Northeast Thanksgiving Weather Waiting in the Wings

November 20, 2011; 4:16 AM
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Photo by Boris Kaulin,

The weather could have huge impacts in the Northeast during part of the busiest travel week of the entire year.

The track of a distant storm during the middle of next week will determine which areas in the Northeast get rain, snow or just dry weather spanning later Tuesday and Wednesday.

The weather over much of the nation during the week of Thanksgiving will likely be remembered for warmth, but a push of cold air into New England just prior to the arrival of a storm along the Atlantic Coast could create anxiety for forecasters and travelers alike throughout the Northeast.

Indications are a storm will move eastward from the Mississippi Valley during the first part of next week to the Atlantic Coast during the middle of the week.

The storm is expected to take a northward track, potentially allowing precipitation to fall as accumulating snow or a wintry mix where invading cold air catches up to the storm.

Currently, meteorologists feel that upstate New York and northern New England are at greatest risk for snow.

Most people would take rain over snow if they have to travel. Snow can turn a pleasant few hours drive into a day-long, white-knuckle affair, and lead to a slew of flight cancelations.

Rain can bring problems too, especially with bumper-to-bumper traffic whipping along at highway speeds. Poor visibility and longer stopping distances during rain in heavy traffic situations are ingredients for disaster.

Poor visibility and low cloud ceilings during a rainstorm can lead to major flight delays in some of the nation's busiest airports from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

According to Chief Meteorologist and Master of Pun Elliot Abrams, "We will have to hold off until early next week to see what is waiting in the wings just prior to Thanksgiving."

"By then, our forecast will be well thawed-out," Abrams added.

The same storm system could spark another severe weather outbreak in portions of the south spanning Monday into Wednesday next week.


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