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Current Quiet Weather Could Lead to Stormy Holiday Week

3:30 AM EST, November 15, 2012

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Andrew Rosenthal


Much of the United States will continue to enjoy pleasant weather this week, but a slight change in the weather pattern is likely to take shape this weekend and could cause a few headaches for some Thanksgiving travelers.

This week, a benign weather pattern has taken root across most of the U.S., a far cry from the hurricanes and nor`easters that kicked off November. This is thanks to a large area of high pressure that covers most of the country. The only exception is a cold front that has stalled across Florida and is bringing scattered showers.

Much of the nation will continue to enjoy the sunshine, as the high stretches from Texas and Desert Southwest to the Great Lakes and Northeast. However, it`s the weather systems in place now that could spell trouble for the Thanksgiving week.

The cold front stalled across Florida will develop a new area of low pressure on Saturday that will slowly spin its way along the coast. Forecasts indicate that this low will take its time organizing and will then drift northeastward just offshore.

It is expected to pass off the Delmarva on Sunday and early Monday, but will then slowly spin eastward off the Mid-Atlantic coast. The close proximity of this storm will keep the Northeast under an onshore, easterly wind, bringing marine air into the region. While the system will remain just far enough offshore to keep rain away, cloudy and breezy weather is expected for all of the cities along the Interstate 95 corridor. This could possibly make the Thanksgiving travel period a nuisance in the air and on the roads.

The Northeast won`t be alone in its Thanksgiving week weather woes. The high pressure across the East will weaken, allowing an upper-level trough to build across the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley. Under a deep flow of southerly winds, Gulf of Mexico moisture will rotate around the high into Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.

This moisture will be squeezed out as soaking downpours from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon, with rainfall totals in cities such as Dallas, Houston and Little Rock topping the one-inch mark. The good news is that long-range forecasts indicate that the trough will weaken, allowing for drier weather to take shape for the busy travel Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day.

Also at risk for unsettled weather will be the West Coast. Waiting patiently in the Gulf of Alaska is a parade of low-pressure systems. These are currently blocked by the broad area of high pressure, but are poised to move toward the U.S. West Coast when the high pressure system weakens.

This is likely to occur this weekend, with several waves of Pacific storms likely to march southeastward toward the coast, spreading heavy rain into Portland and Seattle, and showers as far south as California. Several inches of rain could drench cities along the Interstate 5 and U.S. Route 101 corridors, with no letup in the soggy weather pattern expected through the end of the week.

So, the question is, who will continue to see good weather next week? The broad area of high pressure in place this week will split into two systems, one in the East and one in the West. High pressure in the East will be centered over the Appalachians and interior Northeast, promising a dry Thanksgiving week for residents from Alabama to northern New England. Highways such as Interstate 81 won`t have any problems with road spray. The other high pressure will be centered in the central Rockies. Locations from the Dakotas to New Mexico will enjoy sunshine and mild conditions all week.

Of course, these weather patterns are likely to change, and a slight tweak of storm track could lead to a significant change in holiday travel weather. WeatherBug Meteorologists will continue to monitor these systems, so check your WeatherBug often for updates.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood, and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter. Also, download the latest WeatherBug mobile app here so that you can access your local weather conditions as you head out for Thanksgiving.

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