the East Coast, very little snow is expected this time around.
“The good news is that temperatures should be warm enough for almost all of the precipitation to fall as rain in the U.S., but the bad news is that the rain and high winds will make for wet roads and potentially long airport delays on Sunday for the major hubs in the Northeast,” CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.