Heavy Rains, High Winds Could Snarl Thanksgiving Travel

A high wind warning takes effect for all of northern Illinois and northwest Indiana Wednesday morning

High winds are in the forecast for Wednesday, but before they arrive the area could see the chance for some stormy weather in the overnight hours.

As a low pressure system approaches from St. Louis, bands of heavy rain will continue to move into Indiana in the overnight hours, but a line of thunderstorms could threaten the southwest suburbs with heavy rains, gusty winds, and a marginal chance for severe weather, according to the National Weather Service.

Once the rain finally begins to move out Wednesday morning, the winds will increase dramatically, and could cause some serious travel issues for both motorists and those flying out of Chicago’s airports ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The entire Chicago area will be under a high wind warning beginning Wednesday morning, with wind gusts of up to 60 mph possible.

The warning urges residents to avoid being outside near trees and, if possible, to remain in the lower level of their homes.

The winds could also pose a threat to travellers who are driving on Wednesday, as high-profile vehicles could be vulnerable to tipping over due to the high winds.

The windy conditions could have a significant impact on air travel, as one of the busiest travel days of the year will likely be affected by the rough conditions.

This month, AAA predicted that the number of travelers over a five-day stretch starting Wednesday will be the second-highest, behind only 2005, despite rising costs for a road trip.

Winds should begin to calm on Thanksgiving, with mostly cloudy skies and highs in the upper-30s and low-40s, but another round is expected heading into the weekend. 

More rain is expected throughout the holiday weekend, with the potential for accumulating snow by Sunday as highs dip into the upper-30s ahead of what's expected to be another cold week. 

For all the latest details on the Thanksgiving forecast, be sure to keep an eye on the NBC Chicago app.

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