Thanksgiving 2015 travel forecast: Snow, rain in the West and mostly calm in the East

Thanksgiving Travel Forecast 2015

By Staff

For the millions of travelers hitting the roads and airports for the Thanksgiving holiday week, weather conditions across the country will be divided between mostly calm in the East and active in the West.

With Winter Storm Bella now gone, quieter weather conditions will rule much of the East through Wednesday thanks to high pressure. Meanwhile, a southward dip in the jet stream will keep most of the rain and snow in the West before sliding into the nation\'s midsection by Thanksgiving Day.

(MORE: 10 Ways to Outsmart Thanksgiving Traffic)

Here\'s the forecast for each day.

Monday, Nov. 23

Possible travel trouble spots: Overall, the vast majority of the country will have good travel conditions. Scattered showers and mountain snow may move into the Pacific Northwest as a new weather system approaches. A few snow showers are possible across parts of northern Lower Michigan and Downeast Maine, where a few slick roads are possible.

Major airports impacted: Seattle and Portland (rain showers, but no major delays expected)

Major highways impacted: Interstate 5 in Washington and Oregon (showers); Interstate 90 in Washington (light snow Monday night on Snoqualmie Pass); Interstate 95 in Maine (some wet snow)

Tuesday, Nov. 24

Possible travel trouble spots: A new storm system will continue to push into the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, bringing rain and snow to parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, northern California and northern Nevada. This is a cold weather system, so snow is possible in lower elevations including parts of the Interstate 5 corridor. Elsewhere, a few lake-effect snow showers may develop near Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Major airports impacted: Portland and Seattle (rain); San Francisco (wind, low clouds)

Major highways impacted: Interstate 5 from northern California to Washington (rain, with snow in the mountains south of Roseburg, Oregon, and north of Redding, California); Interstate 15 in Montana (snow); Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, California (snow, expanding to lower elevations Tuesday night); Interstate 80 in northeast Nevada (snow developing Tuesday night); Interstate 84 in Oregon, Idaho (rain in the Columbia Gorge and Treasure Valley; snow in the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon); Interstate 90 in Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana (snow or rain/snow mix).

Wednesday, Nov. 25

Possible travel trouble spots: A cold southward dip in the jet stream continues to dive through the West. As a result, snow will fall in several states in the region – from California\'s Sierra Nevada and parts of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Some of this snow may reach North Dakota, South Dakota, western Nebraska and northern Minnesota late in the day. Strong winds in the northern Rockies and adjacent High Plains may produce areas of blowing and drifting snow. Ahead of that storm system, increasing moisture will result in scattered showers, drizzle and low clouds from Texas to parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, eastern Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Major airports impacted: Salt Lake City (rain and snow possible); Dallas-Fort Worth (low clouds, dense fog possible); Minneapolis-St. Paul, Kansas City (uncertain, but low clouds, fog, drizzle possible)

Major highways impacted: Interstate 15 from Utah to Montana (snow); Interstate 25 in Montana and Wyoming (snow possible); Interstate 70 in parts of Utah during the day, expanding into Colorado at night (snow possible); Interstate 80 in parts of Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California\'s Sierra Nevada (snow possible); Interstate 90 in Wyoming and Montana during the day, expanding into western South Dakota at night (snow possible); Interstate 94 in eastern Montana and western North Dakota (snow possible during the day); Interstate 35 from Texas to Minnesota (patchy dense fog, a few showers).

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26

Possible travel trouble spots: The western storm system begins to push into the nation\'s midsection where a swath of rain will expand from the Upper Midwest southwestward to the southern Plains; thunderstorms may occur in Oklahoma and Texas. Snow is expected in the cold air behind the storm from central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin to South Dakota, western/central Nebraska, northwest Kansas, Wyoming and Colorado. Quiet weather conditions persist in much of the East.

