As Thanksgiving week kicks off, the FOX Forecast Center is tracking a storm system that could create unfavorable travel weather on Black Friday.
Lingering issues remain in western New York, which is digging out from under more than 6 feet of snow in some areas from a lake-effect snowstorm.
Elsewhere later in the week, freezing temperatures and inclement weather could cause flight delays and cancellations, impacting nearly 5 million expected to fly this holiday.
Here’s a look at how the weather might impact flights around Thanksgiving and when delays and cancellations could start to creep up.
Mild weather ahead of Thanksgiving for much of the US
Heavy rain was causing some delays across the Southeast on Monday, with more than 1,000 delayed flights, according to FlightAware.com.
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The eastern half of Florida was experiencing off-and-on showers Monday, creating delays at Orlando International Airport. Rain also triggered mild flight delays Monday in Houston, Austin and San Antonio.
For airline travelers taking to the sky on Tuesday and Wednesday, the weather will be primarily cooperative, with mild temperatures across most areas of the US and a warming trend will spread heading into Thanksgiving.
Wet and windy Thanksgiving for Central US
On Thanksgiving and after the holiday, the weather will be more active across the US
The FOX Forecast Center is tracking a weak system out of the Pacific Northwest expected to arrive in the Southwest on Thanksgiving Day.
The system will move into, then from the Gulf Coast into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with the potential to cause flight delays through the weekend. There is even some potential for severe weather.
FOX Weather meteorologist Steve Bender says once we get closer to Thursday, the short-range forecast models would help confirm how active this system could be.
“We’re just building that awareness. Whether you are traveling or your Thanksgiving traditions take you outside, you have to be prepared for some of that rain rising from the northern Gulf, colliding with that low-pressure system,” Bender said.
Jackson, Mississippi, along Interstate 20 all the way to Shreveport and into Tyler, Texas, could see widespread rain.
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Travelers in the Southeast are likely to see delays due to the storm on Thanksgiving in Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Soggy Black Friday and weekend
Most flight delays and cancellations will happen for those flying home the day after Thanksgiving or anytime this weekend.
The same system bringing rain to the Southeast on Thanksgiving will shift up the coast bringing rain to the Appalachian Mountains.
Rain will push up the Interstate 95 corridor into the Northeast this weekend.
The weather ripple effect on flights
Remember, bad weather does not necessarily have to be near the airport to cause delayed or canceled flights. Weather across the US can have a ripple effect on airlines. Even airports hundreds of miles away from the nearest snowfall or storm could be impacted.
Some airports are notorious for delays and cancellations during holiday travel and winter months, including Newark Liberty, Denver and O’Hare international airports.