Election Day weather nationwide could have something to say about the outcomes

(WXYZ) - Election Day weather can have a pronounced impact on turnout, and political experts have consistently pointed to size and demographic nature of the turnout in 2012 as important predictors to how the close contests will be settled.

With that in mind, we can tell you that here in southeast Michigan, it will be chilly but should stay dry during the hours the polls are open (7am to 8 pm). In the western part of the Lower Peninsula and up in the UP, a few rain showers or wet snowflakes could fall, but not enough to be a significant factor in turnout.

Looking to other key battleground states around the country, the neighboring state of Wisconsin will have rain showers to deal with for a good part of Election Day, ending from west to east as the poll prepare to close.

A completely different weather system will likely bring showers and even a few thunderstorms to the always contentious Florida right in the middle of the balloting day. Though the storms are generally expected to remain below severe levels, some heavy downpours and gusty winds could change the plans of some marginal voters.

That same storm should swing north into the eastern part of battleground state North Carolina, bringing rain showers for about the last five hours that their polls are open, accompanied by brisk winds.

Aside from those areas, most of the Lower 48 will feature dry if not necessarily warm weather for Election Day 2012. Temperatures will be colder than average from the Midwestern states into the northeast on Election Day this year, with highs only in the 40s and 50s.

This will be in sharp contrast to our last presidential election. On November 4, 2008, when Barrack Obama was elected president, most of the country enjoyed unseasonably warm temperatures, with highs of 70 degrees as far north as Minneapolis, Chicago and Columbus. The only battleground states that had to deal with any precipitation that day were North Carolina and Virginia, but only in the eastern half of those states. Turnout was large.

Even with increased early voting, many people will be traveling outside and even standing in lines in the elements to cast their ballots Tuesday. For most of them, Mother Nature has no big surprises in store. As for the results, stay tuned to WXYZ-TV and WXYZ.com.

Follow Chris Edwards on Twitter at twitter.com/edwardswxwxyz

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