Wintry weather seems to be getting off to a slow start over much of the nation, but it could soon make up for lost time and cause trouble prior to Thanksgiving in the form of storms and blasts of cold air.
While granted the pattern setting up for the heavy travel days prior to Thanksgiving now looks less like one big arctic blast sweeping much of the nation, cold will make substantial inroads into the northern states and may spin up stormy weather in the process.
The weather due to evolve over the next 10 days may give us a look as to what much of the winter of 2010-2011 may be like, thanks in part to the La Nina in progress over the Pacific.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists are suspicious that computer models do not have a good handle on what will transpire beyond the next seven days.
There is concern that multiple intrusions of arctic air have potential spin up multiple storms with rain, ice and snow over the northern half of the nation.
Exactly where the rain/snow line would set up for each storm is impossible to say at this point. However, we can say the autumn bliss continuing over the eastern third of the nation will not last much longer.
In addition, there will be several storms with snow, ice and rain cruising eastward across the northern part of the nation through Thanksgiving weekend as divisions of warm and cold air battle.
The wintry events would include potential for two blizzards over the northern Rockies and High Plains and two bouts of significant lake-effect snow.
Areas from I-80 northward away from the coasts appear to be where most of the wintry weather travel problems and gusty winds will reside. However, while snow and ice are the most feared for a travel-heavy holiday, wind, rain and fog may cause delays as well in coastal and more southerly areas.
Over the next couple of weeks we will get big, cold high pressure areas building over western Canada. However, we will lack the vortex, or big storm, over eastern Canada to drive them very far south. Instead, smaller pushes of arctic air will result, but with more storms cruising the northern half of the U.S.
Such is the price to pay for selling off one big arctic blast in exchange for several smaller, but significant, cold outbreaks and the storms that precede them.
Keep checking in at AccuWeather.com as the timing and other details on the storms and cold air unfold for the week of Thanksgiving, and the heavy shopping weekend that follows.
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