BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 24-SUNDAY: Nicole Ellis, of Gastonia, N.C., who is visiting Boston, makes her way through the crowded dining room with a tray loaded with Thanksgiving dinner at the Boston Rescue Mission November 24, 2019, in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Connors/Media News Group/Boston Herald)
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Thanksgiving travel plans will put more than a million Massachusetts drivers onto the roads this week as a weather system bringing scattered showers and icy temperatures is due to hit at the busiest travel time, meteorologists said Sunday.

Sunny skies on Monday and Tuesday will give way to clouds and rain showers on Wednesday as temperatures dip into the mid- to low-30s, according to weather reports.

“It won’t be the best travel day,” said Bill Simpson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norton.

Travelers won’t have to battle rains on their return journeys, though Simpson said it would stay in the 30s throughout the weekend, which is unseasonably cold — typical temperatures for this time of year are in the high 40s, Simpson said.

While Wednesday’s scattered showers “isn’t the worst” weather, it could lead to longer traffic jams and more congestion on the roads, Simpson said.

Peak travel time will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to AAA Northeast. More than 55 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving, the vast majority — 49 million — of those will do so by car.

“Millions of thankful Americans are starting the holiday season off right with a Thanksgiving getaway,” Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast director of public and legislative affairs said in a statement. “Strong economic fundamentals are motivating Americans to venture out this holiday in near-record numbers. Consumer spending remains strong, thanks to increasing wages, disposable income and household wealth, and travel remains one of their top priorities for the holiday season.”

Maguire told drivers to stay off of roads during peak travel times if possible, noting travel times would be almost four times as long the day before Thanksgiving.

This will be the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume ever recorded by AAA since the organization began tracking travel habits in 2000, trailing only the record set in 2005. Overall, an additional 1.6 million more people will travel compared with last year, a nearly 3% increase.