Travel conditions for Thanksgiving holiday should be decent

Snow and ice shouldn’t pose a problem this Thanksgiving. Brett Albright, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Valley, said conditions will be very good for travel throughout the Midwest — until Sunday, at least.

TRAVEL BY CAR

» AAA motor club estimates that 54.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home over Thanksgiving — the highest volume for the holiday since 2005 and a 2.5 percent increase over the number who traveled last year.

» Just over 89 percent of those travelers, or 48.5 million, are expected to travel by car, AAA said.

GAS PRICES

» Even though gas prices have been dropping lately, Thanksgiving gas prices will be the highest since 2014, Gas Buddy says.

» The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded across the country was $2.62 Monday, up from $2.54 a year ago, AAA said.

» Nebraska’s average was $2.45 for a gallon of regular unleaded, down from $2.56 on Thanksgiving 2017, AAA said. Iowa’s average was $2.39, AAA said, down from $2.52 a year ago.

WEATHER

» A ridge of high pressure from the Rockies to Ohio is expected to foster favorable travel conditions. Mild conditions are expected “up to the Canadian border and down through Oklahoma and Arkansas,” Albright said. The forecast called for highs around 50 on Wednesday in the area through central Iowa. Mild conditions are expected to last through Saturday. Travelers returning home on Sunday, however, should note there is a chance of rain and snow with a high around 35.

AIR TRAVEL

» Thanksgiving air travel is expected to be at the highest level since 2007, with 3.55 million Americans taking to the skies, AAA said. Travelers will encounter moderately higher prices, with airfares up 1 percent.

» Officials at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield recommend that air travelers check the weather forecast at their destination and any connecting cities. Airlines sometimes permit ticket changes at no cost when weather impacts travel, officials said.

» Consider whether a carry-on is needed, officials said, because overhead bin space can become limited. Security checkpoints also could be busy, so give yourself enough time to make it through security.

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