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Where in the US Winter Weather Will Impact Thanksgiving Travel

The Thanksgiving holiday is almost upon us, and weather events have the potential to affect the already gridlocked travel situation this year.

Reports are optimistic for most of the country, according to a report by AccuWeather, but there are still parts of the United States where travelers should take extra care. Of course, all eyes are on the northeast, where the first snowfall of the season came early this week. More could be on the way, as more snow is expected on Sunday night and Monday morning.

“Even a small amount of snow can make for slippery travel and lead to airline delays due to de-icing operations,” warned Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

This snow and its lingering effects will impact the Great Lakes areas as well, and experts imagine it will effect travelers for at least the first three days of the week. More snowfall could come on Monday night.

"AccuWeather meteorologists are monitoring the potential for a storm to coat roads with snow from northern Pennsylvania into a section of New England Monday night into Tuesday," said Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski. "If the storm becomes strong enough, it could lay a swath of more significant snowfall and greater disruptions to travel."

Meanwhile, in the south, rainfall will have a similar effect. Slick roads and reduced visibility will likely make for slow-going in the southeastern portion of Texas, though experts are hopeful that the precipitation will be confined to a small corner of the state.

“There is the possibility of wet roads and perhaps minor airline delays in Houston,” Sosnowski said.

And of course, the state of California is in complete disarray as it struggles to recover from the ongoing wildfires burning in the state. Experts advise travelers all around the state to be cautious, even if the fires do not seem imminent in their area. Likewise, portions of western Nevada, Oregon and Washington state are likely to see some travel delays.

Of course, it bears remembering that Thanksgiving nearly always represents a travel nightmare, with or without a weather catastrophe. The American Automobile Associate expects 54.3 million American to take trips of 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving, which will mean crowded roads and many potential accidents.

Experts warn that even in areas with good weather for traveling, the added volume of cars on the road can make trips take as much as four times longer than usual.

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Photo credit: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images