Thanksgiving Eve was a mess for many travelers Wednesday, as snow and bad weather snarled traffic and grounded flights, generally disrupting travel to and from East Coast states, from West Virginia and North Carolina to Maine and New York. Thanksgiving weekend, when large numbers of travelers will be returning home, looks to be less of a hassle for East Coasters, and most of the rest of America should also be in the clear, judging by early weather forecasts for Friday, Nov. 28, and Saturday, Nov. 29. But Sunday, Nov. 30, looks like it may have some trouble spots.
A Northeaster storm swept across the Eastern seaboard Wednesday, dumping snow and rain on people trying to get to their Thanksgiving festivities. The Federal Aviation Administration reported multihour delays as flights were postponed at major airports like Boston's Logan International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
Power outages were reported across New England and upstate New York, and even as far south as Virginia, Weather.com reported, while traffic was backed up on major interstates like I-95.
There is probably no worse travel time for the Northeast to experience inclement weather than the day before Thanksgiving Day, but the weekend following Turkey Day would be a good contender for runner-up.
Approximately 43.4 million American travelers are expected to trek 50 or more miles on Thanksgiving weekend, according to AAA. That means that any bad weather could have a major impact on the transportation networks and the amount of time it takes people to get home.
Friday and Saturday are expected to be a welcome respite from the bad weather for most areas, according to Weather.com. Friday night and early Saturday morning could see snow in northwest Montana, KPAX news reported. But Sunday will likely see snow in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, North Dakota and northeast Montana, with rain in lower-lying areas, causing flooding in parts of western Washington, Weather.com forecast.
Meanwhile, forecasters predict light snow in northern New England and rain in southern New England, as well as snow in central and upstate New York, though airports in Boston and New York should be mostly left alone by those weather systems. South Carolina, Georgia, southern Mississippi and Florida may experience rain showers Sunday, Weather.com forecasts.
In other words, travelers would be well-advised to leave Saturday rather than Sunday if they have the option, but there's probably not too much to worry about Thanksgiving weekend no matter when they travel.