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Stormy, Snowy Weather May Bring Holiday Travel Delays

The weekend before Christmas expected to be rough for travelers


By Meghan Evans, Meteorologist

Cold, windy and snowy weather may impact holiday travel across portions of the Great Lakes and Northeast next weekend, while stormy weather slams the West.

There may be some trouble spots with rain and fog across parts of the South as well.

AAA predicts that 93.3 millions Americans will travel 50 miles or more this holiday season, an increase of 1.6 percent compared to last year. Of that estimate, 90 percent (84.4 million), more than a quarter of the U.S. population, are projected to travel by automobile. Meanwhile, air travel is expected to increase 4.5 percent from 2011.

It will be stormy leading up to the weekend before Christmas with chances of wintry precipitation in the Great Lakes and Northeast.

RELATED ON ACCUWEATHER: The probability you'll get a white Christmas

"A storm may be moving off the East Coast the weekend before Christmas with lingering precipitation and wind in the Northeast on Saturday," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. "It looks like there may be snow in New England."

People traveling around Boston on Saturday will have to watch for the potential for snow.
Depending on the track and strength of the storm, there may be potential for wind-driven snow as far south as New York City and Philadelphia.

"While the storm will be leaving, it will be key. That's the storm that will bring cold and a few days of lake-effect snow," Rayno said.

RELATED ON ACCUWEATHER: Where to go for a guaranteed white Christmas

Cold winds and lake-effect snow showers may impact travel across the typical lake-effect snowbelts downwind of the Great Lakes through the central Appalachians next weekend. Motorists should be prepared for suddenly reduced visibility and slippery travel through snow squalls.

A Pacific storm will have an impact on portions of the West next weekend. It may throw locally heavy rain into the coast and unleash snow in the mountains.

PHOTOS ON SKYE: Blizzard Blankets the Midwest

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