A “significant storm” and “strong cold front” could hit the US Northeast and Midwest next week – potentially wreaking havoc on Thanksgiving travel plans, forecasters warn.
The large-scale weather pattern is expected to start over the weekend and extend into early next week, according to the National Weather Service’s prediction center.
The full extent and path of the storm hasn’t yet been nailed down, but forecasters are — at the very least — predicting a drop in temperatures and strong winds from Monday and Tuesday.
AccuWeather forecasters said the effects of the potential storm pattern would have lingering effects into the day before Thanksgiving, which is known to be the busiest travel day of the year.
“We could be looking at a huge mess and a real wrench in holiday travel,” AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jon Porter said.
One scenario forecasters are tracking could bring heavy snow to parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan — and could potentially extend into parts of the Northeast.
Another scenario could see the storm evolve slowly over the Midwest on Sunday and Monday before bringing thunderstorms, high winds and a drop in temperature to the Northeast.
The high winds alone could be enough to cause delays at major transport hubs in the East and Midwest in the days before Thanksgiving, the forecasters warn.
Nearly 54 million Americans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving – up 13 percent from last year, according to the American Automobile Association.
More than four million are predicted to travel by air and 48 million on the roads.