About 33 million people nationwide will travel this Memorial Day weekend by car, according to AAA. Robert Sinclair, AAA’s Northeast region spokesman, said the numbers in this travel forecast are the highest the company has seen in the past 10 years.
“And we're thinking that because of the economy being better, with gasoline prices being cheaper, and with lots of folks having new vehicles, that's the reason we are seeing so many people traveling,” said Sinclair. “[There is] a lot of pent up demand especially after a long, hard winter.”
More snow is hitting Rhode Island this morning. The National Weather Service predicts about a foot could fall in the northwestern part of the state.
Matt Doody, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the rest of the state will see less of the white stuff. “It drops off fairly quickly, so that the immediate Providence-metro area is anywhere from 6-8 inches, and then the coastline is probably only on the order of like 3-6 or so.”
Nearly 100 million people are expected to travel fifty miles or more this holiday season. Some four million of those will be New Englanders.
That’s up four percent from last year according to AAA. The organization reports the uptick is due to an extended holiday season, December 23 through January 4, as well as a steadily improving economy according to AAA spokesman Lloyd Albert. “Well I think we’ve been seeing such depressed travel volumes over the past three or four years, that this year we’ve been seeing a very significant uptick.”
Thanksgiving travelers are in for a messy drive Wednesday. A winter storm advisory has been issued for the state, as a storm moving up from the south is expected to dump snow and rain on the Ocean State. National Weather service meteorologist Alan Dunham said if you can hit the road today, you’ll be better off. The entire state will see rain and snow, about 1-2 inches, but the northern region will see even more.
Gas prices are up a penny from last week in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Drivers have seen gas prices climb by 9 cents over the last month in both the Ocean State and the Bay State, that’s according to the latest survey from AAA Southern New England.
In Rhode Island, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.52. It’s cheaper in Mass, at $3.44 a gallon. AAA urges drivers in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts to shop around, since the range in gas prices is about a quarter.