EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s one of the busiest weeks of the year for travel, with people across the country hitting the road for the holidays.
A winter storm is making its way across the country, and we’re expecting widespread rain and strong wind gusts to be the primary local impacts late Thursday night into Friday. The forecast calls from anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of rain, accompanied by potentially damaging wind gusts of 45 to 65 miles per hour.
So how will the stormy weather affect the driving conditions? Here’s a look at some of the routes you may be traveling:
Driving to the Cape?
Roads will be wet and winds will be whipping. Gusts will top out between 50 and 65 miles per hour during the height of the storm. Avoid traveling on Friday if possible, and instead plan to leave Thursday or Saturday.
Driving to Boston?
Similarly to the Cape, this is a wet and windy storm for the Boston area. Much of southeastern New England will see 2-3 inches of rain. Gusts in Boston will range from 50 to 65 miles per hour.
Keep in mind, as colder air works in on the backside of the storm, icy spots may develop later Friday night into early Saturday morning.
Driving to Connecticut?
Winds will still be strong as you head west, but the range is looking closer to 40 to 55 miles per hour. Rainfall totals will also be similar, creating tough travel conditions for Thursday night into Friday. Use extra caution and give yourself additional time to get to where you need to be.
The potential also exists for a “flash freeze” late Friday night. As cold air works in, any wet spots on roadways could freeze over quickly, causing additional travel issues.
Driving up north?
The precipitation will begin as snow or a wintry mix Thursday evening with light accumulations possible, especially in higher elevations. However, as warmer air eventually wins out, expect most areas to see plain rain and windy conditions.
As cold air works in behind the system, precipitation could end as snow with some additional accumulations possible.
Any snowpack will be melting, so there may be additional runoff on roadways and into rivers.
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