Between showers and thunderstorms tracking from the central U.S. to the Northeast and a new storm targeting the Northwest, not all Easter travel and festivities will escape disruptions Friday into Sunday.
The entire holiday weekend spanning Friday to Sunday will not be a washout for any one location. However, just one day of poor weather could lead to travel delays or impacts to Easter egg hunts and church services.
Friday’s travel trouble areas
Ahead of a storm emerging from the Rockies, showers and thunderstorms may rumble across a large part of the central U.S. on Friday.
“Warm and humid air will shift northward across the Plains and bring heavy thunderstorms across the region,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio said. “There is some possibility these storms could be strong.”
Downpours could slow down travelers by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds. Airline passengers could face delays.
The most numerous downpours are likely to focus on the central Plains, possibly in the vicinity of Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; and Des Moines, Iowa. This would include stretches of Interstate 35 and I-80.
Showers and thunderstorms may stretch to St. Louis, Nashville and Charlotte, North Carolina.
To the north, some rain should lead to wet roads and minor flight delays in the Northeast. Travelers in New York City and Boston may face the wet conditions but likely not those in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia.
If the rain tracks far enough to the north, it is possible for snow to whiten the higher terrain of the northern Appalachians.
The central U.S. storm could also kick up dangerous crosswinds in Montana as rain and mountain snow lingers in the Northwest. Travelers in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, could face minor travel delays, while I-90’s Snoqualmie Pass may turn slippery for a time.
The Southwest, including Las Vegas and Phoenix, will enjoy good travel conditions. Morning low clouds and fog will make San Diego the exception.
Dampened Easter plans to shift from Midwest to Northeast over the weekend
A cold front is expected to continue to march eastward from the Midwest to the Northeast Saturday into Easter Sunday, accompanied by showers and thunderstorms.
The wet and stormy weather should focus on Green Bay, Wisconsin; Chicago and Kansas City, Missouri, on Saturday with cooler air to follow for Easter Sunday.
On the other hand, Saturday will be the better day for Easter egg hunts in the Northeast prior to the showers and thunderstorms arriving on Sunday.
Residents and their holiday guests in the Northeast, however, will want to grab a jacket before heading outdoors on Saturday morning.
“It will feel quite chilly to start the day on Saturday in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia,” Rossio said. Early morning lows will range from the 30s in most of New England to the 40s in the mid-Atlantic.
The timing of the front on Sunday will then determine at what time those in the Northeast will need their umbrellas, as well as what areas enjoy the milder air preceding the front.
Easter Sunday will be dominated by warm conditions in the South, where widepread highs in the 80s are expected. While the warmth could fuel a spotty thunderstorm, most of the region will be dry for holiday festivities on Sunday.
More numerous showers and thunderstorms will target the southern Plains both Saturday and Sunday with the thunderstorms likely extending up to the Denver area for Easter.
Dry weather will continue to hold across the Southwest this weekend, while drying in the Northwest on Saturday will be short-lived. A new storm will quickly return rain and mountain snow to the Northwest on Easter Sunday.
The storm may also whip up gusty winds across the interior Southwest, such as in Reno, Nevada, and Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday. The winds would at least blow around plastic Easter eggs or could more severe hazards for travelers if the storm is potent enough.