These weather patterns could spell disaster for Thanksgiving travel

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By Dan Sears

Millions of people will soon take to trains, planes and automobiles as people make their annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage.

The 2023 Deloitte holiday survey found that 48% of Americans plan to travel over the holidays.

That’s up from the 31% that traveled between Thanksgiving and mid-January last year.

Relatively quiet weather has dominated the U.S. over the past couple of weeks, but computer models are indicating a more active scenario could take hold just as Thanksgiving travel begins.

“Too soon to put any numbers on it, but just be aware that we might see a little bit of an active pattern,” FOX Weather Meteorologist Jane Minar said.

Here are the broad strokes of the forecast leading up to one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

Details of the forecast will become clearer as the travel period approaches.

Pre-Thanksgiving outlook

The change in the pattern begins toward the end of the week when the jet stream begins to dip south.

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The FOX Forecast Center is monitoring the possibility of storms on both sides of the country by the end of the week.

Crowds of travelers in long queue at TSA Security Check at Denver International Airport over summer holiday weekend.
A change in pattern could mean rain and snow, creating travel disruptions right before Thanksgiving.
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This could mean snow across the northern tier of the country, with heavy rain possible across the southern tier between Nov. 16th and 19th.

This would likely create more chances for travel troubles ahead of Thanksgiving week.

Thanksgiving week outlook

The Climate Prediction Center is calling for above-average temperatures and precipitation across the eastern two-thirds of the country the week of Thanksgiving.

Rainy airplane
Above-average temperatures in the east and below-average temperatures in the west increase the chances of rain and snow around Thanksgiving.
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The West should expect below-average temperatures and average precipitation chances during the week.

The FOX Forecast Center is watching the potential for a stronger storm to develop in the western U.S. during Thanksgiving week.

This would mean heavy snow, gusty winds and rainy weather across the region.

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