Thanksgiving is just over a week away, but holiday travel will start as early as Friday for some.
A significant storm has the potential to disrupt travel plans from the Midwest to the Northeast during one of the busiest times of the year to travel. We are talking about disruptions at major airline hubs like Chicago and New York at the beginning of next week.
“The upper trough and a possible embedded low may support potentially significant low pressure that would affect portions of the East, and requires monitoring given the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel week,” the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) said Tuesday morning.
The storm system could begin to develop Sunday in the Midwest, strengthening daily. By the time it gets near the East Coast on Tuesday, a secondary system could develop along the coast, exacerbating the disrupting weather conditions in places like New York.
“It is too early to resolve detailed effects from low pressure that may be near the East Coast by next Tuesday, but significant rain/snow and strong winds could be possible,” the WPC says.
“Even though we are still almost a week out and forecasts can change, this looks like a planes, trains and automobiles storm,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers says.
Here is a look at where some of the worst travel disruptions could happen, based on computer forecast models.
These CNN weather forecast products take into account rain, wind, snow, ice and fog and the impacts they could have on travel.
Bookmark our storm tracker page for an auto-updating version of these maps and track the storm yourself.
The only good news: Computer forecast models aren’t always right. Especially a week in advance.
There is a lot of uncertainty in the forecast Sunday night and thereafter, the National Weather Service in New York said Tuesday morning, so there is low confidence in the forecast.
By Tuesday afternoon, the forecast models will have been rerun. The output Tuesday evening, Wednesday or Thursday could be different than it was earlier this morning.
It is in the consistency and the trends from one model run to the next that meteorologists will be watching closely. This is what will build their confidence in next week’s potential storm.
“Even as the storm moves away by Wednesday, airlines could still be dealing with significant prior cancellations with planes and crew members in the wrong place,” Myers says. “This storm has really bad timing.”