Thanksgiving Travel Outlook 2018: What Weather Will You Face?

You’re probably worrying about packing and cooking, but you can’t forget our  Thanksgiving travel outlook so you know what to expect from Mother Nature.

If you’re one of the thousands of Americans visiting family and friends for the holiday, Mother Nature has plenty in store this week to keep you busy. Our meteorologists are ready to help you out with a forecast for each day this week. Find the day(s) you’re traveling so you can plan for what Mother Nature will throw at you.

Thanksgiving Travel Outlook 2018

Monday, November 19, 2018

Monday kicks off our Thanksgiving travel outlook with trouble spots in the eastern U.S. and northern tier.

Rain will spread today from Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley through the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic. A few rumbles of thunder can’t be ruled out in southeastern Texas and southern Louisiana. On top of that, a mix bag on wintry precipitation will coat the roadways in the higher elevations of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

The Northeast and New England will experience soggy and chilly weather on Monday. While travel along the east of Interstate 95 will generally be wet, west of the I-95 corridor will see a rain and snow mix. This could slow travel in some spots.

The northern tier neighborhoods will also get wintry weather as snow falls from eastern Montana through the upper Great Lakes. A few of these weather hiccups could cause slowdowns on the roadways, particularly along I-94. Plan accordingly!

Other than a few showers in the Carolinas and Florida, the Southeast, Mountain West, and West Coast should have no weather problems today. The only trouble spot will be to the west of the Sierras in California where smoke and haze will impact visibility on the roads.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The eastern U.S. will face travel trouble on Tuesday. The most challenging travel spot will be New England where a few inches of snow are possible. The snow could create delays at airports in Boston and Providence, R.I. A few showers will careen along the Gulf Coast but we don’t expect any heavy rain or severe weather.

Snow shows will dot the landscape in the Great Lakes and northern Appalachians but no significant accumulation is expected. Allow yourself some extra time to travel if you live in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, or northern Michigan.

If you’re driving anywhere from the West Coast through the central Plains and middle Mississippi Valley, be sure to bring your shades! Tuesday looks like the best day for folks in this area on our Thanksgiving travel outlook 2018. Sunshine will produce a bit of a glare, especially near sunrise and sunset.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 

Hitting the road the day before Thanksgiving? If you’re in the Great Lakes and Northeast region, be sure to pack coast and mittens. It’s going to be cold!

A disturbance passing to the north in the Canadian Plains will sweep snow showers from eastern Wisconsin through the Northeast. This will also occur in the West Virginia and Pennsylvania mountains. Visibility will be your main problem here. It could be limited at times along I-81 in the far northern Mid-Atlantic and I-86. The rest of the Mid-Atlantic will have clear skies, thankfully.

Hitting the roads bright and early is the best idea in the Western U.S. from Washington through California. A cold front will make its way onshore in the later part of the morning and drop rain and mountain snow for the rest of the day. Interstate 5 could see a few slowdowns as a result.

Other that a few rain showers along the Texas Gulf Coast, the southern U.S. will be free of travel weather worries on Wednesday.

Thanksgiving Weather

Travel trouble will be focused in the West on Turkey Day. Rain and mountain snow will thunder travel to Thanksgiving dinner, especially in northern California and along the Northwest Coast. If you plan to drive during the holiday, your estimated time of arrival may be later than expected.

Rain showers will continue to be the theme in southeastern Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley on Thanksgiving Day. Showers will also brush far northern and southern Florida. Leave early if you plan on heading out from these areas on Thanksgiving Day.

The rest of the U.S. will luckily stay quiet for the last-minute travelers thanks to strong high pressure.

More About Our Meteorologists

This Thanksgiving travel outlook was crafted by Earth Networks Meteorologists Rebecca Huff and James West. These two are just a part of our expert Meteorological Operations Team here at Earth Networks.

Our MetOps Team works 27/7/265 to ensure that our clients all over the world have the support they need to make the right weather-related decisions.

Our weather forecasts, updates, and conference calls help decision-makers in a variety of industries make the right call. Whether you’re a parks director for a small town, a teacher at an elementary school, an air traffic control manager at an airport, or even a professional sports leagues, our meteorologists can help you with real-time weather information from our advanced weather network and their many years of experience.

If you have an event coming up that could use some meteorological support, click the link below to see if our team is a good match.


You can also read more about our meteorologists on our blog. Here’s a great post about our Senior Meteorologist, Julie Gaddy.

We hope everyone has safe travels and a very happy Thanksgiving!