Thanksgiving travel weather - live: Storms threaten chaos on busiest travel week of the year

A storm will move over the central and eastern US just in time to disrupt Americans’ Thanksgiving travel plans.

Severe thunderstorms, heavy rain and snow are expected to move from the central US across the Midwest and ultimately into the northeast just in time for the holiday.

The storm system will hit the Midwest and Ohio and Tennessee Valleys by Tuesday before turning northeast for the mid and latter portion of the week.

Governor Kathy Hochul of New York warned travelers in the state to be cautious as there was a risk of “extreme winter weather” during peak travel days.

Severe storms and possible tornadoes are forecasted for the Gulf coast states — between eastern Texas and western Mississippi — early in the week.

Tuesday will bring severe thunderstorms, rain, snow and wind to much of the eastern half of the US. Those storms are expected to wane on Wednesday, making way for an undisturbed Thanksgiving Day in most parts of the US.

Key Points

  • Severe weather may disrupt Thanksgiving travel

  • Santa Ana winds expected to hit California this week

FAA predicts nearly 50,000 flights on Wednesday

Monday 20 November 2023 21:20 , Graig Graziosi

The FAA is predicting nearly 50,000 flights will take off Wednesday to deliver holiday travelers to their Thanksgiving destinations.

Wednesday will be the peak air travel day, with 49,606 flights scheduled. Tuesday will be the second highest, with 48,403 flights scheduled.

Tuesday may provde a difficult day for air travelers due to a winter storm system moving through the central US into the Midwest and northeast, bringing rain and thunderstorms throughout the region.

Sunday is predicted to be the most popular day for return travelers, with 44,991 flights scheduled.

FAA administrator has a message for holiday travelers: be nice to flight staff, or else

Monday 20 November 2023 21:00 , Graig Graziosi

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker took to X/Twitter to warn Thanksgiving travelers — who are likely to face possible delays, long lines, and congested airports — to be nice to the flight crews working over the holidays.

“If you’re flying, please be nice to your flight crew. They are there for your safety. The FAA has zero tolerance for unruly behavior,” he said in a post.

Air travelers on Tuesday are most likely to experience disruptions due to a winter storm system moving from the central US across the Midwest and into the northeast.

More than 49 million Americans will drive to Thanksgiving destinations this year

Monday 20 November 2023 20:41 , Graig Graziosi

More than 55 million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles to reach their Thanksgiving destinations between Wednesday and Sunday, and more than 49 million of those travelers will be driving, according to the AAA.

The Transportation Safety Administration expects a significant portion of those drivers will be on the roads Wednesday. Thankfully, much of the inclement weather predicted for the week will be over, but drivers in parts of northern New York and northern New England should be prepared for possibly slick roads due to sleet and freezing rain Tuesday evening.

Rain, not snow, most likely for Midwest, northeast

Monday 20 November 2023 20:08 , Graig Graziosi

The National Weather Service reports that most of the precipitation falling east of the Mississippi River over the next two days will be rain.

A major storm system will move across the Midwest and into the northeast on Tuesday, bringing with it thunderstorms and rainfall, which may disrupt flights and cause less than ideal road conditions for motorists traveling for Thanksgiving.

There are some exceptions; the Central Appalachians into portions of the interior northeast may experience sleet and freezing rain on Tuesday morning, and accumulating snows are possible across northern New York state and into northern New England on Tuesday night.

Slick roads possible in northeast on Wednesday morning

Monday 20 November 2023 19:30 , Graig Graziosi

Roads in parts of New York, Vermont and New Hampshire may be slick on Wednesday morning after overnights storms dump a mix of rain and possible snow on the region Tuesday evening.

Snow is expected to arrived in Maine on Wednesday as a storm system begins moving eastward across the US today.

The Midwest and northeast will feel the brunt of the inclement weather on Tuesday, with thunderstorms, snow, and rain likely.

WATCH: Disruptive storm to strike amid busiest Thanksgiving travel times

Monday 20 November 2023 19:09 , Graig Graziosi

2.6m people per day expected to travel through airports for Thanksgiving holiday week

Monday 20 November 2023 18:36 , Graig Graziosi

The FAA estimates that 2.6m people will travel through airports each day during the Thanksgiving holiday week.

The administration said that long lines, delays, and congested airports should be expected all week long.

Delays and possible cancellations are likely as thunderstorms, heavy rain, and snow are expected to move from the center of the US through the Midwest and into the northeast on Tuesday and early Wednesday.

Thanksgiving 2023 expected to be busiest holiday travel season ever, according to Transportation Security Administration

Monday 20 November 2023 18:20 , Graig Graziosi

The Transportation Security Administration said the 2023 Thanksgiving travel season will be the busiest in US history.

The agency reports the busiest flight days will be Tuesday and Wednesday.

The busiest day for drivers will be Wednesday, according to INRIX, a transportation analytics company.

Drivers are advised to leave home early in the morning or after 6pm to avoid running into the heaviest traffic, INRIX told ABC News.

Inclement weather on Tuesday across the Midwest and northeast may cause delays for air travelers. The storms are expected to die down on Wednesday.

Santa Ana winds expected to hit California this week

Monday 20 November 2023 17:40 , Graig Graziosi

While the central and eastern US grapples with thunderstorms, rain, and snow, some Californians will have to contend with powerful Santa Ana winds ahead of Thanksgiving.

Wind advisories are in place for much of San Diego County through 2pm PST on Tuesday. Forecasters warn of “moderate to strong” Santa Ana winds, particularly on Monday.

Santa Ana winds are typically in excess of 40mph (64kmh) but strong gusts can exceed 100mph (161kmh). The stronger gusts can push cars, topple big rigs, and exacerbate wild fires during the arid fall months in Southern California.

Thanksgiving week weather: Storms threaten to worsen holiday travel chaos

Monday 20 November 2023 17:10 , Graig Graziosi

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, with more than 55 million Americans set to travel by road and by sky over the holiday week.

Forecasters are now warning that the usual travel rush could be exacerbated by various weather events across the nation.

In the South, rain and thunderstorms were predicted from Sunday through Tuesday, according to AccuWeather.


Storms threaten to worsen Thanksgiving holiday travel chaos

Welcome to the live blog

Monday 20 November 2023 17:07 , Graig Graziosi

Welcome to The Independent’s liveblog.

Winter weather and severe storms threaten to disrupt millions of Americans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday this week.

Severe storms were forecasted for the Gulf coast south on Monday. Thunderstorms, heavy rain, and snow are expected to blow across the central US, through the Midwest, and into the northeast on Tuesday. Forecasters believe the severe weather will weaken on Wednesday, making way for an otherwise clear Thanksgiving Day in much of the US.