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Best Times to Travel for Thanksgiving

NewsWatch12 shows you the best times to travel so you can skip traffic and bad weather conditions.

Posted: Nov. 21, 2017 1:52 PM
Updated: Nov. 21, 2017 2:10 PM

One of the biggest questions we ask ourselves as we are making Thanksgiving plans is when can we drive with the least amount of traffic and weather restrictions? 

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NewsWatch12 Meteorologist Mike Doyle looked into the weather over the next couple days to help you make that decision. 

He says the best days to travel are Tuesday and Wednesday. The snow levels will remain in high elevations, so snow is not a concern this week. He says the roadways will be a bit wet, so to drive with caution. 

You can expect off and on rain showers Tuesday and Wednesday, mainly along the coast in Southern Oregon and Northern California. The Siskiyou Summit, Sexton Summit, and the Cascades Passes will be fine for traveling as Snow levels will remain above 7,000 ft. 

If you plan on waiting until Thanksgiving morning to travel, expect light to moderate rain. The rain will continue to fall throughout Thursday and into Friday morning. Stay with the StormWatch 12 team for the latest weather conditions. 


AAA says the majority of travelers plan to leave the day before Thanksgiving and return the following Sunday. Nearly a quarter of all travelers typically return on Monday, Nov. 27 or later.

AAA predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion during the afternoon and early evening—as early as Tuesday of Thanksgiving week—as commuters mix with holiday travelers. They say at its peak, drivers on some interstates and highways could see delays of nearly 300 percent over the optimal trip.

The most congested times are expected to be Tuesday afternoon/evening from 3:15 to 6 p.m. and Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. 

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