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Winter storm to bring record cold temperatures on Thanksgiving Day

November 27, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
The storm system slowing down holiday travel isn't extreme by meteorologists' measures, it just "occurred on the worst possible day." Rain and snow showers are creating slippery conditions on major highways and record cold temperatures are on their way for Thanksgiving Day. Gwen Ifill talks to Bernie Rayno of Accuweather.com.
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GWEN IFILL: For the latest on the storms and how they are affecting holiday travel, we turn to Bernie Rayno, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.

Bernie, as far as late fall, early winter storms go, how big is this one?

BERNIE RAYNO, AccuWeather: It’s a big storm, certainly, but it’s certainly storms that we have seen in the past.

And, typically, these kind of storms produce mostly rain along the East Coast, with the snows across interior parts of Pennsylvania and New York state, and that’s certainly what we have had with this storm. Unfortunately, this storm occurred on the worst possible day, that being the busiest travel day of the year.

GWEN IFILL: So, where along — the busiest travel day of the year, where there are some pretty big transportation corridors. Where is it hitting hardest? We’re talking ice in some place, rain in some place, snow in others?

BERNIE RAYNO: At this point right now, the biggest impact has been the rain.

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Back edge of the rain now is pushing through Philadelphia. We’re going to continue to get soaking rains from Boston all the way up toward Portland, Maine. At least the strong winds that we had out ahead of this storm have eased for now. So, I-95, Southern New England up in into Maine, still some slowdowns.

Watch yourself if you’re traveling in New York State and Pennsylvania. While we’re not looking at any big amounts of snow and ice from here on out, there certainly still can be some slippery spots on the roads and especially the bridges and overpasses.

GWEN IFILL: It sounds like the most treacherous part of this is the slippery roads, as well as the potential for ice on power outages. Have we had any reports of that?

BERNIE RAYNO: Oh, we certainly have had that over the last 24 hours, especially across New York State and Pennsylvania.

But, thankfully, now, most of the precipitation with the storm is occurring in the warm air. So the snow and ice that we were seeing last night, mostly just some snow showers, still some slippery spots on roads. But things have gotten a little better where it was snowing in the last 24 hours.

 

GWEN IFILL: How are the winds? I know that there were a lot of worries that some of these Thanksgiving Day parades might not be able to happen.

BERNIE RAYNO: Well, that’s still a close call in New York City for tomorrow, because, behind this storm, while we certainly had lots of wind out ahead of it, behind the storm, the wind will start picking up.

Certainly, this evening, in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., late tonight, tomorrow morning in New York City, we’re going to see gusts between 30-35 miles per hour, but, in New York City, gusts around 20 to 30 tomorrow morning. That may cause some problems.

But, from what I understand for the Macy’s Day Parade, you need sustained winds between 20 and 25 miles per hour. I don’t think they’re going to be that strong on Thanksgiving morning, but it’s certainly going to be a close call.

GWEN IFILL: And by the time everybody sits down with the turkey tomorrow, most of this will be passed?

BERNIE RAYNO: It will be long gone. But you know what the big story is going to be is the cold. In fact, we’re looking at record cold temperatures on our Wednesday night, Thursday morning, all the way down into parts of Florida and Texas.

In fact, we’re looking at temperatures below freezing south of I-10 across the Florida Panhandle. So, it is certainly not going to feel like the end of November. It is going to feel more like January.

GWEN IFILL: Bernie, you’re making me cold just thinking about it.

(LAUGHTER)

GWEN IFILL: Bernie Rayno of AccuWeather, thank you so much.

BERNIE RAYNO: My pleasure.