Posts Tagged ‘Accuweather holiday travel forecast’

Accuweather: Christmas Eve, Day Winter Storm to Snarl Traffic in Midwestern and Northeastern US

December 21, 2017

Accuweather 122317

AccuWeather Global Headquarters – December 21, 2017 – As millions take to the roads or prepare to fly to their destinations for the Christmas holiday, winter storms will be on the prowl in the central and eastern United States through Christmas morning, AccuWeather forecasts.

A record 107.3 million people will take to planes, trains, aircraft and buses during the period from Saturday, Dec. 23, through Monday, Jan 1, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

While no intense storms are forecast, there will be areas of rain, ice and snow affecting heavily populated areas and popular travel routes.

The first storm will move on to target areas from the upper Gulf coast to the lower Great Lakes, central and southern Appalachians and the Interstate 95 corridor of the Northeast with rain from Friday to Saturday.

Snow, ice and treacherous travel from the first storm will spread from the central Great Lakes to part of the central Appalachians and New England into Saturday.

Another storm to blanket Rockies, Plains and Upper Midwest with snow into Christmas Eve

accuweather122417

The second storm of concern will bring accumulating snow to the central Rockies, including the Denver area on Saturday, before turning eastward Saturday night and Sunday.

It is this second storm that has the greatest potential to leave some snow on the ground for a white Christmas in parts of the central Plains, Ohio Valley states and central Appalachians.

Airline delays will be possible due to deicing operations while portions of I-25, I-35, I-69, I-70, I-74, I-75, I-77, I-80 and I-90 will be slippery.

Accumulating snow is forecast in Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa; St. Louis; Chicago; Indianapolis; Detroit; Cleveland and Toronto as it rolls out Saturday night and Christmas Eve. Snow may cover the ground in Evansville, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; and Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus, Ohio.

Snow showers may linger over the central and northern Rockies in the wake of the storm.

The same storm is also projected to spread snow into parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and western New York at night on Christmas Eve.

It is after dark on Christmas Eve, when the storm from the Midwest will attempt to join up with a budding storm along the Atlantic coast.

Third storm to bring snow to part of mid-Atlantic, New England Sunday night to Christmas Day

The track and strength of the storm, as well as the speed at which much colder air arrives, will determine the form of precipitation from parts of eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey to southeastern New England from Sunday night to early Christmas Day.

At this time, all or mostly rain is forecast from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

However, snow and sleet are likely to mix in toward the end of the storm from near Allentown and Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Trenton, New Jersey; New York City; Hartford, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; and Boston late Sunday night to Christmas morning.

If the two storms merge together and strengthen at a fast pace, then accumulating snow may fall as far to the southwest as Washington, D.C.

The storms are likely to come together fast enough to bring a heavy snowfall for much of central and northwestern New England and northeastern New York state on Christmas Day. It is in these areas where travel to church services, friends and family may be difficult.

Elsewhere, dry weather and a wildfire risk will continue in California, while a couple of storms may bring rounds of mixed precipitation to the coastal Northwest into Christmas Day.

Much colder air entering the middle of the nation during the weekend prior to Christmas will be just the start of a frigid weather pattern for many. Aside from storms, a broadening blast of cold air will be a major factor in the weather during the week of Christmas.

The frigid air will unleash bands of lake-effect snow and may pave the way for snow and ice as additional storms are likely to come about.

By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

Advertisements

Accuweather: Blinding Lake-effect Snow, Bitterly Cold Winds to cause Thanksgiving Travel Delays

November 15, 2017

accuweather 111517

By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

AccuWeather Global Headquarters – Nov. 15, 2017 – AccuWeather reports  that following the mild, wet weather ending this week, progressively colder air will unleash rounds of lake-effect snow from the Upper Midwest to the interior Northeast for travel during the week of Thanksgiving.

Travel delays related to wind and/or snow are likely in parts of the midwestern and eastern United States.

“We expect two major pushes of cold air into the eastern half of the U.S. during the week of Thanksgiving,” according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Evan Duffey.

The weather pattern is giving mixed signals as to whether or not a storm will bring rain and snow to the East during the transition to the cold weather.

However, there will be a consequence as reinforcing waves of cold air pass over the Great Lakes.

As cold air passes over the relatively warm waters, streets of towering clouds form and deposit heavy snow along the downwind shoreline and dozens of miles inland.

accuweather 111517-2

Where the bands of heavy snow persist, up to a foot of snow can fall. As many as two rounds of lake-effect snow are anticipated from Sunday through the Thanksgiving weekend.

The details of which communities will be hit the hardest on particular days has yet to be determined. A small variance in the wind direction can vary the bands of heavy snow by a dozen miles or more.

For example, a west-southwest wind off Lake Ontario would blast Watertown, New York, with intense snow, but a due west wind would potentially bury communities such as Barnes Corners and Sandy Creek, New York, several miles to the south.

“Motorists with plans on utilizing Interstate 90 from northern Indiana to western New York, I-81 in northern New York state and other highways immediately downwind of all of the Great Lakes should be prepared for travel delays and rapid changes in roadway visibility next week,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis.

One round of lake-effect snow associated with the first cold blast will erupt later this weekend into early next week.

Another round of lake-effect snow may begin during the middle of next week. There is still uncertainty as to the extent or intensity of that round of lake-effect snow.

Travel conditions will range from blinding snow and the potential for temporary road closures to sunny over a span of a few miles.

Accuweather 111517-3

At times, the bands of lake-effect snow may extend 200 miles or more to the central Appalachians. Motorists traveling through the higher terrain in West Virginia, western Maryland and western and northern Pennsylvania should expect locally blinding snow squalls and a quick accumulation on roads. This includes stretches of I-79 and I-80.

At times, wind gusts may be strong enough to lead to difficulty for high-profile vehicles. Strong crosswinds at airports from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic coast can lead to airline delays in lieu of any snow or a major storm.

Gusty winds to add to the pain of the cold air

“Blasts of cold air like this are not uncommon during the middle and latter part of November,” Duffey said. “However, following the warmth during most weeks of this autumn season, heating demand will be high.”

Temperatures are projected to average 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit below normal during multiple days during the week of Thanksgiving from the Midwest to the Northeast, as well as much of the Southeast.

The anticipated weather pattern will translate to highs in the 20s over the northern tier to the 40s over the interior South on the coldest days. AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures can dip to 20 degrees lower than the actual temperature at times.

Battling the wind on the highway may reduce fuel efficiency.

Regardless of wind, motorists can expect to pay much more at the pump for their Thanksgiving road trip. Strong consumer demand and lowering national inventory have pushed gasoline prices to nearly 40 cents a gallon higher than last year at this time, according to the American Automobile Association.

One positive of the cold weather pattern will be plenty of opportunities for ski resorts to make snow in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

What about the storm potential?

In terms of large-scale storms that may increase commute time, one storm projected to affect much of the eastern U.S. this weekend will likely be warm enough for rain in most areas and even gusty thunderstorms in part of the Midwest.

However, it is the same storm that will set into motion the first blast of cold air for next week.

“A second storm during the middle of next week has the potential to bring a period of rain along the Atlantic coast and snow over the Appalachians spanning Wednesday to Thanksgiving Day,” according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams. “Another scenario is the second storm may be so overwhelmed by cold, dry air that it is forced out to sea.”

Regardless of the nature of the storms, gone are the warm and tranquil conditions that graced much of the Midwest and East during October.

Motorists and airline passengers should anticipate delays and be ready to adjust their travel plans during the week of Thanksgiving.