The effect of the weather on voter turnout is an oft debated question.Â Certainly, it makes sense that more people will be likely to vote on a sunny, warm day than one that is cold and raining.Â Unfortunately, at least here in Georgia, it looks like the weather won’t be ideal for voting, and other parts of the country could see rain and snow as well:
As you can see from the image above, which shows expected weather conditions from 7AM through 7PM on Tuesday, there’s a reasonable chance for some light rain while the polls are open. The weather pattern sets up like this: There is a low pressure system that tonight is bringing thunderstorms to Arkansas. Cut off from the main jet stream, the low will migrate south over the weekend, until it reaches the Florida Panhandle. Then, it moves northeast into Georgia.
Meanwhile, high pressure moves down from New England, setting the stage for cold air damming, or the wedge. This weather phenomenon occurs when colder, high pressure air is trapped against the Appalachian mountains as the lower pressure, lighter air moves on top of it. It generally means cool weather with lots of clouds and drizzle. Right now, a high of 66 is predicted for Atlanta, but that could go down depending on the strength of the wedge.
Bad weather is also likely to affect the battleground states of Montana, Missouri and Arizona. It might also affect some of the leaning states such as Colorado, where snow is expected in the mountains, with rain in the plain from Denver east. However, Ohio and Florida–the key states in the previous two elections–are now forecast to have good weather on Election Day.
How all this will affect the election results remains to be seen. Unlike previous years, many people have taken advantage of early voting and don’t have to worry about election day weather. But, if it does rain on Tuesday, keep in mind what my mother always used to say when it rained–unless you’re the wicked witch of the west you won’t melt. Bring an umbrella and vote.