Travel may be tricky on Thanksgiving Day

Travel may be tricky on Thanksgiving Day
Travel may be tricky on Thanksgiving Day |, Thanksgiving Day weather

State College, Pa. – reports snow and ice have already hit the Upper Midwest Monday. A second storm will bring a swath of blizzard conditions from the Northwest into the Upper Midwest this week.
Travel will be dangerous in many areas due to the extreme cold, blowing snow and high winds. Road closures will occur in many areas due to the extreme conditions.
• Interstate Travel Weather: Northeast and Great Lakes (ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI, NY, PA, NJ, MD, DE, VA, WV, KY, OH, IN, MI)
Across northern Michigan, light snow and flurries will hit Tuesday with travel problems possible along Interstate 75 north of Saginaw.
Severe storms have hit Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana Monday night into Tuesday and possibly again Wednesday night into Thursday. The storms will slow travel along most major interstates.
A shot of snow may hit parts of central and eastern Pennsylvania Thanksgiving morning. There could be enough snow to cause icy travel along I-80 from State College on east as well as along I-99 and perhaps even the Turnpike east of the Breezewood exit.
The lake-effect snow will be heaviest by late in the week into the start of the weekend. Expect delays along I-90 and I-81 in New York and along I-80 and I-90 from western New York through Ohio by Saturday.
• Southeast (NC, SC, GA, FL, TN, AL, MS)
Prior to Thanksgiving, the weather will be warm and dry, so travel problems will be very minimal.
Later in the week, a band of showers and thunderstorms will move across the Southeast on Thanksgiving. If any severe storms develop, they will most likely threaten parts of Tennessee and Mississippi late Wednesday and Wednesday night.
• Midwest and Northern Plains (WI, IL, MN, IA, NE, ND, SD)
Very dangerous weather will be developing across the northern Plains through early next week. Extremely cold weather as well as occasional snow and freezing drizzle will slam the Dakotas. People traveling along I-90 and I-94 should be prepared for extreme winter conditions through today.
Snow and extremely cold weather hit the Dakotas into northern Minnesota Monday night. Travel along I-90 and I-94 will be extremely poor. You should have a winter survival kit if traveling on Wednesday into Thanksgiving.
By Wednesday, blizzard conditions may impact portions of the western and central Dakotas before spreading eastward at night into Minnesota and Wisconsin. Fargo, N.D., and Duluth, Minn., will be hit hard. Parts of Iowa may also get slammed by whiteout conditions at times. If you do not have to drive, stay home. These are extreme conditions for travel along I-90 and I-94.
Several inches to a foot of snow will fall during this time period with the heaviest snow expected across portions of northern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Many roads may be closed due to the extreme weather conditions that will strike on Wednesday.
• Southern Plains (KS, AR, MO, OK, TX, LA)
The weather was warm through Tuesday before the cold air blasts in Wednesday.
The Arklatex region was hit by severe weather late Monday night as the cold air clashed with warm air that has been in place. Eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, northeastern Texas and northwestern Louisiana all the way northward to Michigan were in line for pounding rain, potentially dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes and high winds.
Severe weather may continue to be a problem from eastern Texas through Arkansas into Wednesday as a front stalls across the region. meteorologists will continue to monitor the potential for severe weather through the rest of the week.
There is potential for damaging wind gusts and tornadoes. Interstates impacted by the storms will be I-20, I-30, I-35, I-40, I-44 and I-70.
• Northwest and Rockies (WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, CO)
Be prepared for extreme winter travel conditions through Wednesday. Blizzard conditions will have hit parts of Idaho to Wyoming, perhaps even parts of Oregon on Tuesday.
There are snow problems in Washington and Oregon. Even Portland and Seattle were predicted to have snow problems Monday night. I-5 that runs from Seattle to south of Portland will be snow covered at times with delays.
The higher passes along I-90 from Montana to Washington will get heavy snow and bursts of gusty winds. Check ahead for restrictions over the higher passes.
Snow and blowing snow will hit from Idaho into Wyoming and Colorado Wednesday. Travel along I-84, I-82 and I-15 will be very poor with closures at times.
The extreme winter conditions in Montana will head down the Front Range through Wyoming into Colorado by Wednesday. Temperatures will drop into the teens with snow and blowing snow all the way into Denver and Colorado Springs. That means extreme travel conditions along I-80 and I-25, as well as I-70. Road closures are possible into Wednesday.
• Southwest (CA, NV, UT, AZ, NM)
The worst travel conditions will be along I-80 from Donner Summit through Salt Lake City through early in the week. Snow and blowing snow will hit the interstate, causing extreme travel conditions and possible closures.
Donner Summit will have 1-2 feet of snow, so check ahead for travel restrictions.
Snow along I-80 from Reno to Salt Lake City totaled 3-6 inches by Tuesday.
While the snow will be diminishing across this corridor Wednesday through Thanksgiving, harsh cold and brutally winds will persist.
Editor’s note: Henry Margusity is a Senior Expert Meteorologist for

WCP 11.25.10

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