Thanksgiving Travel Remains Steady In Georgia
AAA South predicts little change in travel patterns and the National Weather Service says temperatures will drop by the weekend.
About 1.2 million people across the state of Georgia, including Cherokee County residents, will travel 50 or more miles away from home for the holiday weekend, according to AAA South.
That's just a sliver of the projected 43.6 million people who are expected to travel around the country between Wednesday and Sunday to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving. That's 0.7 percent higher than the 43.3 million people who traveled last year.
The majority of those people, 9.1 million, are expected to travel by car while another 3.1 million are expected to travel by air this year. The remaining, 1.3 million people, are expected to take some other means of transportation such as trains or buses.
Holiday travel by car is half a percentage point higher than last year. Air travel is down by 1.7 percent while train or bus travel is up by 9.9 percent.
In Georgia, 1.1 million residents are expected to travel by car, which is higher by about half of a percentage point from last year.
Also, about 85,000 will travel by air, which is a decrease by almost 2 percent from last year, and another 25,000 will travel by bus or train during the holiday season. Bus or train travel is projected to jump by almost 14 percent this year from 2011.
AAA also predicts gas prices will drop into the holiday weekend and "are not expected to have a major impact on auto travelers," according to the company's press release.
Gas prices in the metro Atlanta area continue to hover at or slightly below an average of $3.30 per gallon for regular unleaded fuel, according to the AAA Fuel Guage Report.
According to the AAA Fuel Guage Report, gas prices in the metro Atlanta area currently average $3.27 per gallon for regular unleaded fuel. In Cherokee County, prices range from $3.07 per gallon to $3.29 per gallon by late Wednesday morning, according to Atlanta Gas Prices.
The weather on Thanksgiving and on Black Friday will cooperate, but be prepared for some "big changes," said National Weather Service Forecaster Trisha Palmer.
"Thanksgiving is going to be beautiful with temperatures slightly above normal," she said.
Skies will be sunny and highs will reach into the mid to upper 60s. The low temperatures will range between the upper 30s and the mid 40s into Friday.
Palmer also said Friday will be the same, but slightly warmer, with highs around 70 degrees in some areas. Clouds will come into the metro Atlanta area and by Friday night, temperatures will drop into the mid 30s in some areas.
On Saturday, temperatures will only get into the mid-50s and as Saturday night wears on, most of the metro Atlanta area will see its low temperatures dip into the lower 30s.
Palmer added some locations could see their temperatures drop into the lower 20s on Saturday night and into Sunday morning. Sunday's highs will also jump back into the mid 50s.