Posted by: pyeager | November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Weather

By Paul Yeager, author of Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

I know. Many people have been asking me about Thanksgiving Day weather, but I haven’t had a chance to post any information…but…since most of the turkey are still frozen, it’s not too late.

A major storm or two often highlights Thanksgiving Day weather since it’s getting into that stormy time of year; however, it appears as if the holiday that we all seem to barely tolerate before starting the over-hyped and excessively long “Christmas season” (how’s that for an editorial comment?) will be fairly tranquil across the United States.

Here’s a forecast map for early Thanksgiving Day (GFS output from Saturday morning):

GFS Thanksgiving Day forecast

Computer forecast model (GFS) for Thanksgiving Day

If this forecast is right, then there will be some rain and high-mountain snow along the West Coast from two storms–one weakening as it heads through California and a stronger one plowing into the Pacific Northwest. The remainder of the country will generally be dry and mild–perfect turkey-eating weather.

This doesn’t mean that the weather leading up to the holiday–travel days during the first part of the week–will be just as uneventful, though. The storm show in the western Atlantic on the Thursday map will track from the Plains to off the East Coast during the next several days.

Dangerous thunderstorms, including the possibility of isolated tornadoes, will occur in the southern Plains as early as Sunday and, by Tuesday, heavy rain and strong thunderstorms will extend from the Missouri Valley into parts of the Southern Plains. Showers and a couple of thunderstorms will move through the East on Wednesday, with the possibility of being cold enough for snow in parts of New England.

By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, though, much of the nation will have quiet weather, which is good since we’ll all need time to start obsessing about Christmas–something I’ve written about before: Five Weather Seasons, and Romanticized White Christmas.

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