Thanksgiving travel conditions ideal, forecaster says

Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch
Chicago is expected to log one of the worst traffic jams of any big city during the Thanksgiving holiday season on Nov. 21, 2017, according to an analysis. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Holiday travel for York County residents should be a breeze, according to one forecaster.

Tom Kines, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather in State College, said that while weather is usually unpleasant for drivers at this time of year, York County and much of the Northeast will be spared slick roads or bad visibility.

“This might be as good as it gets,” he said.

Tuesday, Nov. 21, will see temperatures get up to the mid-50s, Kines said, and while Wednesday might see a brief shower in the morning, the rest of Thanksgiving eve will be brisk, in the upper 40s.

For locals who will be flying to their destination, Kines said the only parts of the country where he expects weather might cause delays are in the Pacific Northwest, in states such as Washington and Oregon, where heavy rainfall is expected in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

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Otherwise, nearby regions, including northern Pennsylvania and the Beltway region, will have fair weather conditions, according to AccuWeather.

As for Thanksgiving Day itself, Kines said conditions will be "no worse than partly sunny," and the same will go for the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday.

“If you’re traveling locally, weatherwise there won’t be any problems,” he said.

Traffic prep: While weather is one component of commuting, traffic is an ever-present concern around the holidays.

About 51 million Americans will be traveling more than 50 miles for Thanksgiving, according to AAA, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is trying to find a way to get ahead of typically jammed roads with an online system.

The “Historic Holiday Traffic” page at includes an hour-by-hour comparison of major roadways on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving over the past two years.

The "Historic Holiday Traffic" page at 511PA compares traffic issues between 2015 and 2016 to alert drivers of past problem areas.

The graphs indicate most local issues occurred in northern York County and on Interstate 81 in Cumberland County.

“We continue to look for ways to put our tools to use for the public and to take action where we can,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards in a news release.

While PennDOT cannot forecast conditions for Thanksgiving week 2017, real-time updates will be provided through 511PA to help travelers plan their drives accordingly, Richards added.

Reach reporter Junior Gonzalez via email at or on Twitter @EducationYD.