Thanksgiving weekend travel weather forecast 2022: Are there delays?

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  • Most of the country was free of severe weather warnings Saturday morning.
  • A broad swath of the South may see several inches of rain over the weekend.
  • Snow and wind may also lead to hazardous travel conditions in parts of the Pacific Northwest.

Heavy rains and thunderstorms in the south and snow in the Pacific Northwest may impact post-Thanksgiving travel as millions hit the roads and descend on airport terminals this weekend.

Most of the country was free of severe weather warnings Saturday morning, and a storm in the south appears to be the most likely source of travel trouble.

The National Weather Service forecast a slight risk of excessive rainfall over parts of the western and central Gulf Coast through Sunday morning, potentially causing localized flash flooding.

On Saturday afternoon, coastal Louisiana and Mississippi faced threats of damaging winds and possible tornados, the regional weather service office said on Twitter

By Sunday morning, the rain is expected to move into the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys and Central Appalachians before continuing northeastward to the Great Lakes, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. 

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Most major cities clear of severe weather

The Thanksgiving travel rush was back on this year, as people caught planes in numbers not seen in years, setting aside inflation concerns to reunite with loved ones and enjoy some normalcy.

As of Saturday morning , the majority of the contiguous U.S. was free of severe weather, with few storm watches or warning, according to forecasts from the weather service.

The East Coast was mostly free of severe weather, as was California on Saturday, the weather service said.

The busiest travel days during Thanksgiving week are usually Tuesday, Wednesday and the Sunday after the holiday. This year, the Federal Aviation Administration expects Tuesday to be the busiest travel day with roughly 48,000 scheduled flights.

But with reporting only a few dozen cancellations of flights within, into or out of the U.S. as of Saturday morning, air travel is starting the weekend without major disruptions. 

Flood risk in Texas, rain in South

Texas is expected to face snow and heavy rain over the weekend as a massive storm that traveled east across Texas on Thanksgiving is expected to dump another round of rain on the Lone Star state, potentially disrupting post-Thanksgiving travel.

A broad swath of the South, from central Texas to southern Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle, may see two to four inches of rain through Saturday with a potential of up to 12 inches of rainfall in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana, according to AccuWeather

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Meanwhile, parts of Texas are experiencing heavy snowfall. Forecasters have warned of up to a foot of snow falling near the Texas and New Mexico border around the holiday weekend, according to AccuWeather.

Parts of Georgia and the Carolinas may also see heavy rains late Saturday to early Sunday, AccuWeather forecast.

Southeastern Texas to southwestern Louisiana already saw one to four inches of rain from Thanksgiving Day to early Friday, according to AccuWeather. Parts of Houston got more than four inches of rain Thanksgiving, KBTX reported.

Areas that already received three to four inches of rain on Thursday and Friday will be “particularly sensitive” to more wet weather, the National Weather Service said.

“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas.” the weather service said.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms will shift Saturday night to Mississippi, the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and western Georgia, according to AccuWeather.

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Snow, wind hits Pacific Northwest

Snow and wind may also lead to hazardous travel conditions in parts of the Pacific Northwest as parts of Washington state and Oregon face winter storm warnings and watches.

Heavy snow of at least six inches is expected to fall in the Cascades on Sunday with a winter storm warning in effect from Saturday night to Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service in Portland warned of snow-covered roads in the area Sunday and Monday.

“The mountain passes will be hit particularly hard by this storm,” the weather service said. “If you must travel, have a winter preparedness kit and be sure to check the latest road conditions before venturing out!”

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