Could the weather cause travel nightmares ahead of this Thanksgiving?
AccuWeather has an exclusive breakdown of where in the U.S. the weather could cause travel problems in the days leading up to Thanksgiving this year.
The roadside assistance and national vehicle services provider AAA projects that over 55 million U.S. travelers will venture more than 50 miles from home this year to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday between Wednesday and Sunday.
This marks the third-highest Thanksgiving travel numbers since AAA began tracking in 2000, only behind 2005 and 2019, and up 2.3% from last year.
The vast majority of these travelers, over 49 million, will be traveling by car, AAA estimates. However, bad weather can always throw a last-minute wrench in holiday travel plans, so it’s important to pay attention to the forecast.
So, what will the weather look like in Milwaukee and Wisconsin during these peak Thanksgiving travel days?
Here’s what to know.
Travel conditions should be ‘favorable’ in Wisconsin but we might see some snow up north
The National Weather Service forecasted that “widespread rain with some embedded thunderstorms” will affect “the Midwest to the lower Great Lakes and Ohio Valley and move quickly toward New England Tuesday night.”
AccuWeather said its meteorologists believe that “the greatest negative travel impacts associated with the storm will be into Tuesday in the Midwest.”
Rain is in the forecast on Tuesday in Milwaukee, but Wednesday should be partly cloudy with a high of 43 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 35, according to AccuWeather. AccuWeather said travel conditions in the Midwest on Wednesday should be “favorable.”
National Weather Service meteorologist Michaela Heeren said northern Wisconsin can expect cloudier skies on Wednesday.
Those driving north may also need to watch for snow.
Some snow will fall “over the Upper Midwest from parts of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from late Tuesday to early Wednesday,” AccuWeather stated. “In these areas, the snow will be mixed with or change to rain at times.”
Thanksgiving Day weather forecast for Milwaukee and Wisconsin
Weather across the nation should be much tamer on Thanksgiving Day. Milwaukee is expected to see a high of 44 degrees and a low of 27. The low is cold enough for snow, but, according to AccuWeather, there is only a 3-4% chance of precipitation.
Heeren said Wisconsin can expect partly cloudy skies and “not much wind” for their Turkey Day forecast. This makes it a great day to run a turkey trot or enjoy time outdoors with loved ones.
What will the weather be like for Black Friday in Milwaukee?
Milwaukee’s Black Friday forecast is colder than Thanksgiving Day but still expected to be pleasant. Milwaukee will see a high of 34 degrees and a low of 27, AccuWeather forecasted.
Heeren said southern Wisconsin is expected to be cloudier, while the northern part of the state should see clearer skies. The chance of precipitation is “very low” across the state Friday, she said.
Wisconsin might get some snow on Thanksgiving weekend but it’s too early to know for sure
Heeren said there may be light snow in southern Wisconsin this weekend, but it’s too early to know for sure.
“Primarily Saturday and Sunday, the main concern would be flurries, mostly across southern Wisconsin,” she said. “The … timeframe right now looks to be late Saturday night through Sunday morning. That is subject to change in timing as we get closer to the event.”
USA TODAY reporter Doyle Rice contributed to this report.