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Election Day 2016: Weather to favor high turnout in many battleground states

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The battleground states in Tuesday's highly contested presidential election will escape the downpours threatening to deter voter turnout in the lower Mississippi Valley and the Pacific Northwest.

"No major weather systems are expected to impact the key battleground states on Election Day," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson said.

Frequent and locally drenching thunderstorms in the vicinity of Louisiana and eastern Arkansas could deter some from heading to the polls on Tuesday. Soaking rain will also move into the Pacific Northwest and the Alaskan Panhandle, home to Juneau.

However, such adverse weather will not affect the battleground states.

According to, the battleground states are Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada as of Nov. 5, 2016.

Spotty showers will dampen portions of four of those states-Michigan, Ohio, Florida and New Mexico. However, rain is not the only weather-related factor when it comes to voter turnout.

It is usually the air temperature that influences people's decision of whether to head to the polls or not, rather than precipitation, according to AccuWeather Business Intelligence Manager Rosemary Radich.

Jump to: Maine, New Hampshire | Pennsylvania | Michigan and Ohio | Iowa | North Carolina | Georgia, Florida | New Mexico | Colorado, Arizona and Nevada |

Maine and New Hampshire

Early morning voters will need to bundle up before heading to the polls in New Hampshire and Maine with temperatures at or below freezing to start the day. Temperatures will then rebound above this weekend's chill to highs mostly in the 50s, which is slightly above normal.

Anyone waiting in poll lines will enjoy sunshine and a lack of a brisk wind.


Tuesday will start with early morning lows ranging from the 30s in eastern and central Pennsylvania to the lower and middle 40s west of the Appalachian Mountains.

Jackets worn by voters early in the day will likely be shed later as milder air will boost temperatures statewide to the 60s for the afternoon. Highs will be 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

Sunshine will mix with clouds during the day with the only threat of rain towards the end of voting hours in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Michigan and Ohio

"The best opportunities for rain in the battleground states will be across Michigan and Ohio, where a few showers will be around," Thompson said.

"Even so, no significant rainfall is expected and much of the day will turn out rain-free."

In Michigan, any showers will be confined to the morning in Traverse City and will hold off until the afternoon in Detroit.

Morning voters in Ohio can leave umbrellas at home as the showers will wait until the afternoon to arrive. Columbus and Cleveland will remain dry until the late-afternoon and early evening hours.

Otherwise, highs on Tuesday will range from the lower 50s in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the upper 60s along the Ohio River.


Showers will clear most of Iowa by the time voting commences on Tuesday. Clouds and some sun will instead dominate Election Day.

While it will not be as warm as the days leading up to the election, Tuesday will still be mild by early November standards. Highs will range from the middle 50s in the north to near 60 F in the south.

However, a slight breeze will create enough of a chill that anyone who has to wait in line to get into polling places in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines or elsewhere in the state will want to wear a sweatshirt or fall jacket.

In this Nov. 4, 2016, photo, voters wait in line to cast ballots at an early polling site in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

North Carolina

"Sunshine will greet voters in North Carolina," Thompson said.

Tuesday will start chilly for early morning voters in North Carolina with morning lows mostly in the 30s and lower 40s. Raleigh could endure its coldest morning since last spring on Tuesday morning.

Underneath the bright sunshine, seasonable afternoon temperatures in the middle and upper 60s will then follow throughout the state.

Georgia and Florida

"In some Southern states, such as Florida and Georgia, sunny and warm conditions will tend to bring more younger voters out to the polls," AccuWeather Business Intelligence Manger and Meteorologist Tim Loftus said.

The sky will be partly sunny across Georgia and Florida with nothing more than a light and brief shower dampening Florida's east coast.

While the morning will be colder than normal in northeastern Georgia, afternoon temperatures throughout these two states will be typical for early November. Highs will range from near 70 in Atlanta to the lower 80s in Tampa, Orlando and Miami.

New Mexico

A light shower or two from Texas will graze places near New Mexico's eastern border. Otherwise, dry weather will prevail for Election Day underneath a partly to mostly sunny sky.

Cooler air filtering in will hold temperatures to the 50s in the higher elevations to the 60s elsewhere.

A gusty breeze will blow across the southern half of the state. Any campaign supporters setting up tables to try and sway voters at the last minute will need the necessary supplies to prevent flyers and pamphlets from blowing in the wind.

Colorado, Arizona and Nevada

"In addition to the overall lack of rain in battleground states, afternoon high temperatures across nearly the entire nation will be near or above average for Nov. 8," Thompson said. Colorado, Arizona and Nevada will be no exception.

High temperatures will range from the 60s in Denver, Colorado, and Reno, Nevada, to near 80 F in Las Vegas, to around 90 F in Phoenix, Arizona.

Voters in the deserts of Arizona will want to consider heading to polls in the morning or bringing along a water bottle. There will be little, if any clouds offering protection from the blazing sun.

Sunshine will be in control of the rest of Arizona and Colorado with patchy clouds set to stream over Nevada.

"Weather was found to be, on average, nearly 20 percent of the change in voter turnout based on our analysis," according to AccuWeather Business Intelligence Manger and Meteorologist Tim Loftus.

Loftus utilized L2 as a resource when conducting research, which included analyzing weather trends and voter data to primary elections dating as far back as 1996. According to the research, weather does impact how some voters respond when making a decision to head to the polls.

"While the data is based on the primary elections, we would expect similar behavior during the national elections in November," Loftus said.

"Democrats are more weather-sensitive, when compared to Republicans and among the most weather-sensitive were African-Americans, those 65 and older and 18 to 24 year olds," Loftus said.