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Temperature dips, precipitation expected to complicate Thanksgiving travel

| Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 10:33 p.m.

Rain and possibly snow could complicate Thanksgiving travel this week, which is typically the busiest travel holiday of the year, weather services warned.

A storm predicted to move northeast from Texas and Louisiana could bring precipitation to the Northeast on Wednesday, when tens of millions of people are expected to be traveling, according to AccuWeather.

Temperatures on Sunday are expected to dip into the teens but then rise above freezing as the week progresses. Rain could turn to snow in the Allegheny Mountains, depending on how quickly temperatures drop again before Thanksgiving, said meteorologist Rihaan Gangat of the National Weather Service in Moon. Temperatures on Thanksgiving Day likely won't rise much above freezing in Western Pennsylvania, with lows below 20 degrees in some places, he said.

β€œFor Tuesday and Wednesday, there's still a lot of uncertainty. The mountains and ridges will get some sort of accumulation, but we're not sure if it's going to be rain or snow,” Gangat said.

AAA expects 43.4 million people to travel more than 50 miles from home over the Thanksgiving holiday, which it defines as Wednesday through Sunday. The automotive association expects almost 39 million of them to travel by car.

Those traveling by air could run into delays caused by the storm at busy airports in Washington, New York, Boston and elsewhere along the coast, AccuWeather warned on Saturday in a post on its website.

β€œThe exact track and intensity of the storm as it swings up or slips off the East Coast Tuesday night into Wednesday night are still in question and hold the key to dry weather versus rain versus snow across the Northeast,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski wrote in a statement.

The forecast should become clearer in the next day or so, Gangat said.

Mike Wereschagin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7900 or mwereschagin@tribweb.com.

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