Traveling for Thanksgiving? Here’s your forecast

SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) — We’re coming up on one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. How will the weather impact your plans?

This weekend

Central New York and the Northeast are getting colder this weekend from a cold front moving through. However, there won’t be much weather around to impact driving conditions.

Saturday is chilly, but mainly dry and sunny in CNY as rain departs New England. Temperatures range from the 50s in New York City to the 30s and 40s in Upstate New York.

A few rain and higher elevation snow showers are likely on Sunday, but they will be light in nature and have little impact on the roads.

Meanwhile, a large area of high pressure keeps much of the Midwest and the Southeast dry and sunny.

A storm developing on the West Coast will keep northern California up into Washington rainy this weekend.


The East Coast and Great Lakes areas can enjoy a dry Monday. Temperatures are still feeling quite chilly for the Northeast with highs in the 30s.

The storm that was off the West Coast over the weekend is expected to move across the Rocky Mountains and spread rain into the Mississippi River Valley.


Rain is expected to continue to move east of the Mississippi River towards the East Coast and towards CNY as the day goes on. Temperatures gradually rise too out ahead of this storm.

Parts of the Poconos and Catskills could see a little wintry mix with the onset of this precipitation Tuesday night.

Much colder air is funneling in to the upper Midwest which could create snowy and windy conditions for places like Chicago, to northern Wisconsin and Minnesota.


Rain chances increase up and down the East Coat and CNY Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Rain could be heavy at times for New York City to Philadelphia whereas the higher elevations in eastern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire could have a wintry mix of wet snow and sleet.

Some higher elevation spots in CNY could also see a wintry mix of wet snow and sleet by Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Rain is expected to change over to snow over the Great Lakes including Detroit, Columbus, and Indianapolis as the colder air continues to move into the U.S.

Any traveling west of the Mississippi River will likely be much quieter.


Turkey day!

Wednesday’s storm is forecast to slowly pull away off the East Coast Thursday. This will however set up our lake effect-prone areas to possible significant lake effect snowfall because of the cold air blowing over our warmer lake waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

The area of low pressure is forecast to be north of Syracuse moving across Ontario and Quebec. This would put the wind direction in a west-southwesterly flow. The main areas to keep an eye out for lake effect snow to pile up would be the Tug Hill and just south of Buffalo.

Outside of any potential lake effect snow bands, Thanksgiving is mainly dry, chilly, and breezy for much of the northern tier of the country. Areas farther south also have a better chance at dry weather with little impact on traveling to grandma’s for the big feast.

Friday, Black Friday

As long as the cold air continues to blow over the Great Lakes, the lake effect snow is likely to continue, especially for the Watertown and Buffalo areas.

Once again areas outside of the lake effect bands will continue to have a breezy and cool day.

A new area of low pressure is developing on the West Coast that could provide the East Coast with more rain and snow showers at the end of the weekend.

Continue to check back as we get closer to Thanksgiving for updates from the Storm Team!

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