Major airports impacted: Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, St. Louis (low clouds, rain showers); Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul (some snow possible)

Major highways impacted: Interstate 35 from Texas to Minnesota (rain, possibly heavy, changing to snow in Minnesota); Interstate 94 in Illinois, Wisconsin and east Minnesota (rain, changing to snow in Minnesota); Interstate 80 in Illinois, Iowa and eastern Nebraska (rain, possibly heavy); Interstate 80 central Nebraska into Wyoming (snow/wind); Interstate 70 in Missouri and Kansas (rain, changing to snow in northwest Kansas); Interstate 40 in Arkansas and Oklahoma (rain showers); Interstate 20 and 10 in Texas (rain showers); Interstate 25 in Colorado, Wyoming (snow/wind).

"Black Friday," Nov. 27

Possible travel trouble spots: Rain with some embedded thunderstorms will soak parts of the southern Plains, lower to mid-Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. Some light snow is possible from western Wisconsin to Michigan\'s Upper Peninsula. Quiet weather continues to persist along much of the East Coast, although showers will begin to develop in New England Friday night.

Major airports impacted: Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Nashville, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Columbus (Ohio), St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit (low clouds, rain showers); Kansas City (light wintry mix possible); Denver (chance of light snow)

Major highways impacted: Interstate 10 in Texas and New Mexico (rain); Interstate 20 in Texas and Louisiana (rain); Interstate 24 from southern Illinois to Nashville (rain); Interstate 25 from Denver to Albuquerque (snow); all of Interstate 30 (rain); Interstate 35 in Oklahoma and Texas (rain) and Missouri and Kansas (light wintry mix); Interstate 40 in eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle (wintry mix) and from Oklahoma to Middle Tennessee (rain); all of Interstate 44 (rain); all of Interstate 45 (rain); all of Interstate 49 (rain); Interstate 55 from Illinois to northern Mississippi (rain); all of Interstate 57 (rain); Interstate 64 from St. Louis to eastern Kentucky (rain); Interstate 65 from Indiana to Tennessee (rain); Interstate 70 from Ohio to Missouri (rain); all of Interstate 71 (rain); Interstate 74 from Illinois to Ohio (rain); Interstate 75 from Kentucky to Michigan (rain); Interstate 80 from Illinois to western Pennsylvania (rain); Interstate 90 from Illinois to western New York (rain); Interstate 94 from southeast Wisconsin to Michigan (rain); Interstate 96 in Michigan (rain).

Saturday, Nov. 28

Possible travel trouble spots: Cold front moves through the East with showers, perhaps mixed with or changing to snow across the far interior of the Northeast and northern New England. Showers expected in much of the South. Some freezing rain, sleet or snow is possible in the southern Plains, including west Texas, eastern New Mexico and western Oklahoma as arctic air interacts with moisture in an easterly upslope flow behind a cold front.

Major aiports impacted: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Dallas, Houston (showers possible with timing dependent on cold front speed, location); Oklahoma City (wintry mix possible)

Major highways impacted: Interstate 20 from Alabama to Texas (rain showers in most areas, possible icy conditions in west Texas); Interstate 40 from Tennesee to New Mexico (rain showers in most areas, possible icy conditions from central Oklahoma to the Texas panhandle and eastern New Mexico); Interstate 95 from Maine to Virginia (rain showers possible).

Sunday, Nov. 29

Possible travel trouble spots: Rain showers expected in portions of the South with some icy conditions still possible in western parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Mainly light snow forecast in the central Plains and Rockies. Good travel conditions appear likely in the Northeast, Great Lakes, Upper Midwest and along the West Coast.

Major airports impacted: Atlanta, Little Rock, Dallas, Houston (rain showers possible); Kansas City, Denver (light snow possible)

Major highways impacted: Interstate 20 from Georgia to Texas (rain showers in most areas, some icy conditions linger in west Texas); Interstate 10 from Louisiana to Texas (rain showers possible); Interstate 70 in Kansas and Colorado (rain and snow possible); Interstate 40 from Arkansas to Oklahoma (rain showers, changing to wintry mix in central Oklahoma).

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