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Satellite Looks at Thanksgiving Travel in North America | by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
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Satellite Looks at Thanksgiving Travel in North America

November 23, 2011


Thursday, November 24 is Thanksgiving in the U.S. and millions of people are traveling to be with family members on the holiday. NOAA's GOES-13 satellite keeps an eye on the weather, and NASA's GOES Project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Md. provided an image to show travelers where they may need an umbrella or snow boots.


In an image from November 22, when many people started traveling for Thanksgiving, cloud cover draped over the U.S. East coast from a cold front that stretches from New England south into the Gulf of Mexico. Today, Nov. 23, that cold front still lingers although it has moved further east and rain can be expected from New England south through Washington, D.C., the Carolinas, Georgia, northwestern Florida and Alabama. The front will continue to push east and bring sunshine to most of these areas on Thanksgiving day.


Clear skies and high pressure lie behind the front and sunshine is abundant from Minnesota to Texas. The high pressure center now located over Missouri and Arkansas will bring clear skies to the east coast on Thanksgiving day. Another area of high pressure sits to the west, and is centered over the four corners region (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona) bringing clear skies there today. Sunshine and clear skies also extend into the upper Midwest today and hold through Thanksgiving Day.


Meanwhile, snow is in the forecast for other parts of the U.S. In the Pacific Northwest, the Cascade mountain range through Washington State, Oregon and northern California can expect some heavy snow. Snow is forecast for the Umpqua and Fremont National Forests in southwestern Oregon, and in the Klamath National Forest in northern California.


The east coast is not without winter weather, however. Heavy snow is also possible through most of Maine and northern New Hampshire and northern Vermont. Travelers in those areas should allow extra time for safe travels.


The oceans are not without interesting weather during this week of holiday travel. In the central Atlantic Ocean lies the remnants of a low pressure area called System 99L that at one time had the chance to become a tropical depression before it was absorbed by a frontal system. In the eastern Pacific at the bottom left corned of the image is record-breaking late season Hurricane Kenneth, west of Mexico. Kenneth was a major hurricane (Category 3) yesterday and is now weakening as it heads away from Mexico.


Rob Gutro

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


NASA image use policy.


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


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Uploaded on November 23, 2011