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Thanksgiving travel weather looking good

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The start of the extended Thanksgiving weekend will be a quiet one, with no weather-related travel problems within a 500-mile drive of Virginia on Wednesday.

Aside from a few small showers along the Carolina coast, no rain is expected from Atlanta to Boston. Traveling westward also looks good, with dry roads all the way to Pittsburgh, Louisville, and Nashville.

Most areas east of the Mississippi will get rain either late Saturday or Sunday, but with temperatures near or above normal through the weekend, there is no threat of snow.

Virginia

Sun and clouds on Thanksgiving Day with afternoon temperatures in the 50s to near 60. Be on the lookout for some small showers passing through the state on the morning of Black Friday, especially in the counties close to the North Carolina state line. But it will not be especially cold — generally in the 50s.

After some sun returns Saturday with temperatures in the 60s, a larger area of rain moves across the state Saturday night and early Sunday. This system will bring a few hours of rain from Bristol to Fredericksburg and from Charlottesville to the Eastern Shore. For now, it looks like the rain will clear the state by early afternoon, allowing temperatures to recover into the lower 60s for the afternoon.

Low temperatures will hold several degrees above freezing this weekend, so there is no risk of wet roads turning icy at night.

South: Carolinas to Georgia

Like in Virginia, it will be dry on Thanksgiving, but a little warmer, with afternoon temperature in the 60s. But occasional light rain will move through on Friday morning and early afternoon with temperatures in the 50s to lower 60s.

After a dry Saturday with temperatures in the 60s, the next area of rain moves through late Saturday night into midday Sunday. Some heavier pockets of rain will push through, but not enough for flooding. Temperatures on Sunday will be in the 50s during the rain, and nudge into the 60s for the afternoon.

West: Nashville, Louisville, Pittsburgh

A dry Thanksgiving is ahead, even though there will be increasing clouds. And even as far north as Pittsburgh, the temperatures will be tolerable for the end of November. Temperatures on Thanksgiving afternoon hover in the lower 60s in Kentucky and Tennessee, but lower 50s up the Ohio River toward Pittsburgh.

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Small showers move through on Friday morning, otherwise, a mostly cloudy and cooler Black Friday with temperatures ranging from the upper 40s in Pittsburgh to near 60 in Nashville.

More consistent rain moves in late Saturday afternoon and into the evening. The rain will be done by daybreak Sunday in Kentucky and Tennessee, but still be coming down on occasion until about midday for western Pennsylvania.

Traveling through the Laurels of Pennsylvania on Sunday morning and early afternoon, you may see some wet snowflakes, but no accumulating snow is expected. Nonetheless, it will be a cloudy and damp drive back to Virginia from there on Sunday with some gusty northwest winds.

North: Washington to Boston

In the Northeast Corridor, Thanksgiving Day looks especially nice, with sunshine and afternoon temperatures in the 50s from Washington to Philadelphia, and 40s from New York to Boston.

Some occasional light rain moves through during the midday hours of Friday with temperatures in the 40s to low 50s, and if you are heading into upstate New York, you may see some snow showers, but not enough for a legitimate accumulation.

A quick burst of chill moves in Friday night with some chilly north winds, but even so, temperatures will only be below freezing for a few hours, returning to the upper 40s to lower 50s with sunshine on Saturday afternoon.

The same system that brings rain early Sunday to the Southeast and Ohio Valley will bring its rain to the Northeast from Sunday morning through the late afternoon. While it will be safely above the freezing mark, in the 40s to lower 50s, there will be some heavier bursts of rain and some gusty winds on the drive back to Virginia.

***

As always, the precise timing of rain is challenging to forecast this far in advance, so it is always a good idea to check the local forecast once a day. But we feel strongly that there will be no significant ice or snow to deal with this weekend. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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