A potentially disruptive storm is in the forecast for early next week for portions of the central and eastern U.S., meteorologists warned. Though forecast details are still being worked out, the storm could lead to travel troubles for millions as they head out for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
“We could be looking at a huge mess and a real wrench in holiday travel,” AccuWeather chief meteorologist Jon Porter said. Travel for Thanksgiving is expected to reach nearly pre-pandemic levels this year, according to AAA.
The National Weather Service said “this storm remains a prominent weather focus due to its timing right before Thanksgiving, but it will likely still take a while to resolve the details.”
Various scenarios are still in play with the storm; one forecast indicates heavy snow in portions of Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan.
Under this scenario, shifting bands of lake-effect snow and snow squalls are then likely to unfold and could bring locally heavy accumulations from northern Indiana and Michigan to parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York state from Monday to Wednesday, AccuWeather said.
In another scenario forecasters say is possible, the storm would evolve more slowly over the Midwest from Sunday to Monday. Then, a spinoff storm could form rapidly along the mid-Atlantic coast Monday before it shifts northward into the interior Northeast states Tuesday.
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Regardless of the specifics of the storm, it isn’t expected to bring snow to the big cities of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, though it could bring plenty of rain.
“This storm can bring a lot of rain to the Interstate 95 corridor,” AccuWeather lead long-range meteorologist Paul Pastelok said, adding that flooding on streets and highways could result in major travel delays for motorists.
Howling winds will also accompany the storm, forecasters warned, potentially disrupting air travel at major hubs.
“Even as the storm moves away by Wednesday, airlines could still be dealing with significant prior cancellations with planes and crew members in the wrong place,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. “This storm has really bad timing.”