Multiple storm systems could impact Thanksgiving travelers.
Two separate systems will impact holiday travelers Saturday – one in New England and the other along the West Coast – both bringing rain and snow and the possibility of travel delays.
The system in the East will push rain and gusty winds into coastal New England and some snow showers across the White and Green Mountains.
If you have travel flexibility, and are driving instead of flying, it may be best to wait until Sunday for most of New England. Travelers in and out of Boston will likely encounter rain showers, patchy fog and wind gusts up to 30 mph Saturday. By Sunday, the sunshine will return and winds will decrease to 10 to 20 mph.
The West Coast system will begin Saturday in the Portland, Oregon, area and will stretch down through San Diego.
Rain will also spread into desert cities, including Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque – and will continue Sunday from Seattle down through Eureka, California.
More than 6 million people from Southern California to southern Idaho are under wind advisories through Sunday. Winds could reach 40 to 50 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph in the mountains.
“Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles and motorcycles,” the National Weather Service in Las Vegas said. “Gusty winds will blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.”
Sunday also will see a shift eastward for this system into the Mountain West and Central Plains.
Rain, and snow for higher elevations, will stretch from Washington to Colorado. Salt Lake City will see rain showers to start, but as temperatures drop Sunday evening, it will gradually change over to a mix of rain and snow.
The focus across the Central Plains will be rain and thunderstorms from Nebraska down through Texas.
By Monday, a new threat begins across the Gulf Coast with the possibility for tornadoes, hail, and damaging winds.
As this low pressure system deepens and advances eastward, it will also spread rain from Minnesota through Louisiana.
Rain chances increase through the day Monday in Shreveport, with thunderstorms developing in the late afternoon and continuing through the evening.
The day with the most weather-related headaches for travelers is likely to be Tuesday, with the low pressure system bringing rain and thunderstorms to the majority of the eastern half of the country.
The area looking at possible rain includes major airport cities – New York, Washington, Chicago, and Atlanta. All could see delays and frustrations from the wet forecast.
Atlanta could see over an inch of rain in less than 24 hours Tuesday, and winds could gust up to or over 30 mph all day, even though the thunderstorms will be mostly confined to the afternoon.