Thanks to a very strong low pressure system, very gusty winds have welcomed in one of the busiest traveling days of the year. Following in the footsteps of the gusty winds are much cooler temperatures for Thanksgiving.
If you are one of those people who travel ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, you’ll definitely want to take it slow, and not rush your travels. Winds could cause some delays at airports across the Midwest, and also on the roads. In fact, it’s been a blustery morning to say the least already. The O’Hare International Airport in Chicago reported a 61 mph wind gust earlier this morning. Closer to home, Rochelle recorded a 55 mph wind gust, 46 mph at the Rockford airport. And because of how strong these winds are going to be later on, a high wind warning will be in effect until 6 p.m this evening.
During the late morning and early afternoon, wind gusts could approach 50 to 60 miles per hour. Sustained winds could be as high as 30 to 40 miles per hour. Please make sure to exercise extra caution driving on north-to-south oriented roads, as westerly winds could jostle your vehicle a little bit. Hi-profile vehicles, such as semi-trailers, could be flipped on their side in winds like this. While not expecting widespread issues with power outages, there is a distinct possibility for a few to occur. It would be wise to have a plan in place, extra food, and water available in case the power does go out.
Although a majority of your Wednesday will feature dry conditions, a few spotty showers or even snowflakes are possible as moisture wraps around the backside of this system. Once we head into the afternoon, clouds will eventually give way to a few peeks of sun. However, the winds will last through the majority of the day, but the period where you’ll want to hold onto your hats and toupees will be between 9 AM and 3 to 4 PM. Beyond that, the highest winds will become elevated, with gradual improvements being made overnight into early Thursday morning. The forecast for Thanksgiving is looking dry, and fortunately less windy. Dry air works into the atmosphere aloft allowing for a mix of partly cloudy to mostly cloudy skies. Highs are only expected to climb into the upper 30s, resulting in a slightly below average Turkey Day! Gobble Gobble!