Forecasters say much of the country will be enduring extreme cold, with snow, sleet, freezing rain and just plain rain forecast for the eastern states, Accuweather.com predicted. In much of the West, including parts of the Rockies and the Upper Midwest, the temperature could be well below freezing.
The day after Thanksgiving is the traditional opening of the holiday shopping season. Many chains are luring recession-battered shoppers with early openings and deep discounts.
Accuweather said a storm that brought heavy snow to the West Tuesday is heading east. It is expected to hit the Midwest late Thursday.
By Friday morning, northern New England is likely to be icy. Farther south, in major cities like New York and Philadelphia, shoppers can expect to brave chilly rain that could extend as far south as Birmingham, Ala., and Jackson, Miss.
Along the Gulf Coast, the forecast includes thunderstorms.