Tricky Thanksgiving travel spots: “Weather always plays a factor”

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE -- Weather always plays a factor in holiday travel. Where will this year's travel trouble lie?

AAA projects that 48.7 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles for Thanksgiving this week. That's a 1.9% increase from last year, and the most since 2007. Nearly 90% of travelers, 43.5 million, will be driving to their destinations. Whether you're hitting the roadway or the busy skies, here's a look at this year's travel weather, starting with Wednesday.

Airport Delays

A storm system stretching from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast will bring mainly rain, but a bit of snow is possible in the Upper Midwest to the western Great Lakes. Light to moderate delays are possible due to rain in Chicago, Memphis, and perhaps Houston. Light snow on the northern side of the storm could lead to delays in Minneapolis early in the day, with a rain/snow mix causing problems in Detroit by the afternoon and evening. A storm system exiting the northeast will have some lingering strong winds capable of producing delays in Boston and New York.


Rain will be pushing through the Midwest and into the Ohio Valley throughout the day. Look for wet roadways from Chicago to Indianapolis, as well as into Detroit by the afternoon and evening. Snow should remain fairly light, but will affect the roadways from Minnesota to Wisconsin and northern Michigan.


Much of day will feature good travel conditions across the Northeast. Light rain and snow will move into western Pennsylvania and New York during the evening.


The tail end of the storm system sweeping through the Midwest will bring some rain from Arkansas and Louisiana into Tennessee and Mississippi As the rain moves into Alabama and eastern Tennessee the rain will be dissipating


A storm system moving into the West Coast will keep things unsettled. The heaviest precipitation will be close to the coast in Washington and Oregon. Light snow is expected on Wednesday for portions of the interior Northwest from eastern Washington and Oregon into Idaho and Montana.

Thanksgiving Day

For those traveling on Thanksgiving Day, weather for much of the country will be fairly quiet. The weakening storm system moving into the Northeast will provide some light rain and snow for the Eastern Seaboard, especially for interior portions of New England. The Pacific Northwest will remain active with heavy rain along the Washington and Oregon coast, with snow for higher elevations into the Cascade Mountains.