While Thanksgiving Day produced anything but frightful weather across the U.S., it could be a different story for Americans returning home as the FOX Forecast Center tracks a storm system that has the potential to cause some travel delays from the South to the Midwest and the East over the holiday weekend.
Small business Saturday forecast
On Saturday, the main storm system will begin to move away from Texas, with rain gradually overspreading areas from southern Kansas and southern Missouri to the central Gulf Coast. The rain could be heavy at times and may also be accompanied by thunder and lightning in some locations.
Rain totals between 2 and 3 inches are expected by the end of the weekend from Texas to Georgia when taking into account all the rainfall from Wednesday through Sunday.
Some of those areas could see higher totals of up to 6 inches, especially in parts of southeastern Texas, Louisiana, southern Mississippi and southwestern Alabama.
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By Sunday, the storm system will move into the Ohio Valley and East Coast, with periods of rain expected from Chicago to New York City to Boston and southward to the mid-Atlantic and Southeast.
The rain is likely to impact road and air travel for those heading back home after Thanksgiving. Be prepared for delays at some of the major hubs in the region.
“By Sunday morning, it is just going to be a soaker from the lower Great Lakes through the Ohio River Valley and into the Carolinas,” FOX Weather meteorologist Kendall Smith said. “Then, this system continues progressing to the north and to the east, so we start to dry things out for folks farther off to the west and down to the south, but we will still be dealing with rounds of heavy rain for locations in New York, all the way down through the Delmarva and even into the evening hours.”
The good news is that this does look to be mainly a rain event. Any snow, should it even occur, will be confined to the highest elevations of northern New England.
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Stormy in the West too
A strengthening storm system will crash ashore along the West Coast by Sunday and stick around over the western U.S. into the middle of next week.
While specific details such as rain and snow totals remain unclear, the FOX Forecast Center said there’s a potential for significant snowfall in the mountains and heavy rainfall in the lowlands and near the Pacific coast.
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Right now, it appears the most likely location for heavy snow will be the Cascades of Washington and Oregon.
Winter Storm Watches are in effect for the Washington and Oregon Cascades from Saturday night through Monday morning for up to 10-20 inches of snow, bringing potential travel headaches for those trying to drive home over the mountains from Thanksgiving weekend.
Meanwhile, heavy rain could reach as far as Southern California by Monday evening. Gusty winds are also expected across the Four Corners region early next week.