Fox News Weather Center

Thanksgiving Travel Outlook: Rain, Ice and Snow to Cause Hazards in Central US

Travel hazards, delays and disruptions associated with rain, ice and snow will continue over the Central states through the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend.

Rain, ice and snow will force motorists to slow down and will lead to airline delays over thousands of square miles from the Rockies to the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley.

Tough Travel to Shift to Central US

The weather will have little impact on travel along the Atlantic Seaboard, Appalachians and Pacific coast for much of the long weekend.

JUMP TO: Rain, Ice to Test Travelers in Central US | Snow to Slick Roads in North; Mainly Dry Weather Expected Across Rest of East | West to Experience Fewest Travel Delays This Weekend

Heavy snow will slow travel over portions of the interstates 15, 25, 80 and 84 over the interior West during Wednesday night into Thanksgiving Day.

During the rest of the holiday weekend, as snow diminishes over the Intermountain West, the most dangerous aspect of the storm for travelers will be associated with an icy mix over the central and southern Plains.

Before heading out to your favorite retailer this year, take a look at the AccuWeather MinuteCast® for a minute-by-minute forecast of precipitation type and intensity for your exact location.

Meanwhile, the most far-reaching effects will be associated with drenching rain from central Texas to the Midwest. From the lower part of the southern Plains to the middle Mississippi Valley, enough rain can fall to cause flash and urban flooding.

Rain, Ice to Test Travelers in Central US

Rain will expand northeastward from Texas to Michigan on Thanksgiving Day. Areas from Dallas to Kansas City, Missouri, and Chicago will be drenched.

During Friday, the rain will begin to shift eastward and southward across the Midwest, while continuing and expanding across Texas. Downpours will spread to Houston and San Antonio, Texas, to St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Detroit.

During Saturday and Sunday, rain will linger from central and southeastern Texas to much of Arkansas, southeastern Oklahoma, southeastern Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and southern portions of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Total rainfall in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri could approach half of a foot in some locations.

On the northwest flank of the rain area, an ice storm will develop and could become serious for some communities and make for very dangerous travel this weekend.

The period of freezing rain and perhaps some sleet will be rather short-lived and limited to Thanksgiving Day and into the night from north-central Kansas to central Iowa.

The longest duration of freezing rain, sleet or mix thereof will extend from northeastern New Mexico and northwestern Texas to northwestern Oklahoma to a large part of central Kansas. In this swath, a significant amount of ice can accumulate on roads and build up on elevated surfaces from Thanksgiving evening to Saturday. Travel along portions of I-27, I-35, I-40 and I-70 could be dangerous.

In some cases, roads may appear to be wet, but they may be covered with a clear, frozen glaze known as black ice.

Snow to Slick Roads in North; Mainly Dry Weather Expected Across Rest of East

The only snow and slippery travel in the Eastern states likely this weekend will occur over part of northern upstate New York and northern New England during Friday night into Saturday.

Elsewhere in the Northeast, rain will take up only a small part of the long weekend.

Rain will push into the central Appalachians and part of the I-81 corridor during Friday and Friday night.

During Saturday, a few hours of rain are possible in along I-95 from Boston to New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

During Sunday, intermittent rain will affect Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia.

Most areas from Florida to the Carolinas will be free of rain through Sunday. This includes Atlanta, New Orleans, Orlando, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina.

An exception will be spotty showers along the Georgia and Florida Atlantic coasts.

West to Experience Fewest Travel Delays This Weekend

Snow will linger in parts of Colorado and north-central New Mexico, including the Denver area into Friday.

On Saturday, the snow will become intermittent in these areas, but it can expand farther north into Wyoming and farther west into Utah for a time.

Cities from Seattle to San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and Phoenix should not experience direct weather-related travel delays from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday. Most days in these areas will feature sunshine.

However, throughout the nation, due to high volume and the weather over the Central states, sporadic indirect delays are possible. Some crews and aircraft may be displaced by the large storm.