Published August 30, 2013
Those looking to celebrate summer's last hoorah this weekend may want to plan carefully, as numerous storms across the Midwest and East could hamper plans and slow traffic on heavily traveled routes to beaches and cities.
More than 34 million people will travel for Labor Day, marking the most significant numbers for the holiday since the recession-driven decline, according to AAA Travel.
Forty-six percent of travelers will depart on Friday, the company said, threatening clogged roadways and extensive delays to enter popular tourist destinations.
Severe storms will plague parts of the Midwest Friday afternoon, impacting Chicago and Milwaukee hardest, with blinding downpours, large hail and damaging winds.
For most of the East, however, the weather will cooperate at the start of the weekend, with the exception of some scattered showers and high heat.
Highs will soar well into the 80s from New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New Jersey and will peak close to 90 in parts of Ohio, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, according to AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Heat will ease in the evening, however, making the outdoors more enjoyable for seasonal events such as Coney Island's last Friday fireworks display of the season in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Though Friday's temperatures may sway some to head toward the coast for the weekend, conditions Saturday will be precarious, with the possibility of sudden showers and thunderstorms throughout the afternoon in areas like New Jersey, New York and the Carolinas.
But the coast won't be the only humid, damp location.
Numerous holiday-tailored events are scheduled to kick off Saturday, unofficially ending the summer season in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
Warm and humid conditions will deliver cloudy skies and a thunderstorm risk in the nation's capital, where visitors and locals will gather to celebrate the annual Blues Festival in Rock Creek Park.
The same potential will greet Philadelphia concert-goers in attendance of the Labor Day weekend outdoor 'Made In America' music festival.
The troubles won't stop Sunday and Monday as travelers wrap up the holiday weekend and head home.
Early-morning fog could hover over roadways that received rain the previous night, slowing speeds on major routes. The evening hours Sunday through Monday will usher in more storms, likely becoming the wettest period of the weekend for the I-95 corridor and the Appalachians.