As the busy Thanksgiving travel period picks up, the weather is slowing things down.
More than 2,000 flights within, to and from the United States were delayed and nearly 30 canceled Tuesday as a storm system bringing rain and high winds threatens holiday travel in the south and northeast.
The storm system is expected to move from the Midwest around midday into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, causing problems on the road and in the air. While most of the East Coast will receive rain, snow and ice will break out in parts of the interior Northeast and northern New England.
On the southern side of the storm system, heavy rain and severe thunderstorms will move into parts of the Southeast. Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, are the largest high-risk cities – damaging winds will be the main risk Tuesday. An isolated tornado in the area cannot be ruled out.
A total of 2,072 flights had been delayed and 29 had been canceled as of Tuesday afternoon, according to FlightAware.com. More than 70 of the delays occurred at Los Angeles International Airport.
Major airports affected by Tuesday’s gusty winds and rain include Chicago O’Hare, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta and Charlotte Douglas in North Carolina, as well as airports in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and the New York area.
Most of the large storm system will clear the East Coast by lunchtime on Wednesday, with only lingering showers and a few gusty winds possible along the Interstate 95 corridor in the morning.
Heavy snow and wind will persist until sunset in Maine, before all precipitation ends by midnight. Two to six inches of snow could fall in parts of New England, with isolated totals of up to 8 inches possible at higher elevations in New Hampshire and Maine.
While the two days leading up to the holiday will be difficult due to weather hazards, Thanksgiving Day itself appears to be relatively calm across much of the United States. The only exception will be the risk of accumulating snow in parts of the Northern Rocky Mountains, including Idaho. , Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
This is good news for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, where the weather will be mostly sunny and temperatures in the 40s. Winds are expected to be breezy, around 15 mph, well below the parade’s wind threshold , which should allow the balloons to fly high without problem.
In the Northeast, the weather is expected to be sunny, with temperatures in the 50s, while in the Southeast, there will be a mix of sun and clouds, with temperatures in the 70s and above.
In the Midwest, the weather is expected to be sunny, with a cool breeze, and temperatures in the 40s. The Southern Plains will see a mix of sun and clouds, with temperatures in the 60s.
Those on the West Coast can expect sunshine with temperatures in the 60s in California and the 40s and 50s in the Pacific Northwest.