Thanksgiving travel

Thanksgiving holiday weekend traffic on I-95 southbound, south of the Maryland House service area. (Photo taken from the Calvary Road overpass.) (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun / November 30, 2008)

Early forecasts for the busy pre-Thanksgiving travel days call for cold rain or a wintry mix of precipitation possible to further disrupt the chaos.

The Weather Channel is calling for a 90 percent chance of rain Tuesday and a 100 percent chance of rain, with some snow mixed in, next Wednesday.

The Weather Underground suggests slightly smaller odds, about 60 percent, of rain Wednesday.

AccuWeather.com is calling for rain and drizzle Tuesday and Wednesday, with temperatures dropping to a bitter 19 degrees by early Thanksgiving morning.

Local meteorologist "Eric the Red" says the models are indicating precipitation is likely, but whether it freezes depends on whether a strong high pressure system develops over Greenland, blocking the cold polar air and sending it south across the eastern U.S.

"If there was a high to our north for this storm, we'd be staring at a rare Thanksgiving snowstorm here, but without the high there's nothing to lock the cold air in place," Eric writes. "Nevertheless, it's something we'll have to keep a close eye on."

Even a cold rain could "absolutely destroy" what are already chaotic days for travelers, Eric suggests.