Cross-country storm over next several days could disrupt Thanksgiving travel

By Chicago 4 Min Read

Americans are bracing for a cross-country storm during Thanksgiving week, one of the busiest holiday travel weeks of the year.

The storm — which dumped rain and snow in the West this weekend — is now marching east, bringing damaging winds and potential hail and tornadoes to the South.

Jackson, Mississippi; Rolling Fork, Mississippi; and Alexandria, Louisiana, are most likely to get hit by the severe weather Monday afternoon and evening.

A few tornadoes are likely, along with hail up to 2 inches in diameter and gusts up to 70 mph. A tornado watch was issued for parts of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas through Monday evening.

New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, will be in the bull’s-eye overnight.

Places like New Orleans, LA and Mobile, AL will also have a chance for severe weather overnight – though it will likely take until Tuesday morning around 5-6am to hit Mobile, AL. Even by then, damaging wind and a possible tornado will still be a threat.ABC News

MORE: Thanksgiving travel tips: Best and worst days to fly or drive

On Tuesday morning, rain will span from the South to the Midwest, impacting Atlanta; Birmingham, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; Cincinnati; Indianapolis and Chicago.

On Tuesday afternoon and evening, the rain is forecast to spread into Charlotte, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; Cleveland; Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

The worst of the rain for the Northeast will be overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. Flash flooding is possible along the Interstate 95 corridor, so those driving to reach their Thanksgiving destinations should exercise extreme caution.

An overnight flash flood risk exists along the I-95 corridor from Raleigh to NYC on Tuesday night, Nov. 21, 2023.ABC News

MORE: Climate change will make it hard to predict the amount of snow and water that will be available in the future: Study

The worst of the rain will clear out Wednesday morning, though some lingering showers are possible Wednesday afternoon in New England.

Snow will begin in northern New England Tuesday afternoon and continue through Wednesday night. Six to 12 inches of snow is forecast for parts of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Snow will fall over northern New England starting Tuesday afternoon and continuing through Wednesday night. Between 6-12” of snow is expected in parts of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.ABC News

Behind this cross-country storm will be the first bitter cold of the season.

Temperatures on Thanksgiving morning will feel like the 20s and 30s for the majority of the U.S.

The Federal Aviation Administration forecasts Wednesday to be the peak day for flights, with more than 49,000 commercial and general aviation planes in the skies.

FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker said his agency will be “working around the clock to make sure passengers get to their destination safely.”

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said Monday, “While we can’t control the weather, we will be using every tool at our disposal to keep cancellations [and] delays as low as possible in the first place — including working collaboratively with the airlines.”

American Airlines said in a statement Monday evening that its regional carriers have flown nearly 29,000 flights between Thursday and Sunday and only had two cancellations during that period.

The airline added that it is “monitoring and prepared to respond to any weather challenges.”

ABC News’ Amanda Maile contributed to this report.

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