By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com
(NEW YORK) AccuWeather reports a storm with rain and heavy snow will cause major disruptions and delays for Thanksgiving travel on the East Coast and in the Appalachians.
Rain will initially spread northward along the Interstate-95 with snow and rain to start farther west in the I-81 corridor. However, a change to snow will take place from west to east from northern Virginia to New England.
The storm will bring mostly snow to the I-81 swath in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York state, as well as much of interior New England, where a general 6-12 inches of snow are forecast.
Some places across the Hudson Valley and New England could even have snow totals exceeding a foot.
“The storm should rapidly strengthen off the coast of New England on Wednesday night, leading to strong and gusty winds, especially near the coast. This would lead to some blowing and drifting of the snow, making travel on Wednesday night very difficult,” stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Ben Noll as he discussed the impacts in this storm scenario.
Enough rain, low clouds and poor visibility will occur to lead to airline and highway delays ahead of the snow.
Rain will change to snow in the I-95 cities from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, to Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Portland, Maine, during the latter part of the storm.
While the heaviest snow will fall in the northern and western suburbs of the I-95 Northeast cities, enough snow can fall to make city roads slushy and slippery.
The best bet for ground and air travel in the mid-Atlantic and New England will be during the day Tuesday and Tuesday night. Travel by ground may be satisfactory in northern New England Tuesday morning. However, for those traveling long distance by vehicle will run the risk of getting caught in the snowstorm Wednesday afternoon and evening.
Even though weather conditions will improve in the South later Wednesday and Wednesday night, possible flight delays may continue as some aircraft originating from the Northeast may be stuck in the snowstorm.
Travel conditions will improve on Thanksgiving Day in the Northeast. However, some roads may still be snow-covered early in the day. Be on the lookout for icy spotty Thanksgiving night as areas that were previously wet and slushy can become icy.
Travelers in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast planning to head to their Thanksgiving destinations should continue to check back with AccuWeather.com for the latest on this storm and consider travel alternatives.
Timeline of the Worst Weather Conditions for Travel
Florida The worst conditions for travel due to rain and thunderstorms will be Tuesday into Tuesday night. Travel will improve from north to south on Wednesday.
Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, to Charleston, South Carolina The worst travel conditions due to rain will be Tuesday night into early Wednesday. Travel conditions will improve Wednesday afternoon and night.
Raleigh, North Carolina, to Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia The worst conditions due to rain will be on Wednesday. Travel conditions will improve Wednesday night.
Washington, D.C. and Baltimore Rain , or a mix of wet snow and rain will slow travel Wednesday morning, but the worst conditions will be during the afternoon and evening as rain changes to snow. Roads will become slippery.
Philadelphia Rain, or a mix of wet snow and rain will slow travel Wednesday morning and midday, but the worst conditions will be from the middle of the afternoon into the evening as rain changes to snow. Roads will become slippery.
New York City Rain, or a mix of wet snow and rain will slow travel into Wednesday afternoon, but the worst conditions will be toward evening into Wednesday night as snow falls. Some roads will become slippery.
Boston Rain, or a mix of wet snow and rain will slow travel during the day Wednesday, but the worst conditions will be Wednesday night as snow falls. Some roads will become slippery.
Roanoke, Virginia Rain will change to snow Wednesday morning. The worst conditions will be during the day Wednesday. Roads will become snow-covered and slippery.
Harrisburg and Scranton, Pennsylvania Rain will change to snow Wednesday morning. The worst conditions will be during the day Wednesday into Wednesday evening. Roads will be snow-covered and slippery.
Binghamton and Albany, New York Snow will arrive Wednesday morning. The worst conditions will be Wednesday afternoon and night. Roads will be snow-covered and slippery.
Worcester, Massachusetts and Concord, New Hampshire Snow will fall Wednesday midday. The worst conditions will be late Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday night. Roads will be snow-covered and slippery.
Continue to check with AccuWeather.com for the latest details on the cold outbreak and any snowstorms. This entire weather report, including quotes and images are brought to you courtesy of AccuWeather.com.