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Severe weather may cause disruptions for businesses, travelers Thanksgiving week



AccuWeather’s expert meteorologists caution businesses about potential disruption because of possible rain and snow in the forecast for Thanksgiving week.

Key Highlights

AccuWeather's expert meteorologists forecast rain and snow that could cause potential disruptions for over 55 million Thanksgiving travelers, emphasizing the impact on businesses.

Anticipated challenges include flight delays affecting airlines and airports, fluctuations in customer traffic for local businesses and potential supply chain and logistics disruptions.

Businesses are advised to prioritize proactive communication, enhance operational preparedness and adapt strategies for fluctuating customer patterns.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, possible rain and snow could cause disruptions to more than 55 million people expected to travel across the United States. This surge in travel, both by road and air, is anticipated to impact businesses significantly, particularly those in the travel and hospitality industries. AccuWeather’s meteorologists tell you what to expect. 

Weather Forecast and Travel Impact

AccuWeather’s meteorologists are keeping a close eye on the risk for severe thunderstorms across eastern Texas into Mississippi on Monday afternoon and night, with anticipated hazards including hail, torrential downpours, damaging wind gusts, and isolated tornadoes. On Tuesday, the risk will shift eastward, stretching from southeastern Alabama into western South Carolina. The storms could cause flooding downpours, hail and damaging wind gusts of 55-65 mph. The AccuWeather Local StormMax™is 80 mph on Monday and 75 mph on Tuesday.


The severe weather is not expected to coincide with peak travel times, but travelers and businesses may experience some disruptions. By Wednesday, the corridor of fair to poor travel conditions is expected across the Eastern Seaboard, northern New England and portions of the Great Lakes; however, conditions will also be fair along the Texas-New Mexico border, areas of Montana and Idaho. 


>>READ MORE: How heavy rainfall can impact your business and how you can prepare

On Thanksgiving Day, a large portion of the Central and Eastern states are forecast to be rather dry and cool. Forecasters say that a zone of rain and mountain snow can press into areas of the Northwest, and showers can dampen Gulf Coast states.


Impact on Businesses

The anticipated travel disruptions and delays due to adverse weather conditions during the Thanksgiving holiday could significantly impact businesses. Here are some potential impacts on businesses:

  • Travel and Hospitality Industry: Airlines, airports and other travel-related businesses are likely to experience challenges due to potential flight delays and cancellations, impacting the overall travel experience for passengers. The surge in travel combined with adverse weather conditions may lead to operational challenges for airlines and airports, potentially affecting their revenue and customer satisfaction.
  • Retail and Local Businesses: Local businesses, particularly those in popular travel destinations, may experience fluctuations in customer traffic and sales due to potential travel disruptions. Restaurants, hotels and retail establishments in areas heavily impacted by travel delays may see changes in customer footfall and spending patterns.
  • Supply Chain and Logistics: Businesses involved in the supply chain and logistics industry may face challenges in the transportation of goods and products due to potential delays in road and air travel. This could impact the timely delivery of goods and services, potentially affecting inventory management and customer satisfaction.

>>READ MORE: Stay ahead of the storm: Protect your business from costly disruptions to your supply chain, transportation, and logistics

Strategies for Businesses

In light of the anticipated travel disruptions and potential impact on businesses, it is essential for organizations to consider mitigation strategies to minimize the adverse effects of weather on the Thanksgiving holiday forecasts. Here are some actionable strategies for businesses:

  • Communication and Customer Service: Businesses in the travel and hospitality sectors should prioritize proactive communication with customers regarding potential travel disruptions and provide flexible rebooking options to accommodate changing travel plans.
  • Operational Preparedness: Airlines, airports and other travel-related businesses should enhance operational preparedness to manage potential disruptions effectively. This may include contingency planning, resource allocation and real-time monitoring of weather conditions.
  • Adaptation and Flexibility: Retail and local businesses should consider adapting their operational strategies to accommodate potential fluctuations in customer traffic and spending patterns. Offering promotions, flexible booking options and adjusting staffing levels can help businesses navigate the holiday period effectively.
  • Supply Chain Resilience: Organizations involved in the supply chain and logistics industry should assess and strengthen their supply chain resilience to mitigate potential disruptions. This may involve diversifying transportation routes, optimizing inventory levels and collaborating closely with logistics partners.

AccuWeather’s SkyGuard® Notifications are valuable for businesses preparing severe weather events. The service provides customized weather forecasts and alerts that are tailored to your specific location and industry. This can help you make informed decisions about when to close your business, evacuate your employees and take other protective measures.

Want to learn more about how AccuWeather’s SkyGuard® Notifications can help you best prepare for severe storms? Speak to an expert and demo SkyGuard today. 

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The AccuWeather Advantage

The benefits of AccuWeather go beyond protecting the lives of employees and customers. Businesses will also reduce your operational costs through better planning and better mitigation efforts and allow you to make better weather-impacted decisions. AccuWeather forecasts will help you make the right decisions sooner and faster, keeping your people safer, saving you money overall, eliminating angst and stress, reducing your risk and liability, reducing losses and better protecting your reputation.

AccuWeather’s track record of Superior Accuracy™ in weather forecasting and warnings has saved our clients tens of billions of dollars, saved the lives of employees and customers and minimized reputational harm. Overall, for more than 60 years, AccuWeather has saved over 10,000 lives and prevented injuries to over 100,000 people, all beyond what has been done by the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center and other weather sources.

Do you know how much weather is costing your business? 

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