Thanksgiving Travel Outlook: Midwest, Northeast Flight Delays Possible This Weekend; Wet West Next Week

Chris Dolce
Published: November 18, 2017

A potent storm system may trigger flight delays for early Thanksgiving travel this weekend in parts of the Midwest and East. Thanksgiving week, a number of weather systems may each trigger their own travel headaches in the East, South and West.

(MORE: 10 Most Weather-Delayed U.S. Airports)

Let's break down each day from this weekend through Wednesday, and outline where you may see weather lead to some travel headaches, either in the form of flight delays or slippery roads.

This Weekend

Saturday

  • East: Rain will spread into the Northeast and will continue Saturday night near the Eastern Seaboard and in the Southeast. Some snow is possible in the Great Lakes snowbelts and northern Maine.
    • Flight delays possible: Philadelphia, New York City, Boston (mainly late; low clouds); Atlanta (possible low clouds, fog late; perhaps leftover thunderstorms)
  • Central: Rain and thunderstorms will stretch from the Great Lakes to Louisiana. Some snow is likely in mainly the lake snowbelts of Michigan. Windy conditions will be prevalent from the southern Plains into the Ohio Valley. An isolated severe thunderstorm also cannot be ruled out, mainly from northeastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi into Illinois, Indiana and southwestern Ohio.
  • West: Most of the West should be dry. Rain may arrive in far northwest Washington late.


Saturday's Forecast

(MORE: When Winter Weather Conditions Typically Arrive Where You Live)

Sunday

  • East: A cold front will sweep off the East Coast with some morning rain possible, mainly in parts of New England. Areas of snow and wind are possible in the Great Lakes snowbelts, Appalachians and high country of northern New England.
    • Flight delays possible: New York, Orlando, Boston (rain, wind) and Pittsburgh (rain early, then snow flurries)
  • Central: Generally tranquil weather is expected, though some morning fog is possible in parts of the northern Plains and upper Midwest.
  • West: Rain and mountain snow will return to the Pacific Northwest, spreading into parts of northern California Sunday night.


Sunday's Forecast

(MAPS: 7-Day U.S. Rain/Snow Forecasts)

Early Thanksgiving Week

For Thanksgiving week, we have several weather systems we're watching that will have some impact on weather for the peak travel period before Thanksgiving.

Monday

  • East: Dry conditions are expected in the East, with the exception of some lingering lake-effect snow near Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Winds will be gusty at times during the day in much of the Northeast. A few showers are also possible Monday night along the Gulf Coast and in southern Florida.
  • Central: A few showers may develop along the Texas coast and a weak system may bring snow showers to northern Minnesota Monday night.
  • West: Rain is expected in the Pacific Northwest into northern California, with snow in the northern Rockies and some of the higher elevations of the Washington Cascades.


Monday's Forecast

(MORE: Four Things To Know About the Weather for Thanksgiving Week)

Tuesday

  • East: Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected in Florida and possibly along parts of the Southeast coast. A few showers may begin to spread into parts of the mid-Atlantic and along the Northeast coast Tuesday night. A mix of rain and snow showers are also possible near the eastern Great Lakes overnight.
    • Flight delays possible: Miami, Tampa, Orlando (rain, thunderstorms)
  • Central: Showers and thunderstorms may develop in parts of Louisiana and southeastern Texas. Otherwise, dry but breezy conditions will greet travelers from the Upper Midwest and northern Plains into the southern Plains.
  • West: The chance of rain will persist in the Pacific Northwest into northern California, with snow above pass levels in the Cascades.


Tuesday's Forecast

(MAPS: 10-Day U.S. Forecast Highs/Lows)

Wednesday

  • East: Some rain is possible along the Northeast and mid-Atlantic coasts due to the combination of a cold front an area of low pressure that may be moving northward off the East coast. Snow showers are likely in northern New England and northern New York. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are also possible in Florida and along the Southeast coast.
  • Central: High pressure will bring dry conditions throughout the region, with just a few snow showers possible in North Dakota.
  • West: A low-pressure system will bring rain from northern California into the Northwest.


Wednesday's Forecast

(MORE: Five Extreme Weather Patterns to Look For in Winter)

Check back with us at weather.com for the latest Thanksgiving travel weather through the holiday weekend.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

Featured Blogs

Meteorology of Saturday's Colombian Flood Disaster That Killed 254

By Dr. Jeff Masters
April 3, 2017

At least 254 people were killed in the in the city of Mocoa (population 40,000) in southwest Colombia near the border of Ecuador early Saturday, when torrential rains triggered a debris flow on a nearby mountain that surged into the town as a huge wall of water carrying tons of mud and debris. The disaster is the fourth deadliest weather-related disaster in Colombia’s recorded history.

Iconic American Destination Virtually Isolated for Rest of Year

By Christopher C. Burt
March 24, 2017

Half of the village of Big Sur, on the coast of central California, has lost its only access to the north following the demolition of the flood-damaged Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge along State Route 1 (also Rt. 1 or SR 1) on March 19. Although Rt. 1 to the south of Big Sur has reopened to traffic (after mud and rock slides were cleared) it is a long 70-mile journey along the windy but spectacular highway to Cambria, the next town of any significance where supplies can be had. CalTrans (California Department of Transportation) estimates it will take 6-9 months to rebuild a new bridge over the canyon.

An extraordinary meteorological event; was one of its results a 1000-year flood?

By Stu Ostro
October 5, 2015

The confluence of meteorological ingredients the first weekend in October 2015 resulted in an extraordinary weather event with severe impacts. Was one of them a 1000-year flood?

Why the Arrest of a Science-Loving 14-year-old Matters

By Shaun Tanner
September 16, 2015

By now, many of you have heard or read about the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student from Irving, Texas. Ahmed was arrested because school officials called the police after he showed one of his teachers his homemade clock. Mistaken for a bomb, Ahmed was taken into custody, interrogated, shamed, suspended (still on suspension today, Wednesday), and reprimanded. All of this after it has been found that the "device" he brought to school was indeed, a homemade clock.