As travel records for both flying and driving are predicted for Thanksgiving week, rain and snow have started to fall around the country just before the most popular time to travel.
Weather conditions affecting travel Nearly 50 million people are expected to hit the road this Thanksgiving, however winter weather conditions may thwart their plans. | Credit: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The /Getty Images
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) predicting the busiest Thanksgiving travel season ever in the skies, and the American Automobile Association (AAA) predicting a record number of drivers at an estimated 49 million people on the road — the most since 2005 — as parts of the country have already started to experience wintry conditions like rain, ice and snow.
By Tuesday night, “the mountains of southern Oregon and northern California are likely to get hammered with blizzard conditions,” according to the National Weather Service. Winter storm watches and warnings are already in effect for much of the area.
Tuesday into Wednesday will bring the worst of the weather to the Midwest with strong winds that will likely batter major airports like Chicago O’Hare. Wind and rain are expected to affect air travel in the Northeast as well.
“Significant snowfall” is also predicted from the Colorado Rockies to Wisconsin. It could bring anywhere from six inches to a foot of snow that should taper off by Wednesday evening in what the Weather Channel has named Winter Storm Dorothy. Travelers passing through or around Denver may want to pay particular attention to this storm.
On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, The Weather Channel is reporting that "an expansive storm system will impact travel in the West and Plains," while lingering winds and snow showers may affect the northeast. Areas near Salt Lake City and San Diego can expect snowfall, while wet, rainy conditions are expected for the south.
Post Thanksgiving, "snow and strong winds could cause travel problems from the Southwest and Rockies northeastward into the Northern Plains and upper Midwest," The Weather Channel reported.
Parts of the East Coast are already battling snow and it might get worse later in the week.
If you're not celebrating Turkey Day at your own kitchen table, take extra caution when hitting the road to see family and friends and maybe allow for some extra time to get there.