Nov. 27 -- Major travel disruptions are expected across a wide swath of the nation as storm systems roll across the country prior to Thanksgiving, but what kind of weather can be expected as families settle down for the holiday festivities? Here's what to prepare for on Thursday.
A storm system that is set to batter much of the western United States is getting underway and is forecast to bring threats for flash flooding and mudslides across the lower elevations of California and the Southwest.
The same storm system will continue to bring heavy snow across the Sierra Nevada into Thursday. Snow levels are also expected to drop below 3,000 feet across the mountain ranges of Southern California, allowing for accumulating snow to pile up.
Elsewhere across the West, the same storm system will bring a cold rain for places like Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego, Calif. Higher in elevation, Flagstaff, Ariz., Salt Lake City and even Great Falls, Mont., can expect cold and snowy conditions Thursday.Wind-whipped Northeast
A storm system that will bring mainly rain across the Northeast on Wednesday will begin to track towards the Atlantic coast Thanksgiving Day.
However, that storm can end as a period of snow or snow showers across northern New York state and northern New England on Thursday morning.
On the back side of the storm system, gusty winds will spread from the Great Lakes into the Northeast, sparking travel issues at airports and for high-profile vehicles.
Some area parades, including the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City and the Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia may be forced to ground some balloons due to dangerously high wind gusts.
Much of the Northeast will remain rain and snow-free Thursday with the exception of northern New England, where a few snow showers will persist.Unsettled Plains
After dealing with accumulating snow and windy conditions on Tuesday across the central Plains, much of the Plains will settle down on Thanksgiving eve Wednesday. Those conditions will be short lived, however, as unsettled weather will return Thursday.
Moisture streaming northward out of New Mexico and Texas will run into cold air in place across the southern Plains Thursday. Portions of the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma may even wake up to a slushy coating of snow Thursday morning.
As the day progresses and temperatures moderate slightly, a cold wintry mixture of precipitation will spread into much of Kansas, Nebraska, western Missouri and Iowa.
With cold enough air in place across the Dakotas, occasional snow showers are expected for Bismarck, N.D., and Aberdeen, S.D.Dry and mild Southeast
Sitting under a ridge of high pressure, much of the Southeast from the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast can expect partly to mostly sunny skies and comfortably mild temperatures.
Perfect weather can be expected on Thanksgiving for the millions of Americans who chose to travel to the warmer weather across the Southeast.Friday outlook
As millions of Americans plan their trip back home after the holiday, the major storm system that is set to impact the West will track into the center of the country.