A storm with rain and heavy snow will cause major disruptions and delays for Thanksgiving travel on the East Coast and in the Appalachians.
Rain will initially spread northward along the Interstate-95 with snow and rain to start farther west in the I-81 corridor. However, a change to snow will take place from west to east from northern Virginia to New England.
The storm will bring mostly snow to the I-81 swath in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, I-84 in southeastern New York state, as well as much of interior New England, where a general 6-12 inches of snow are forecast.
In anticipation of delays or cancellations, several airlines, including US Airways, American and Delta, have announced they will waive change fees for passengers scheduled to fly into airports in the line of the storm.
Some places across the Hudson Valley and New England could even have snow totals exceeding a foot.
“The storm should rapidly strengthen off the coast of New England on Wednesday night, leading to strong and gusty winds, especially near the coast,” stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Ben Noll as he discussed the impacts in this storm scenario.
Problems due to blowing and drifting snow will be the greatest in northern and western New England.
Enough rain, low clouds and fog will occur to lead to airline and highway delays ahead of the snow.
Rain will change to snow in the I-95 cities from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston during the latter part of the storm. Farther north along I-95, such as in Portland, Maine, this will be primarily a snowstorm.
While the heaviest snow will fall well north and west of the I-95 cities from Washington, D.C. to Boston, enough snow and sleet can fall to make roads in the cities and suburbs slushy and slippery.
Timeline of the Worst Weather Conditions for Travel
Florida The worst conditions for travel due to rain and thunderstorms will be through Wednesday morning. Travel will improve from north to south as Wednesday progresses.
Atlanta to Charlotte, North Carolina The worst travel conditions due to rain will be into early Wednesday. However, the heaviest rain will slide east of these areas. Travel conditions will improve Wednesday afternoon and night.
Savannah, Georgia, to Norfolk, Virginia The worst travel conditions due to rain will be into Wednesday morning. Travel conditions will improve from south to north during the balance of Wednesday.
Raleigh, North Carolina, to Richmond, Virginia The worst conditions due to rain will be into Wednesday midday. Travel conditions will improve from south to north Wednesday afternoon.
Washington, D.C. and Baltimore Rain will slow travel Wednesday morning, but the worst conditions will be during the late afternoon and evening as the wintry mix changes to snow. Some roads will become slushy.
Philadelphia Rain will slow travel Wednesday morning and midday, but the worst conditions will be from the middle of the afternoon into the evening as the wintry mix changes to snow. Some roads will become slippery.
New York City Rain, or a mix of wet snow and rain will slow travel into Wednesday afternoon, but the worst conditions will be toward evening into Wednesday night as snow falls. Some roads will become slippery.
Boston Rain, or a mix of wet snow and rain will slow travel during the early part of the day Wednesday, but the worst conditions will begin Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night as snow falls. Roads will become slippery.
Portland, Maine A mix of rain, sleet and snow to start at midday on Wednesday will change to all snow and continue through Wednesday night. The worst conditions will be from late Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night. Roads will become snow-covered and slippery.
Harrisonburg, Virginia, to Hagerstown, Maryland Any wintry mix to start on Wednesday will change to all snow and become heavy at times. Travel will be difficult throughout the day Wednesday. Roads will become snow-covered and slippery.
Harrisburg and Scranton, Pennsylvania Rain will change to snow Wednesday morning. The worst conditions will be during the day Wednesday into Wednesday evening. Roads will become snow-covered and slippery.
Binghamton and Albany, New York Snow will arrive Wednesday morning. The worst conditions will be Wednesday afternoon and night. Roads will be snow-covered and slippery.
Worcester, Massachusetts to Concord, New Hampshire, and Bangor Maine Snow will spread northward during Wednesday. The worst conditions will be Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night. Roads will be snow-covered and slippery with blowing and drifting snow.
Source: AccuWeather / Nov. 26, 2014