02:16 - Source: CNN
Will the weather cooperate with your outdoor Thanksgiving plans?
CNN  — 

Thanksgiving weather is always a toss up. Some years there’s snow and others it feels more like spring.

This year will definitely “feel” different, and that’s not all due to Mother Nature. With many family gatherings being moved outside due to health concerns prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s forecast will be watched even more closely than usual.

Thanksgiving week storm

A strong storm system in the Rockies will bring rain and even snow to a large portion of the country.

On Tuesday, the storm will bring heavy rain and severe storms to much of the Midwest and the Southern Plains. Parts of Oklahoma may have damaging winds and large hail as storms roll through. Omaha could see as much as 2 to 4 inches of rain. Most areas in the region will pick up about and inch of rain. There could even be snow in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Check the latest holiday travel weather >>>

Showers will linger in the Midwest on Wednesday morning, before moving east. The rain will spread all the way to the Gulf Coast on Wednesday, making for a soggy day anywhere from Louisiana to the Ohio Valley. One to 2 inches of rain are possible.

A quick shot of snow is also possible across northern Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.

By Thursday, rain will spread along the Eastern Seaboard. Places like Atlanta, Washington, DC, New York City and Boston will all have rain on Thanksgiving Day, likely keeping people indoors.

Temperatures will be much too mild for snow in most of the nation’s big cities. New York City will see temperatures hit nearly 60 degrees. Atlanta will be in the low 70s and Chicago will hover close to 50 degrees.

Holiday travel

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising against travel this year, due to Covid-19 concerns. “As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with,” according to the CDC.

However, people will still be traveling, and planes will still be carrying passengers to a host of destinations during the holiday.

We could see airport delays on Wednesday in places like Cleveland, Chicago, Little Rock and Memphis. On Thursday, the delays could stretch from Boston to New York and Washington, DC.

For those who are traveling, the CDC recommends checking travel restrictions before setting off and cautions travelers to “always wear a mask in public settings, when using public transportation, and when around people you don’t live with.”

According to AAA, most Americans will be traveling by car this Thanksgiving. While there will be a decrease in the number of people on the roads, there will still be roughly 50 million people traveling and most of those will be sharing the roadways.

“Fortunately there will be no major winter storms to contend with this year and temperatures over most of the country will be above normal, which means drivers will only have to deal with wet roads, not snow or ice covered ones,” said CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen.

The CDC recommends checking with your hotel to see what it has done to sanitize and protect you and your family.

It also recommends that you to check with state and local authorities at your destination and along your route to make sure there aren’t any special restrictions or guidelines in place.

Best places for an outdoor Thanksgiving

While the CDC recommends having an outdoor Thanksgiving this year, many of the big cities in the Northeast will have rain. But there are some cities that will be perfect for an outdoor celebration.

Get your local forecast and more weather news from around the world >>>

Anywhere west of the Mississippi River should have a great shot at having pleasant weather for an outdoor celebration. Cities from Los Angeles to Dallas and Nashville will be quiet with mostly pleasant temperatures.

“Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Nashville will be in the 70s and the big cities in the Northeast like Washington, Philadelphia and New York City will see temperatures in the 60s,” said Hennen.

While there may be mild temperatures for millions, rain in the East will mean families will have to get creative in how they safely celebrate.