Marauding cross-country storm threatens Thanksgiving week travel

Joseph Wilkinson | New York Daily News

A poorly timed storm system is expected to bring wind, rain and even snow to the eastern half of the U.S. during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.

The worst of the storm will strike New York and the tri-state area on Tuesday, with flight delays and weather-related traffic jams possible from Tuesday afternoon into the night.

At least 55 million Americans are expected to travel over the next several days for the Thanksgiving holiday, and anyone on the move east of the Rockies could encounter stormy conditions.

Severe thunderstorms are predicted for the Midwest and the South on Monday, as the gathering storm rumbles across the plains. Tornados are possible in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi from Monday afternoon through Monday night, according to Accuweather.

Meteorologists believe the storm system will then push north and east, dumping rain from Pittsburgh to Atlanta on Tuesday morning. Across Appalachia and the Great Lakes, the storm could combine with fog to create hazardous driving conditions on Tuesday morning.

From there, the unpleasant weather is expected to push east, resulting in downpours for New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., some of the most populated areas of the entire nation.

“When combined with the high volume of traffic anticipated, any mishap or ponding on some of the highways can lead to major delays and potentially miles of stopped vehicles,” Accuweather forecasters said.

By Wednesday morning, the storm is expected to be far northeast, potentially exiting Boston before Thanksgiving. New England is predicted to receive the most snow, with Accuweather forecasting up to 15 inches in northwest Maine.

Thursday in New York City is supposed to be clear enough that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade won’t have to worry about rain or runaway balloons during the world famous holiday celebration.

Only upstate New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are expected to see any snow, though some could fall in the mountains of Pennsylvania.

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