Winter’s arrival is making its presence felt across the United States, and it may spell trouble for those returning home after Thanksgiving.
The National Weather Service predicts below-average temperatures dominating the country at the beginning of the workweek.
The Great Lakes region is anticipated to face some of the harshest cold of the season, giving rise to lake-effect snow, potentially making travel hazardous from the Midwest to the Northeast.
Accuweather warns of snowfall rates ranging from 1-3 inches per hour, along with power outages and whiteout conditions in certain areas from Sunday night to late Tuesday.
AccuWeather meteorologist Jake Sojda highlights the challenges along I-90, extending from just south of Buffalo, New York, to Cleveland during the first half of the week due to heavy lake-effect snow.
As for the Sunday-Monday travel forecast, Thanksgiving travelers from the Plains to the West Coast are likely to experience few issues, except for the Upper Great Lakes, where lake-effect snow might cause disruptions.
Moderate to heavy rainfall is also possible along the Gulf Coast and the northern mid-Atlantic to New England coasts.
While cities like Minneapolis, St. Paul, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit may not see significant snow accumulations, Accuweather cautions that wintry weather could still impact travel.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) projects that Sunday may set travel records, with an estimated 2.9 million people boarding flights, surpassing the previous record set on Dec. 1, 2019. TSA Administrator David Pekoske anticipates this holiday season to be the busiest ever.
AAA estimates more than 49 million drivers on the roads during the Thanksgiving holiday, reflecting a 1.7% increase from last year.
As for the intensity of lake-effect snow, Accuweather warns that heavy snow bands and gusty winds across the Great Lakes region could lead to whiteout conditions, with the possibility of thundersnow, a winter thunderstorm producing snow instead of rain.
Road closures are anticipated along various interstates in New York, Ohio, and Michigan, with some areas expecting snowfall totals exceeding 1 foot, according to Sojda.