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Black Friday: Patchy Ice, Snow May Slow Early-Morning Surge of Shoppers

By By Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist.
November 30, 2014, 1:15:45 AM EST

Though areas of ice and snow will create slippery travel for some northern states on Black Friday, the weather will cooperate for shoppers over most of the nation.

More than two-thirds of Americans surveyed by the National Retail Federation say they will shop on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Over 140 million shoppers are expected to shop either in stores or online during Thanksgiving weekend, the federation said.

Icy spots are likely Friday morning in the wake of the Wednesday snowstorm in parts of the mid-Atlantic and New England. In these areas, melting and refreezing of piles of snow can lead to areas of black (clear) ice. Cities to watch out for icy spots include Portland, Maine; Albany, New York; Hartford, Connecticut; Morristown, New Jersey, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Martinsburg, West Virginia.


Enough snow has fallen around Boston and part of the eastern New England coast to cause slippery travel early Friday morning. The snow may conceal patches of ice beneath. Clearing is in store for Friday midday and afternoon.

Most road surfaces should have dried off around New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., in the wake of the Wednesday storm, but icy spots are possible in the northern and western suburbs created from the piles of snow left behind.

Early morning shoppers on Friday may encounter slippery roads, parking lots and sidewalks on their travels from Michigan to Minnesota and in Montana as well. Snow in this swath on Friday will bring a general coating to an inch or two.

The snow can make for slippery spots in Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis. People in these areas and others in the northern tier states are urged to travel with caution. The fresh snow can conceal patches of ice beneath.

Winter coats, gloves and warm hats will be needed for shoppers heading out from the northern Rockies to the Midwest and Northeast. People may want to layer their clothes if they will be waiting in line outdoors for a length of time.


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In the Northwest, shoppers will want to take along an umbrella and wear waterproof shoes. Rain is in the offing from northwestern California to western Oregon and Washington state. The wet weather will affect the cities of Portland, Oregon, and Seattle. Spotty rain showers will affect areas farther east in Washington state and northern Idaho.

The bit of snow from the northern tier can reach southward into portions of northern Ohio during Friday afternoon, such as Cleveland. The snow may move on to parts of western Pennsylvania and western New York state during the evening.

Elsewhere across the nation, no weather-related issues are expected.

Mild air will expand from the Southwest to the South Central states, while chilly air will hang on in the Southeast. Some early morning shoppers in the Southeast may need a warm jacket.

Shoppers can expect Mother Nature to cooperate in Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Denver and Los Angeles.

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