Rain, snow 'spreading misery' to holiday travelers
Posted November 26, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Wednesday’s wet weather will have an impact on those hitting the road for Thanksgiving, and snow could snarl traffic in the western part of North Carolina and up the East Coast.
Western North Carolina counties could see 1 to 4 inches of snow during the next 48 hours, while parts of Virginia, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and the northeast could see 6 to 10 inches.
Alleghany, Ashe, Watagua, Avery, Mitchell, Buncombe, Cherokee, Haywood, Jackson, Transylvania and Yancey counties are under winter storm advisories or winter storm warnings until 4 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Widespread rain, at times heavy, soaked the Triangle and surrounding areas Wednesday morning but was expected to taper off by the afternoon. Many locations will see more than an inch of rain by the time the storm moves through.
Temperatures in the Triangle should hover around the mid-40s all day Wednesday. Thanksgiving Day will be mostly cloudy with some light rain and temperatures near 50 degrees. Black Friday will be clear and cool across the Triangle. Holiday shoppers will be greeted by lows in the upper 20s, and daytime highs will top out around 44 degrees.
“If you are traveling north for the holiday and are leaving today, make sure you check with the airlines to see if there are delays and cancellations,” said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner. “The Nor'easter that is affecting us this morning is spreading its misery north toward the Mid-Atlantic States and the Northeast.”
So far, at least two dozen flights out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport have been canceled. Several arrivals are also delayed or canceled.
RDU spokesman Andrew Sawyer said about 33,600 people flew in and out of the airport Tuesday. An estimated 34,000 are expected to fly in and out Wednesday. Thanksgiving Day will be the slowest with about 16,000 people, and Sunday is projected to be the busiest with 35,500 passengers.
AAA Carolinas expects more than 1.3 million people to travel 50 miles or more from home this year in North Carolina. About 90 percent of the travelers will be on the road. The good news for drivers is that gas prices are down. The average cost is $2.71 a gallon in the Triangle, which is down 61 cents from this time last year.
Travel companies say about a quarter of all travelers will head out Wednesday and another quarter Thursday.