Post-Christmas travelers could run into rain, snow for the drive home late this week
A couple of storm systems tracking across the country can cause travel disruptions following Christmas. According to AAA, Thursday is expected be the busiest day for holiday travel, country wide.
Luckily for most travelers, the weather is expected to cooperate instead of hinder travel plans.
"Long stretches of Interstate 95 in the East, I-10 in the South, I-55 in the Mississippi Valley and I-80 in the East and much of the Central states will be free of rain and snow," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
Dry weather is in store for the major airport hubs of Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Houston, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Orlando, Florida, on Thursday.
Those traveling in the Great Lakes region may not be so lucky. A storm system moving through the Upper Midwest and into southeastern Canada can bring a quick accumulation of snow, mainly in northern Minnesota, that can lead to slippery travel conditions.
Another area that is likely to see travel delays in the southwestern United States as a storm system moves over the region into Thursday.
The heaviest rain is expected to arrive along the Southern California coast Wednesday night, then expand inland into western Arizona throughout the day on Thursday.
These storms can continue to bring travel disruptions through the end of the week.
The storm moving through southeastern Canada is forecast to bring a cold front into the Northeast. While spotty rain showers are expected to spread from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, colder air to the north will bring a mix of rain and snow to much of New England.
Across far northern Maine, precipitation arriving through the afternoon hours is expected to fall as plain snow.
At the same time, the storm system advancing through Southwest will spread rain and higher elevation snow into the Four Corners region.
Snow showers could reach into the Denver and Salt Lake City metro areas. Motorists should be prepared for the patches of snow along I-15, I-25, I-70 and I-80 in the region.
Traveling on mountain passes above 6,000 feet in the southern Rocky Mountains can become tricky as periods of snow are expected throughout the day.
Rain will stream out ahead of the system into the central Plains, but should remain light enough to cause only minor disruptions.
"Motorists should still use some caution in the mild weather pattern. Long nights and just a bit of moist air can lead to fog this time of the year," added Sosnowski.
"A thin layer of black ice can form on roads and sidewalks under the right conditions. This was most likely the case in southeastern Virginia during Sunday morning, where a multiple-vehicle pile-up occurred in foggy conditions."
Travel through the center of the country will become more challenging this weekend as the storm that will push through the Southwest in the coming days will develop into a far-reaching storm over the Plains.
Download the free AccuWeather app to check the forecast in your area. Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.