Labor Day Travel Troubles: Northeast, South, West

By , Senior Meteorologist
September 2, 2013; 7:23 AM ET
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The unwanted parting gift of headaches thanks to the weather awaits many Labor Day travelers on Monday across the East and many Western states.

Numerous showers and thunderstorms are set to rumble from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast on Monday, with a separate area across the Rockies and interior Northwest.

Some of the thunderstorms will be capable of producing downpours, the most numerous of which will occur across the Northeast.

Such downpours will slow motorists down by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning at highway speeds.

In a highly localized number of incidents, runoff from the heaviest thunderstorms could force officials to temporarily close highways and intersections--making motorists find alternate routes.

The good news is that the natural cycle of flash flooding will allow the flood waters to recede fairly quickly after the downpours end.

It is also not out of the question that an isolated heavy thunderstorm or two in the Rockies triggers a landslide in the higher terrain.

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Airline passengers will not be exempt from possible travel troubles as the thunderstorms, with their lightning, could lead to delayed flights.

Airports where these delays may ensue include Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta and Salt Lake City.

Fog is another issue that could develop for air and ground travelers in the East Monday morning.

Elsewhere across the nation, spotty showers will cause more of a nuisance for travelers in Seattle and Portland. San Francisco and Los Angeles will stay dry, but low clouds could lead to morning flight delays.

Chicago, St. Louis, Denver and the rest of nation's northern midsection will feature the best conditions for travelers with widespread dry weather. Detroit will join this list as Monday progresses and clouds break for sunshine.

According to AAA Travel, Labor Day holiday travelers venturing 50 miles or more from home are expected to total 34.1 million this year. That's an increase of 4.2 percent from the 32.7 million who traveled Labor Day weekend 2012.

"Monday, September 2, is the most popular date of return for holiday trips with 43 percent planning to return that day," the press release from AAA Travel stated.

Out of the holiday travelers, approximately 29.2 million people will take to the roads.

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