Cross-country storm over next several days could disrupt Thanksgiving travel

NEW YORK — Americans are bracing for a cross-country storm during Thanksgiving week, one of the busiest holiday travel weeks of the year.

The storm -- which dumped rain and snow in the West this weekend -- is now marching east, bringing damaging winds and potential hail and tornadoes to the South.

Jackson, Mississippi; Rolling Fork, Mississippi; and Alexandria, Louisiana, are most likely to get hit by the severe weather Monday afternoon and evening.

A few tornadoes are likely, along with hail up to 2 inches in diameter and gusts up to 70 mph. A tornado watch was issued for parts of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas through Monday evening.

New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, will be in the bull's-eye overnight.

On Tuesday morning, rain will span from the South to the Midwest, impacting Atlanta; Birmingham, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; Cincinnati; Indianapolis and Chicago.

On Tuesday afternoon and evening, the rain is forecast to spread into Charlotte, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; Cleveland; Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

The worst of the rain for the Northeast will be overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. Flash flooding is possible along the Interstate 95 corridor, so those driving to reach their Thanksgiving destinations should exercise extreme caution.

The worst of the rain will clear out Wednesday morning, though some lingering showers are possible Wednesday afternoon in New England.

Snow will begin in northern New England Tuesday afternoon and continue through Wednesday night. Six to 12 inches of snow is forecast for parts of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Behind this cross-country storm will be the first bitter cold of the season.

Temperatures on Thanksgiving morning will feel like the 20s and 30s for the majority of the U.S.

The Federal Aviation Administration forecasts Wednesday to be the peak day for flights, with more than 49,000 commercial and general aviation planes in the skies.

FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker said his agency will be "working around the clock to make sure passengers get to their destination safely."

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said Monday, "While we can't control the weather, we will be using every tool at our disposal to keep cancellations [and] delays as low as possible in the first place -- including working collaboratively with the airlines."

ABC News' Amanda Maile contributed to this report.

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