The FOX Forecast Center is tracking a storm system that could bring unfavorable travel weather by the second half of Thanksgiving week.
Ongoing problems remain in western New York, which is coming out from under six feet of snow in some areas due to a lake-effect blizzard.
Elsewhere, later in the week, freezing temperatures and inclement weather could lead to flight delays and cancellations, impacting nearly 5 million passengers expected to fly this holiday.
Here’s a look at how the weather might affect flights around Thanksgiving and when delays and cancellations could start to pile up.
Mild weather leading up to Thanksgiving for much of the US
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For plane travelers taking to the skies on Wednesday, the weather will mostly be cooperative, with mild temperatures in most parts of the US as a warming trend will spread towards Thanksgiving.
Airline cancellations were low on Wednesday, but flight delays began to pick up early in the day.
Pilots are battling some rain and fog in the Southeast, including Florida.
A ground stop was issued at Miami International Airport on Wednesday morning due to fog and mounting delays.
In the west, snow and wind gusts could cause travel delays in parts of the Northern Rockies, including Salt Lake City and Montana airports. Nevertheless, the flight effects due to the weather will be minor.
Wet and windy Thanksgiving for Central US
On Thanksgiving and after the holiday, the weather in the US will be more active
The FOX Forecast Center is tracking a weak system out of the Pacific Northwest that is expected to strengthen and arrive in the Midwest on Thanksgiving Day.
The system will move to and then from the Gulf Coast to the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, with the potential to cause flight delays over the weekend.
Jackson, Mississippi, along Interstate 20 all the way to Shreveport and on to Tyler, Texas, could see widespread heavy rainfall.
On the cold side of this system, snow is forecast as of Thursday in the Texas panhandle and eastern New Mexico. Forecast models indicate that 3 to 5 inches of snow could fall in Amarillo.
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Southeast travelers are likely to be delayed by the storm on Thanksgiving in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Memphis.
Soggy Black Friday and weekend in South, East
Most flight delays and cancellations will occur for those flying home the day after Thanksgiving or any other time this weekend.
Flight disruptions are expected Friday in Washington DC, Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston and Seattle.
The same system that brings rain to the southeast on Thanksgiving will move up the coast on Friday and Saturday, spreading rain from the Gulf Coast to the Tennessee Valley and Appalachian Mountains.
Rain will push the Interstate 95 corridor to the northeast later this weekend.
“Sunday in New York, we may see rain moving toward Boston, with showers extending toward Chicago,” said FOX weather meteorologist Britta Merwin. “So many major airports can be hit by rain showers on Sunday. Fortunately, it does not look like a snow storm, but unfortunately rain can cause problems.”
The weather ripple effect on flights
Remember that bad weather doesn’t necessarily have to be near the airport to cause delayed or canceled flights. The weather in the US can have a wave effect on airlines. Even airports hundreds of miles from the nearest snowfall or storm can be affected.
Some airports are notorious for delays and cancellations during holiday travel and winter months, including Newark Liberty, Denver, and O’Hare International Airports.