THE LAKE-EFFECT SNOW MACHINE GETS TURNED ON

Lake-effect snows are most spectacular both early and late in the season, when the lakes are unfrozen and relatively warm. They are warmer in November than in spring, so this is the time of year when they can get snow measured in FEET.

The radar shows the direction of the wind. And if the wind direction doesn't change, that same narrow band of heavy precipitation stays in the same area.

The bottom line for travel: DON'T DRIVE UP I-81 FROM PENNSYLVANIA INTO NEW YORK STATE! It's like a blizzard up there!

HOLIDAY TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE LAKE-EFFECT AREAS

Those traveling between Tuesday and Thanksgiving Day will be pretty lucky. A weak weather system will be moving eastward across the area, but it should be warm enough for rain showers (not snow) from Chicago through Cleveland through Pittsburgh. And much of New England will be dry through Wednesday.

Here is a computer forecast map for Wednesday afternoon:

On Thanksgiving Day, some of the moisture moving from Chicago will be moving into New England, bringing the chance of at least some light snow.

Here's the map for Thursday afternoon:

The blue area is light snow, and the light green area is light rain. This model tends to overdo the precipitation, so I only expect some spotty light showers in our area.

By Friday, this system is gone, and dry weather returns:

Stay tuned for more as the first big holiday weekend of the season nears.