By Jonathan Erdman
The Weather Channel
One of the busiest travel periods of the year has arrived and we have the forecast for each day through Sunday below.
Highlights: Strong frontal system will bring rain and thunderstorms (heavy at times) across a wide swath of the East. This includes the Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley, mid-Mississippi Valley, Tennessee Valley, lower-Mississippi Valley and the Gulf Coast. Some severe storms with damaging winds and isolated tornadoes are possible from the Ohio Valley southward to the Gulf Coast.
Heavy rain, wind and mountain snow will target the Pacific Northwest.
Headaches: Southeast Texas, Central Gulf Coast, Miss. Valley, Deep South, Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic (t-storms and/or soaking rain), Pacific Northwest (heavy rain, mountain snow, wind)
Potential problems: Montana Rocky Mtn. Front Range (high winds)
Mainly hassle-free: Northern Plains, much of Florida and Southeast Coast, California (except far northwest), Southwest
Wednesday (Nov. 23)
Highlights: On this busy travel day, weather in the Northeast may be a travel headache.
While not a "major" storm, a frontal system will march through the East, particularly early in the day, with rain, some wet snow in the far north, and wind in the Northeast, as well as scattered thunderstorms along the trailing cold front as far south as Florida. Rain and wind may persist along parts of the I-95 urban corridor from southern Maine to the Nation's Capital through the morning hours, before departing offshore as the day continues.
At this time, accumulating snow looks to be confined to northern New England and northern Upstate New York. As much as 6 to 12 inches could accumulate in some locations, particularly the higher terrain (see snow forecast map).
Rain and mountain snow will continue in the Pacific Northwest, with rain possibly spreading as far south as the Bay Area.
Latest on snowy threats: Winter Weather Watch page
Headaches: Northeast, New England (rain, wind, wet northern New England snow); Pacific Northwest, N. Calif. (rain, mountain snow)
Potential problems: Southeast coast to Florida (t-storms)
Mainly hassle-free: Mississippi Valley, Plains, Rockies, Desert Southwest
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24)
Highlights: It looks like a pronounced east-west split in the nation's weather for the Thanksgiving holiday. High pressure will dominate the East Coast, with plenty of sunshine. Meanwhile, rain and mountain snow will continue not just in the Pacific Northwest, but also in California and parts of the Desert Southwest.
Headaches: Pacific Northwest (rain, mountain snow particularly late in the day)
Potential problems: California, S. Arizona and New Mexico (showers)
Mainly hassle-free: Northeast, Southeast
Black Friday (Nov. 25)
Highlights: Rain and thunderstorms look to erupt, particularly late in the day, from the Upper Mississippi Valley to Texas. Some fresh powder is expected in the Rockies. The East remains dry.
Potential problems: Upper Miss. Valley to Texas (rain, t-storms late); Northern/Central Rockies (snow); Southwest (showers)
Mainly hassle-free: East Coast
This Weekend (Nov. 26-27)
The forecast for this weekend is uncertain at this time as forecast guidance is in poor agreement. That said, we do anticipate unsettled weather conditions and travel problems over portions of the central and eastern states. Below is a glimpse of our current forecast.
Highlights: Rain and thunderstorms are possible from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys southward into the Southeast. Depending on how the system evolves, snow or a rain/snow mixture could develop on the backside of this system from the Midwest to perhaps as far south as portions of the Mid-South. It's far too early to tell if any of this snow will be significant.
The immediate Northeast coast should remain dry, but breezy as more rain and mountain snow continue in the Pacific Northwest.
Headaches: Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee Valleys; southern Appalachians to north Florida (rain, t-storms); Pacific Northwest (rain, high-mountain snow)
Potential problems: Plains, Montana Front Range (windy)
Mainly hassle-free: Northeast coast, rest of Rockies, Southwest