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Severe weather threatens to scuttle post-Thanksgiving travel plans

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Severe weather in other parts of the country, including heavy snowfall in the Pacific Northwest and rain showers hurtling east, threatened to scuttle New Englanders’ post-Thanksgiving travel plans on Sunday, one of the busiest travel days of the year.

“The weather definitely puts a damper on things,” said Mark Schieldrop, a spokesman for AAA Northeast. “If there are any cancellations, then you can kind of expect to get those cascading effects in the airport. So Logan might be a little bit of a difficult place to be this evening.”

As of late Sunday afternoon, more than 270 flights were delayed at Boston Logan International Airport and two were canceled, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. The roadways will likely be busiest Sunday between 4 and 8 p.m., Schieldrop said, when local residents are finishing their weekend excursions and returning home from Thanksgiving destinations. But rainfall, which started Sunday afternoon and will be heavy at times, could make traffic worse.

“The rain will certainly slow things down at least, and it could cause some additional time on the roads for folks heading home,” Schieldrop said.

AAA predicted Thanksgiving travel this year would approach pre-pandemic volume, after plummeting in 2020, with nearly 55 million people traveling 50 miles or more from their homes for the holiday. The Federal Aviation Administration anticipates 46,790 flights across the continental U.S. on Sunday, November 27. The Transportation Security Administration expects to screen more than 2.5 million passengers at U.S. checkpoints.

Last year, it was still a little bit of an off year. We’re still kind of coming off the pandemic this year,” Schieldrop said. “In a few more weeks, we’ll get a better sense of where this year ended up, but it seems like there were definitely a lot of folks out there.”

Wilson Rickerson, of Jamaica Plain, and his family flew home Sunday afternoon, after spending Thanksgiving with relatives in Charlotte, N.C. They landed at Logan shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday without experiencing any delays.

“It was actually surprisingly fairly smooth,” Rickerson said of his Sunday travels. “We were girding ourselves for [delays].”

The National Weather Service in Boston forecasted cool temperatures in the region Sunday, with highs in the mid-50s.

Rainfall is likely to continue through the night, according to the forecasters. Minor coastal flooding is possible, especially in Cape Cod and Nantucket.

Monday will be sunny and breezy, however, with skies remaining mostly clear at night.

The National Weather Service forecasts mostly sunny, but chillier weather on Tuesday, with temperatures around the mid- 40s during the day and dipping into the 30s at night.

More showers are expected Wednesday, with winds gusting as high as 41 miles per hour at night.

Deanna Pan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @DDpan.