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By Eduardo Medina
As families across the United States prepare to gather for Thanksgiving, some for the first time since 2019, there are only a few clouds on the horizon.
Storms could cause minor delays for people traveling to and from some Southern Plains states and northern New England this Thanksgiving week but nothing that is expected to be widespread or long-lasting, meteorologists said.
“From a big picture perspective, for the most part, most people should not have too much of an issue,” said Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Northern New England and the Great Lakes region could get some snow but not enough to affect major airports, the weather service said.
Parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas could have showers and thunderstorms that might cause some travel delays but “that may actually be the only thing to really keep an eye on because, otherwise, it’s relatively quiet weather,” Mr. Chenard said.
Bianca Garcia, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Dallas and Fort Worth, said possible thunderstorms on Wednesday morning could cause some travel issues in Central Texas.
And major airports across the country are expecting air travel to approach prepandemic levels.
The Transportation Security Administration said this week that it expected to handle about 20 million air passengers during the Thanksgiving travel season, which started on Friday and continues through Nov. 28. Last year, 9.5 million people were screened. In 2019, before the pandemic hit, 26 million people were, according to the agency.
The regions near Chicago and Atlanta, which are home to major travel hubs in the United States, are expected to be cold but storm-free the week of Thanksgiving, meteorologists said.
“We’re not expecting any accumulating snow or accumulating ice at this point in time, which is good for air travelers,” said Brett Borchardt, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Chicago. For those driving to the Midwest, there will be wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour.
Mr. Chenard said about two inches of rain could fall in parts of the Pacific Northwest on Thanksgiving, which is “nothing too extreme” for the region. No strong storms are expected in New York City.
In parts of the Southeast, there may be moderate showers on Thanksgiving but no storms that will pose “any widespread or severe threat,” said Nick Morgan, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Atlanta.
For those who are traveling to places near Atlanta, the early part of this week will be “pretty great travel days,” with high temperatures and clear skies through Thanksgiving Day, Mr. Morgan said.
“Overall, it’s pretty smooth sailing,” he said.
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