The holiday season is quickly getting underway, and we are coming up on the busiest week for travel of the entire year. If you plan on traveling this year for Thanksgiving, you could run into some problems by the middle of next week. Models are indicating that a storm will develop off the coast of the Carolinas, bringing travel headaches to millions from Georgia to Maine. Below is a breakdown of how the next several days will and could play out.
For the end of the weekend:
Expect some sunshine on Sunday with highs in the mid 50s (so a touch milder than Saturday). Most of the day will be dry with showers overspreading the region by Sunday night as a warm front lifts northward.
Showers are expected to taper off by Monday morning with winds increasing and gusting 30-35 mph at times. Even with some rain earlier in the day, we will be in the true “warm-sector” of the system and highs are forecast to reach into the low/mid 70s with clouds breaking for afternoon sun. Monday night a cold front will pass through and shift the winds out of the west. This will usher in colder air through the middle of the week.
High pressure builds across the region bringing us plenty of sunshine and highs in the low/mid 50s. Tuesday (right now) looks like the best day for travel this week, weather-wise. Clouds will be on the increase Tuesday night as lows drop into the mid 30s.
The big question for Wednesday is the potential for a coastal storm and exactly where the center of this storm will track. How far will it track to the west? Will it be pushed out to sea? These questions will determine how much precipitation we will get and what type of precipitation we could see. Depending on how Wednesday plays out, we could be looking at everything from low impacts as far as travel is concerned to very high impacts, which may keep you from being able to get to your Thanksgiving destination at your desired time. Based on the latest operational and ensemble guidance, the best solution at the time seems to be one where the coastal storm is slightly farther offshore bringing a mix of rain and snow to the region. There is still a lot of uncertainty with Wednesday’s forecast and things can and will likely change over the next few days as new data comes in. The bottom line is that precipitation chances have increased during this time period. For now, Wednesday looks like the worst travel day of the week.
Thursday through Sunday:
We will have to watch a few shortwaves moving through the flow into the Northeast during this time frame, however for now the weather looks quiet in Maryland. Those of you traveling on Thanksgiving Day can enjoy sunshine with highs in the mid 40s.