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Post-Thanksgiving travel could be hampered by extreme weather across the country

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Heavy rain and high winds are expected across the southern Great Plains this weekend from Texas extending into Mississippi where it is already raining, threatening travel plans after Thanksgiving, according to the National Weather Service.

A deep upper-level low will continue to bring rain to the region and will slowly move across the Central Plains on Saturday, affecting major cities such as Dallas, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Memphis, Tennessee.

Nearly 55 million people were expected to travel 50 miles or more from their homes this Thanksgiving weekend – 98% of pre-pandemic levels, according to AAA.

Wind advisories are in place for about 9 million people in the Southeast, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Birmingham, Huntsville and Asheville, Alabama. These alerts are in effect from Saturday evening through Sunday morning, as wind gusts of up to 40 mph are possible.

By Sunday morning, rain will move to the southeast, mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes region, which could impact morning travel for cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Charlotte, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee.

This wall of rain will eventually arrive in the Northeast by Sunday afternoon, impacting New York, Philadelphia and Boston. The heaviest showers are expected to end between 4 and 6 p.m., with the rain ending in the late evening.

Although the risk of severe weather is very low on Sunday, there will be potential for strong winds and frequent lightning which could impact travel, particularly in the northeast.

Another developing storm system will also continue to bring heavy rain in addition to mountain snow to the Pacific Northwest this weekend, according to the weather service.

Winter weather advisories are in place for parts of the Cascades and the Northern Rockies, including northern Idaho, Montana and southeastern Wyoming.

Strong wind alerts are also in place for this region through Sunday, with gusts of up to 50-70 mph possible. This will create dangerous travel conditions, especially at higher elevations and passes.

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