FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) – Some Thanksgiving travelers along the East Coast headed out early because of a forecast calling for a nor’easter that will bring rain and snow.
“I was really getting nervous about getting stuck and not making it home for the holidays,” said Jenna Bouffard, a Manhattan public relations executive who said she switched her bus ticket from Wednesday to Tuesday to avoid potential weather delays.
“I don’t want to risk it,” she said. “I’d rather be safe than sorry and if it doesn’t snow then I just have an extra day at home with my family” in Uxbridge, Massachusetts.
The National Weather Service’s lead forecaster said major Northeast cities will likely see moderate to heavy rain most of Wednesday. Meteorologist Andrew Orrison says higher elevation areas west of the Interstate 95 corridor could see as much as 6 to 12 inches of snow.
Although the coast would see mostly rain, the Weather Service says the storm could leave a few inches of snow before exiting the region early Thursday.
“We’re not looking at major cities seeing significant snowfall,” Orrison said. “It will mostly be rain for big cities and then maybe a couple of slushy inches of accumulation in cities like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City.”
Although the storm will be a nor’easter, Orrison said heavy winds were not in the forecast. Conditions were expected to improve by Thursday morning.
All the major U.S. airlines were closely monitoring the situation but have not yet canceled flights. American Airlines was allowing passengers flying to some Northeast cities on Wednesday to move their flight, for free, to Tuesday or Thursday.
In Vermont, public safety officials warned the public that travel could be treacherous. Up to 16 inches of snow was forecast in some areas of the state.