WASHINGTON – Thanksgiving is traditionally a busy travel holiday, and travelers may face some weather-related challenges in the week ahead. However, the weather conditions are expected to vary across different regions.
Starting on Monday, travel along the Eastern Seaboard should be smooth without any major weather disruptions. However, those flying south towards Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas may encounter flight issues due to expected rainfall. Similarly, travelers heading west towards Denver could face gusty winds along the front range of the Rockies.
By Tuesday, a weather system will strengthen and move towards the Eastern Seaboard, bringing much-needed rain to dry areas like the Mid-Atlantic. While this rainfall is beneficial, it may cause travel delays on Tuesday afternoon and evening due to heavy rain. Additionally, there is a possibility of the first significant snowfall in the interior northeast, affecting areas like Upstate New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and inland Maine. However, the snow is not expected to impact the I-95 corridor significantly, although rain could slow down travel on Wednesday morning.
Fortunately, by Wednesday afternoon, the storm system will move northward, resulting in relatively quiet travel conditions across the country. However, gusty winds could create travel issues around the Great Lakes region, specifically in cities like Chicago and Detroit. These winds may also lead to lake-effect snowfall in cities such as Erie and Buffalo, potentially causing localized snow-related problems. Nonetheless, most areas will experience calm weather conditions on Wednesday.
Regarding Thanksgiving Day itself, the forecast predicts dry and sunny weather. However, it is expected to be quite chilly, possibly the coldest Thanksgiving since 2018. A strong trough in the eastern half of the country will combine with an upper-level ridge over Alaska, bringing cold air into the region. Temperatures are anticipated to remain cold throughout the extended holiday weekend.
Compared to recent years, this Thanksgiving will be notably colder. The high temperature in Washington, D.C., on Thanksgiving Day over the past decade reveals a range of temperatures, with 2018 being the coldest at 42°F and 2020 being the warmest at 67°F. This year’s forecast suggests highs in the 40s, making it the coldest Thanksgiving since 2018.