Thanksgiving travel trouble

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

turkey2If you travel for Thanksgiving, you'll have more company on the highways and in the skies -- AAA is forecasting an 11 percent increase in travelers compared with last year.

Meanwhile, AccuWeather is warning about weather that will be lousier than last year's cranberry sauce:


Thanksgiving Travel Could Be Very Bad across Many States 

State College, Pa. -- 18 November 2010 -- reports the worst travel conditions will remain across the Midwest, the northern Plains into the Rockies and Western states early next week. Very cold weather will move in, and snow will be widespread. Severe storms may develop across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys Wednesday. After Thanksgiving, lake-effect snow will cause many travel delays around the lakes. Overall, travel during the holiday looks very bad.

Interstate Travel Weather

Northeast and Great Lakes (ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI, NY, PA, NJ, MD, DE, VA, WV, KY, OH, IN, MI)

tornado2We have severe trouble spots for travel during the Monday to Wednesday time frame. First, the concern this morning is that severe storms could develop across parts of Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky Wednesday. If the storm moves into the Great Lakes as we are predicting, the Ohio Valley will be in an area where severe storms could develop with the potential for damaging winds and tornadoes.

The next area of concern will stretch from New York into Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Cold air could hold tight Wednesday into Thanksgiving resulting in a six-hour period of ice and snow before a change to rain occurs. If the precipitation falls as ice and snow, it would impact interstates 90, 87, 81, 91 and 93 during that time period.

Thanksgiving and beyond, the cold air will rush across the Great Lakes and Northeast and we could have the first significant outbreak of lake-effect snow from western New York into Michigan and Ohio. Folks traveling along I-90, I-80 and the PA Turnpike should be prepared for lake-effect snow Friday and Saturday.

And from PennDOT, this seasonal reminder:

PennDOT will again partner with police agencies across the state for "Operation Safe Holiday" from Thanksgiving through the New Year's holiday.wine2

Police will use sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and regular traffic safety patrols to watch for motorists exhibiting dangerous behaviors, including speeding, aggressive and impaired driving. Pennsylvania will also conduct Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement from Nov. 19 – Dec. 3.

According to PennDOT, Thanksgiving continues to be the leading holiday for traffic crashes. There were more than 4,500 crashes and 41 fatalities last year during that period, which includes the weekends before and after the holiday. More than 500 of those crashes were alcohol-related.

So if you're staying home, be extra thankful!


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