Rain and thunderstorms will make for difficult post-Thanksgiving travel

By Allison Chinchar, CNN MeteorologistUpdated: Fri, 25 Nov 2022 14:59:44 GMTSource: CNNWhether you are out shopping Black Friday deals, exercising off your Thanksgiving feast, or traveling back home,

By Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist

Updated: Fri, 25 Nov 2022 14:59:44 GMT

Source: CNN

Whether you are out shopping Black Friday deals, exercising off your Thanksgiving feast, or traveling back home, rain and thunderstorms may cause some delays and headaches.

A frontal system Friday morning is bringing widespread rain showers from the Northeast down to the Gulf Coast. This is just the first storm system that could bring travel delays to the eastern US this weekend, following the Thanksgiving holiday.

So if you have outdoor or travel plans over the weekend, you might need to pack your poncho and your patience.

From Texas to Maine, heavy rain (and even some snow) could cause delays on both the highways and the runways.

Track the storms as they develop >>>

Travel trouble for the Northeast and Midwest

If you are traveling to or from the Northeast and have flexible travel plans, Saturday and Monday will be the best days to make a move, weather-wise.

"A cold front will arrive [Friday] bringing rain and wind," the National Weather Service office in New York said in a tweet. "Keep that in mind if you have outdoor plans or will be Black Friday shopping. High pressure will give us a break on Saturday before another cold front on Sunday."

Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and many other cities will face the same predicament this weekend as two separate systems push into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

For Midwestern cities like Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay, Wisconsin, Sunday is going to be a messy day with rain and wind.

Cleveland is forecast to have a 100% chance of rain Sunday, with wind gusts from 30 to 35 mph. Cincinnati is expected to have similar rain chances with winds as high as 40 mph.

Prolonged gusty winds could make for bumpy flights and also difficult travel for larger vehicles and RVs on the roadways.

Two seasons for Texas

For those along the Gulf Coast of Texas, very heavy rain is possible on Friday, which could lead to flooding, including the Houston metroplex. This has prompted the Weather Prediction Center to issue a Level 3 out of 4 moderate risk for excessive rainfall.

"Area averages of 2 to 3 inches appear likely with isolated amounts of 3 to 4 inches possible within the moderate risk area," the prediction center said.

Keep in mind that this area has already seen 1 to 3 inches in the last 24 hours, so the soil is very saturated in some locations making it more prone to flooding.

"As a result, this additional rainfall falling on more susceptible locations (including highly urbanized centers) leads to an increased flash flood risk with some potential for localized/isolated instances of significant flash flooding within the moderate risk if the training/repeating rounds set up" the prediction center added.

On the other side of Texas, snow and wind will be the main travel concern Friday and Saturday.

Cold temperatures -- 10 to 30 degrees below normal -- combined with abundant moisture are leading to snow showers across portions of New Mexico and western Texas on Friday.

"Initially this will take the form of plain cold rain across the majority of the region with a rain/snow mix expected from the onset across the southwestern South Plains further north along the TX/NM state line," the weather service office in Lubbock, Texas said Friday morning.

By Friday night, temperatures are expected to cool enough to change over into snow across much of west Texas and eastern New Mexico. The possibility of totals reaching 4 to 8 inches exist west of I-27 and through the eastern portion of New Mexico. However, isolated amounts up to 12 inches are possible.

Blowing snow could also reduce visibility on the roadways so please use caution through Saturday morning when traveling.

Multiple storms for the Southeast

There are multiple weather systems impacting the Southeast over the next three days so you may have to be selective when it comes to spending time outside.

If you live in Atlanta or Charlotte, North Carolina. Saturday will be your driest day as rain showers and even a few rumbles of thunder are expected both Friday and then again on Sunday from a separate storm system.

Little Rock and Memphis will have their dry days be on the bookends, with Saturday filled with downpours and a few thunderstorms.

"Some of these showers and storms could be efficient heavy rainfall-producers," the weather service office in Memphis said, noting that while total accumulation amounts are expected to be around an inch for most of the Mid-South, "locally higher amounts will be possible under particularly efficient storms."

While the greatest threat for flooding exists on Friday across the Gulf Coast of Texas, there is a Level 1 out of 4 marginal risk of flooding on Saturday from Houston to Pensacola.

Across the Southeast, most areas will receive up to 1 inch of rain through Sunday night, but a few isolated spots could see up to 2 inches, especially those embedded in thunderstorms.

Rain and snow return for Pacific Northwest

And on the West Coast, a frontal system will push through the Pacific Northwest Friday, bringing rain and higher elevation snow to the region on Friday and the Intermountain West on Saturday.

A winter storm watch and winter weather advisories are in place across these western mountain ranges ahead of the expected snow.

For the coastal and valley communities, rain will be the main concern, with 1 to 2 inches total accumulation expected through the next 72 hours.

"Although light snow is expected [Friday] across the Cascades, a winter storm watch has been issued for Saturday evening to Monday morning for the Central Cascades as a stronger system brings heavier snowfall/high snow amounts," the weather service office in Seattle tweeted. "Travel is likely to be difficult over the Passes."

By Sunday, another frontal system is forecast to bring even heavier rain and mountain snow to the Pacific Northwest on Sunday and the Intermountain West on Monday.

One to two feet of snow is possible in some locations through the weekend. This snow combined with gusty winds of up to 40 mph could lead to hazardous travel conditions.