MyRadar CONUS Holiday Road Weather and Travel Report
by Mike Linden | Director of Video & Social Media Content/Meteorologist
With more than 110 million Americans set to hit the roads this holiday weekend, conditions could become downright dangerous at times (both by land and air). Roads as far north as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (I-75) and as far west as Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon (I-5) look set for adverse weather over the busy holiday weekend in addition to numerous Interstate Highways throughout the Midwest (including I-70, I-80, I-90, I-96 and I-94).
At 6:00 PM EST on Friday, December 23, conditions are expected to rapidly deteriorate as an arctic cold air mass fuels a powerful, sweeping cold front. Meanwhile in the Pacific Northwest, onshore flow from the Gulf of Alaska pushes in a mix of snow and wintry mix (with periods of freezing rain through the Friday morning hours).
Most major interstates (and their arteries) throughout the Midwest will likely be impacted by snow and wintry mix. This includes I-70, I-80, I-90, I-96, I-94 and even stretches of I-75 near the Canadian border north of Mackinac Island.
Bolstered by the relative warmth of the Great Lakes, snow rates could exceed 1 inch per hour at this time, especially for stretches of I-94 near Lansing and Detroit, Michigan. With already snowy roads (and gusty winds as the front pushes east), near whiteout conditions are possible if the gusty winds pick up as the front trudges eastward.
Just a few hours later at 8:00 PM EST Friday, another significant area of impact for Michigan develops. Icy roads are expected, in addition to the snow, along I-69 from Sarnia to Flint. This also includes portions of U.S. Route 23 south of Flint as well. Icy conditions also extend southbound along I-94 towards Detroit at this time too.
Frigid temperatures and snow on the ground could also spell icing issues and flight delays out of numerous area airports including Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), John Glenn International Airport (CMH) and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE).
Just east of Michigan, portions of Pennsylvania and New Jersey also look set for dangerous travel conditions of their own.
At 6:00 PM EST on Friday, icy roads extend northbound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and U.S. Route 202 from Philadelphia towards Norristown and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Icy conditions also extend into parts of central New Jersey along Route 31 and U.S Route 202, as well as near the I-78/Route 22 interchange east of Clinton, New Jersey.
A few inches of snow is expected just before this time, but with temperatures hovering around freezing, roads are expected to remain quite problematic into the overnight hours.
Conditions will improve into Saturday but icy conditions look to remain in place for parts of northeastern Pennsylvania extending from the Poconos to the Pennsylvania/New York border north and west of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. This is due to the dense, frigid air sinking into the valleys of the mountainous terrain.
Air travelers arriving at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) can also expect some road delays out of the airport but the worst of the road conditions look to remain outside of the metro.
This travel report was compiled using data from MyRadar's proprietary road weather forecasting system.
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About MyRadar: MyRadar is a free weather and environmental information app for iOS, Android, Windows and Xbox. First launched on the app store in 2008, the app has been downloaded over 50 million times, and has over 13 million monthly active users. MyRadar has been keeping the world informed of severe weather, tropical storms, earthquakes, wildfires and more for over 13 years. ACME AtronOmatic, LLC, the makers of MyRadar, has development offices in Portland, Oregon, Boulder, Colorado, and in Orlando, Florida. The app is available on the iOS App Store, Google Play, and the Windows Store. MyRadar is available online at youtube.com/myradar, twitter.com/myradarwx, facebook.com/myradar, and instagram.com/myradar