Millions of people will soon board trains, planes and cars for the annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage.
About 55.4 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles between Nov. 22 and 26 — a 2.3% increase from last year and the third-highest Thanksgiving travel forecast by the agency since 2000, AAA said Monday. % will drive by car, while 8.5% will travel to their destination.
Relatively calm weather has dominated the United States over the past two weeks, but computer forecast models suggest a more active scenario could take hold as Thanksgiving travel begins.
Here's a comprehensive look at the forecast ahead of one of the busiest travel periods of the year. The details of the forecast will become clearer as the period approaches.
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Pre-Thanksgiving Forecast: Rain and wind threaten the Northeast this weekend
The FOX Forecast Center is closely monitoring a cold front and coastal storm approaching the East Coast.
This could cause delays for travelers in the Northeast and New England who were planning to start their vacation travel early this weekend.
Computer forecast models show that precipitation from the cold front is expected to begin in the Northeast later Friday, with coastal storm impacts arriving Saturday along the immediate coast.
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With the latest computer model guidance taking the coastal storm's path away from the East Coast, the FOX Forecast Center said rain from the coastal storm will be limited and mostly confined to the southeastern New England coast and Downeast Maine.
Most of the rain will fall along the cold front coming from the west. Temperatures will be too warm to allow significant amounts of snow, but the highest mountains in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine could see a few inches of snow as cold air flows behind the front.
Rain and wind threaten the Northeast for early Thanksgiving travel as a cold front moves through the region this weekend
Thanksgiving Week Forecast: Multiple storms could disrupt travel
The weather forecast remains complex for Thanksgiving week, with the FOX Forecast Center monitoring the possibility of multiple storms impacting the United States next week, bringing a wide range of impacts.
As the Northeast deals with a cold band of coastal storms this weekend, a pair of storm systems will move into California and the Pacific Northwest on Saturday and into Sunday with steady rain and mountain snow.
On Monday, a Pacific Northwest system will attempt to dive south over most of the Rocky Mountains, delivering impactful snow that could cause problems on roads. It is unclear whether this part of the system will collapse or maintain its strength over the mountains. In either case, travel impacts will be possible.
“The problem is that once the energy jumps over the Rocky Mountains, what comes out of that?” said FOX Meteorologist Britta Merwin.
Meanwhile, a storm system that had been hovering off California for several days before pushing inland over the weekend will end up over the Four Corners area by Monday. This system will strengthen in the southern Plains, where the latest trends now show an increased threat of severe weather as well as the threat of heavy rain.
Severe storms are possible from the Plains to the Gulf Coast during the busy Thanksgiving weekend
Another system will dive south from Canada on Tuesday, bringing with it a blast of cold air. This could bring snow to much of the Great Lakes region, some in the form of lake snow.
This system is then expected to swing eastward later Tuesday into Wednesday, threatening to bring another round of moderate rain and strong gusty winds, with some snow possible in the northeastern interior.
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The weather will likely be dry across much of the United States through Thanksgiving, except for a chance of rain and snow on either coast and across the northern tier of the country.
Expect warm temperatures from Southern California to the Southwest to West Texas, while temperatures are expected to be cool in most areas from the Plains to the East Coast.
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Keep tabs on the forecast for your Thanksgiving destination with the FOX Weather App. Simply open the app and click the Events tab to get started.