Thanksgiving travel, with a side of gridlock

November 25, 2013 

BIZ AMR-LAYOFFS MI

American Airlines jets are parked at the various gates of Miami International Airport

CARL JUSTE — Miami Herald/MCT

Traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday?

Better pack plenty of patience.

A wicked weather system marching across the United States is expected to dump rain in the Carolinas starting Tuesday, and snow and ice along parts of the Northeast corridor Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The wet weather is expected to clear up in South Carolina by Wednesday night, leaving Thanksgiving Day sunny and clear but cold, with a high of 44 in Columbia.

A few other things to know if you are traveling this week.

On the roads

Most South Carolinians traveling more than 50 miles for Thanksgiving this year will drive. That puts roughly 567,000 people – 2 percent more than last year — on the roads over the five-day travel period.

Getting to your destination will be the hardest part with the bad weather continuing through Wednesday, one of the busiest travel days of the period. But the weather is expected to clear up by Sunday, the other busy travel day, making the trip home a little smoother.

South Carolina gas prices, which had been moving slowly down toward $3 a gallon in recent months, spiked 10 cents per gallon in the past week as the holiday travel period approached. Still, South Carolina prices — at $3.15 a gallon Monday — are cheaper than in any nearby state.

In the air

An estimated 63,000 South Carolinians will fly to their destinations this Thanksgiving.

Columbia Metropolitan Airport as of Monday was not reporting any travel delays due to weather, but major airports from Charlotte to New York could experience severe delays, reports say. That could back up flights out of Columbia planning to fly north to those airports.

SOURCE: AAA Carolinas, National Weather Service, The Associated Press

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