Get AccuWeather alerts right in your browser!
Enable Notifications

Thanksgiving Travel Outlook: Snowstorm to Slow Travel in West; Mild Air to Envelop East

By By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist.
November 22, 2015, 2:47:47 AM EST

As millions of people take to the roads and skies during the week of Thanksgiving, a storm will impact travel in the West, while mild weather will bounce back in much of the East.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 46.9 million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles or more away from home during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The majority of people traveling over the eastern two-thirds of the nation should not have snow and ice to contend with from Monday through Wednesday, next week.


Temperatures in the the East, especially in the Midwest and Northeast, will be on the rebound following a brief spell of winterlike conditions this weekend.

As is sometimes the case during mild weather in November, patchy fog could slow down some morning travelers from the interior South to New England. However, the weather in the East is likely to feature the most favorable travel conditions with sunshine.

Check AccuWeather MinuteCast® for Your Location
National Interactive Radar
AccuWeather Winter Center and Snow Map

During next week, stormy conditions anticipated over the Atlantic Ocean are likely to remain at sea.

Spotty showers expected over part of the Florida Peninsula are not likely to impact travel. Stiff southerly winds could accompany the mild air over the Central states.

The southerly flow may also add enough moisture to the air to cause areas of low clouds and spotty rain or drizzle from parts of Texas to Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Thunderstorms may begin to develop in parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

The combination of wind, low clouds and spotty rain could cause minor airline delays on a local basis.

The vast majority of adverse weather conditions for travelers will be in the western third of the nation.


According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, "We expect another large storm to roll from the Pacific and expand toward the Rockies during the week of Thanksgiving."

The storm is likely to spread drenching rain along part of the Pacific coast and heavy snow in portions of the Cascades, Sierra Nevada and the Rockies, spanning Monday to Wednesday.

Travel along parts of interstates 15, 25, 70, 80 and 90 in the higher elevations of the West are likely to be slippery. Blizzard conditions could develop in parts of Montana and Wyoming on Wednesday.

Cities that could be directly affected by the storm next week include Seattle, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Denver.

"The exact strength and timing of the storm is still uncertain," Anderson added.

If the storm takes a southerly route, then heavy rain and mountain snow may also sweep into Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico. Such a storm track could have significant impact on travel in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix.


A southern storm track may also allow the weather to clear quickly in the Northwest.

Cold air and gusty winds will again spill southward over the West next week regardless of the storm track.

AccuWeather will continue to provide updates on the Thanksgiving travel conditions.

Report a Typo


Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News