A major Thanksgiving Day storm threatens to ruin holiday events across the Central states with flooding rain, snow, a glaze of ice and fog.
The storm will continue to push through a large portion of the West into Wednesday.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Bowers, "People traveling either a short or long distance from the eastern slopes of the Rockies to the Plains, Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes region are likely to encounter delays from Wednesday into Friday."
JUMP TO: Rain to Soak Highways, Raise Flooding Concerns | Snow to Coat Roads, Cause Slippery Travel | Dry, Chilly Air to Grip West
The most widespread impact on travel will be associated with drenching rain during Thanksgiving Day into Friday.
The rain will extend from central and coastal Texas to Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin and will slice slowly to the southeast.
Low cloud ceilings, combined with the heavy volume of flights, will contribute to airline delays from Dallas to St. Louis, Chicago and Detroit.
Enough rain can fall in some locations to cause urban and flash flooding.
"Motorists will need to slow down due to patchy fog and blowing spray and to reduce the risk of hydroplaning," Bowers said.
Fog can be locally dense in parts of the Midwest, where snow recently fell.
Motorists should anticipate slow travel due to the rain and volume, including along interstates 20, 35, 40, 70, 80 and 90. Motorists are reminded that extra stopping distance between vehicles is needed when roads are wet.
While the storm will not bring a major snowfall to the Central states, it will produce enough snow in parts of the Plains to cause slippery travel from late Wednesday into Thanksgiving Day.
A coating to a few inches will fall from the central and eastern parts of Colorado and Wyoming to portions of Nebraska and western Kansas.
The combination of snow and plunging temperatures will cause roads to transition from wet to slushy to snow-covered quickly along portions of I-25, I-70 and I-80.
Farther north, in parts of the Dakotas to northern Minnesota, relatively little snow will fall. However, there could be some icy spots where roads did not dry off quickly enough before temperatures fell below freezing.
This storm will bring the first widespread swath of ice this season.
The most likely time for freezing rain and drizzle to occur is during Thanksgiving night.
While freezing rain will not target a large part of the population and is unlikely to bring down trees and power lines, it can make for dangerous travel in parts of the central and southern Plains.
Cities that could experience one or more periods of freezing rain and drizzle include Amarillo, Texas; Gage, Oklahoma; Dodge City, Kansas; Lamar, Colorado; and Omaha, Nebraska.
"Motorists should be especially careful on bridges and overpasses, where a quick freezeup is more likely to occur," Bowers said.