With summerlike severe storms on one side of the country and a wintry shot of snowfall on the other, the atmosphere appears to be undecided on Election Day. In some parts of the country, voters will need to time it right if they want to stay dry as they cast their ballots.
Here’s how the weather will affect your trip to the polls.
Clouds overspread the Interstate 95 corridor between 9 a.m. and noon, with light showers breaking out after lunchtime. The onset will be a bit later along the coast. Boston will make it to 60 degrees before the rain breezes in, while New York should climb into the mid-60s.
Overall, it will be a blustery day with strong winds from the south ahead of the cold front. Winds will be particularly gusty in Upstate New York in the higher elevations, as well as on the banks of Lakes Erie and Ontario. A narrow zone of stronger winds — up to 45 mph — will sweep northeastward from Long Island into Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts around nightfall.
Planning to vote after work? You might consider hitting the polls early, as the heaviest downpours will arrive just in time to interrupt the evening commute. An isolated rumble of thunder is possible. Rainfall totals look to remain below a third of an inch.
Scattered showers are likely in the morning, then storms are possible after noon. The Storm Prediction Center issued a slight risk of severe thunderstorms for the Baltimore and Washington metro areas, and south into the Carolinas. Damaging winds are the main threat from these storms, but an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out. Storms should be over along I-95 by late afternoon.
The Storm Prediction Center issued a slight risk of severe storms for parts of the Carolinas and Georgia. In the Carolinas, scattered thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon. A stormy morning is in store for Alabama and the northern third of Georgia, where leftover thunderstorms from Monday night could be ongoing. Heavy downpours are possible from Mobile to the Big Bend of Florida. The rest of the Sunshine State appears to enjoy mainly that — sunshine!
A line of thunderstorms will trek through in the predawn hours Tuesday morning, bringing heavy rain and the risk of damaging straight-line winds and isolated tornadoes. Once the storms have passed, high pressure and sunny skies move in for the rest of Election Day.
Voters in Michigan, southern Wisconsin, northeast Indiana and Ohio wake up to rain pelting their windows and gusty winds. Steady rain will turn to scattered showers through the afternoon from west to east. Election Day is chilly and damp over the Great Lakes region.
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri will see clearing skies behind early morning showers. Blustery weather will follow as chillier air descends from Canada. Highs will top out in the mid-40s for most of the region, and around 40 farther west.
The central third of the United States will boast excellent voting weather. Skies should be at least partly sunny from Texas all the way to the Canadian border. Highs in Texas will be in the 70s, in Oklahoma in the 60s, and cooler as one travels northward. Kansas and Nebraska look to the transition zone, as north of there the Dakotas will be socked in in the 30s.
While the lower elevations will be meteorologically uneventful, high elevations will face snow on their way to the polls. A light one to two inches is possible in western Montana and northwestern Wyoming. As much as six to eight inches is possible in Idaho, centered primarily over the Clearwater Mountains and Bitterroot Range. Snow will linger in the forecast there through Thursday.
Wall-to-wall sunshine and temperatures a few degrees above seasonable norms will stretch along the California coast. Showers are possible along the Oregon and Washington coasts, including Portland and Seattle, but skies should be mostly sunny farther inland. Showers or flurries are possible in the higher elevations to the east, including Spokane.