Rain, Lake Effect Snow Could Disrupt Thanksgiving Travel

Blizzard on the Road
Photo by MarianVejcik/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Rain and lake effect snow could disrupt travel in the northeastern United States over the busy Thanksgiving travel weekend.

According to the latest forecast from Accuweather, two major pushes of cold air into the eastern half of the United States during Thanksgiving week could bring foul weather and travel disruptions. Currently, there are mixed signals as to whether or not a storm will bring rain and snow to the eastern U.S. during the cold transition, but reinforcing waves of cold air passing over the Great Lakes could lead to heavy lake effect snow along the downwind shoreline and dozens of miles inland.

The foul weather will be rolling in during a particularly busy Thanksgiving travel period, with airline trade organization Airlines for America (A4A) forecasting that 28.5 million passengers will take to the skies from Friday, November 17 through Tuesday, November 28. That represents a 3 percent increase from the busy Thanksgiving travel week in 2016. The busiest day is projected to be Sunday, November 26.


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According to a new study from Allianz Global Assistance, many of those travelers will be headed to New York City, this year’s top domestic destination. According to the Allianz study, the busiest day for domestic departures will be November 21, while the busiest day for international departures will be earlier, on November 18. Returns are forecast to be spread evenly between November 25 and 26.

Thus far no major airlines have issued change waivers in anticipation of the weather system. We’ll post an update on www.travelagentcentral.com as more information becomes available.

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