Weather Outlook for Thanksgiving Travel

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Stock Photo

We’ll see fairly pleasant conditions on Monday and Tuesday as high pressure maintains it’s grip on the region. Look for some upper level clouds Tuesday as a cold front approaches the region. The cold front is expected to arrive on Wednesday. Snow is expected above 6000 feet when the cold front moves through Wednesday. Then, snow levels will fall down to 5000 feet on Thanksgiving. (National Weather Service, Medford, Oregon)

The weather will cooperate for a majority of those traveling by road or air for the Thanksgiving holiday, with some exceptions in the northeastern and western United States.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is projecting that 54.3 million will travel 50 miles or more away from home for the Thanksgiving holiday this year.

Even in the absence of disruptive weather, the sheer volume of vehicles on the road in congested metro areas may cause travel time to double, triple or quadruple, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

National Thanksgiving Travel Conditions, AccuWeather

Storm to arrive along West Coast at midweek

Reduced visibility from wildfire smoke will be the main concern for travelers in California on Monday and Tuesday.

However, a pattern change will bring needed rainfall to the state starting on Wednesday.

While rain is not normally a welcome idea during busy travel times and near the holiday, any rain with a lack of strong winds would greatly favor firefighting efforts and reduce the risk of new fires igniting, according to Sosnowski.

Despite the good news of rainfall, motorists will face slick roads as oil buildup from weeks of dry weather mixes with the rain.

Heavy snow is expected over the Sierra Nevada by the end of Wednesday. Travelers over I-80’s Donner Summit should anticipate snow-covered roads, reduced visibility and possible closures.

Rain will also spread into Portland, Oregon, and Seattle at midweek, heightening the risk of minor travel delays.

Press release provided from the AccuWeather.