Note from November 19: More recent posts on Thanksgiving weather have been written since this post was first published. Please see What Thanksgiving Day Storm (November 15) and Thanksgiving Day Forecast–No Big Storm (November 19).
Since Thanksgiving is the first of the so-called winter holidays–and the days immediately prior to the day are the busiest travel days of the year–I thought it would be enjoyable to take a look at a long-range computer forecast map for Thanksgiving Day.
Notice that I said “enjoyable,” not informative! Long-range computer forecast models are known for their lack of consistency, and such long-range forecast models are more helpful to us (meteorologists) forecasting the overall pattern than the specifics for a given day.
But how much fun is that? Let’s look at the forecast.
Thanksgiving Day Forecasts
Let’s take a look at what the computer is forecasting for Thanksgiving Day, which includes the forecast of a major winter-like storm:
- White Thanksgiving from central and eastern Kentucky northeastward to upstate New York
- Rain changing to snow from northern New England to West Virginia
- Winter-like cold in the upper-Midwest and northern Plains
- A cold front, with thunderstorms, moving through Florida, with cold air pouring into the Deep South
- A storm brushing northern Washington with light rain
- Sunny, dry, and warm in the Desert Southwest and California
Here’s the map (the 364-hour GFS model, for those who care about such things) for Thanksgiving morning (8 a.m. EST).
I’ll show another map in about a week, and we’ll also compare it to what actually happens–unless I have too much turkey.