Rainy, icy weather to slow travel in central US on Black Friday
By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
November 23, 2018, 3:29:47 AM EST
After cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, millions of people across America will turn their attention to Black Friday shopping.
Over 164 million Americans are planning to go shopping over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Black Friday is expected to be the busiest day of the holiday weekend, as the NRF survey found that around 116 million will hit the stores or shop online.
In the central United States, anyone planning to take advantage of in-store deals will need to prepare to contend with wet conditions.
"Rain the developed across the south-central Plains on Thursday night will rapidly expand eastward into Black Friday," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott.
"Shoppers and motorists heading out early on Friday for doorbuster sales may face wet roadways from southeastern Texas northward into western Missouri and Iowa," he said.
Rain jackets and waterproof shoes will be appreciated as shoppers travel from their vehicles to the stores in damp conditions. Umbrellas may be needed to ensure that gifts and treats make it safely across rainy parking lots.
Rain may be accompanied by thunder and lightning across the lower Mississippi Valley on Friday. Localized urban flooding cannot be ruled out.
Farther north, water on the roads will combine with chilly weather to create a completely different hazard to motorists.
"Pockets of freezing drizzle can lead to icy patches on roadways, especially on bridges and overpasses, from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan into northern Minnesota on Friday morning," Elliott warned.
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"Shoppers should be alert for slick spots in parking lots and take caution so as to avoid slipping, falling and potential injury," Elliott added.
Additionally, anyone driving to their shopping destinations will need to travel with extreme caution as black ice is nearly impossible to spot on roadways, especially at night.
Download the free AccuWeather app to stay up to date on the latest warnings and advisories in your area.
The storm on Black Friday will not be the only storm to affect the region over the long Thanksgiving weekend. A major storm is forecast to produce blizzard conditions from parts of the central Plains to the western Great Lakes region.
As cold air circulates around the storm, snow showers may reach all the way to the middle Mississippi and Ohio Valleys on Monday.
Both of the storms will swing into the eastern part of the nation this weekend to early next week.
So despite a relatively easy time for travelers getting to their Thanksgiving destination, people heading home over the weekend or getting back into the swing of work or school by Monday may face some challenges.
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