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    Black Friday Shopping Weather: What to Expect

    By By Mark Miller, meteorologist
    November 26, 2011, 5:10:17 AM EST

    After enjoying a filling Thanksgiving dinner and spending time with family and friends, many Americans will be heading out for the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday.

    As shoppers head for the stores with their shopping lists in hand today, many will be preparing for long lines and crowded parking lots in their attempts to grab the best deals.

    Many will also be wondering what the weather holds for this day and AccuWeather.com has answers.

    East

    Shoppers throughout the Atlantic Seaboard can expect nearly perfect shopping weather today under mostly clear skies.

    While the time spent waiting outside for stores to open will be dry, it will still be a chilly one this morning. Shoppers can leave the umbrella at home, but a jacket will definitely be required.

    In the northern Appalachians and the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, motorists will have to use caution early today. While mall parking lots will be dry, areas of dense fog may make for slow travel.

    It may take until the afternoon for burn off in most areas leading to a sunny sky and delightful warmth.


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    Plains

    Shoppers in the nation's midsection will also enjoy mild shopping weather as they head to the stores today.

    Most of the Plains will still be under the influence of high pressure, leading to dry weather. However, a couple of problems will be morning fog, followed by gusty winds later on.

    Those waiting until Friday afternoon to start their shopping could run into some showers and thunderstorms over the southern Plains.

    While the rain is much needed in drought-stricken places like Oklahoma and Texas, shoppers will need to keep an umbrella handy and and eye to the sky. Thunderstorms can produce short bursts of intense rainfall, lightning and small hail.

    Northwest

    One area where shoppers will not be as fortunate for dry weather will be the northern Rockies and the interior Northwest.

    The storm that hit coastal areas of the Northwest Thanksgiving night will move inland. Shoppers along the Washington and Oregon coasts will catch a little break with drier air arriving.

    Farther inland, cold and snowy weather will make for slow travel and miserable conditions.

    Eastern areas of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado will be dry though at least by mid-afternoon, with snow showers arriving during the evening.

    Southwest

    Showers and a few rumbles of thunder will make for a wet start to holiday shopping in portions of the Southwest through early in the afternoon. Shoppers in New Mexico will need to keep an umbrella close by.

    These same areas are in the midst of extreme drought conditions, so any rainfall is much needed and a welcome sight.

    Elsewhere across the Southwest and in California, dry weather through the evening will make for optimal Black Friday shopping conditions.

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