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An early look at Thanksgiving Day weather

As I am sure it is for many of you, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  To me Thanksgiving day is supposed to be overcast and cool, but the past couple of years it has been quite the opposite.  So will this be the year we see a return to more classic Thanksgiving weather? While, turkey day is still too far out to make a locked in forecast, I’m going to give you a way too early peek ahead anyway.

Historical Thanksgiving Averages

First though lets look back for a minute and get an understanding of what is really normal around here on Thanksgiving.  For the 100+ years records have been kept in the Houston area the historical average temperatures for the week of Thanksgiving (since the holiday falls on a different date each year I took the average for the week) are a high of 69 degrees and a low of 49 degrees.  After looking at the historical averages I then looked at temperature for each Thanksgiving Day for the past 20 years to see if there were any recent trends.

thanksgiving wx chart

High and low temperatures for each Thanksgiving Day over the past 20 years

Over the past 20 Thanksgivings the average high is 71 degrees and the average low is 49 degrees.  If anything you could say the past 20 years has been slightly warmer than average, but overall its been pretty close to normal.  As far as records go, both the record high and record low on Thanksgiving were set in the 1970’s.  The record high for Thanksgiving, 87 degrees, was set in 1973, and only 2 years later in 1975 the record low was set at 26 degrees.

This Thanksgiving

At the moment trends are favoring the possibility of a cooler holiday.  A more Thanksgiving-like Thanksgiving if you will.  Currently it looks like a cold front will pass through late Tuesday or Wednesday bringing some significantly cooler weather.  It is within the realm of possibility that highs do not get out of the 50’s and lows drop into the upper 30’s on Thanksgiving (a couple of outliers even keep highs in the 40’s and lows near freezing, but for now they are outliers).

thanksgiving gfs

A recent forecast model’s depiction of temperatures next Wednesday thru next Friday.

As far as rain goes it looks like their may be a few showers with that front’s passage but Thursday looks dry for now.  However we are still 9 days out so nothing is set in stone yet.  The models have been very consistent with this cold front, but it is still possible that it never comes to fruition.  But even with no front I think we would be looking at temperatures closer to average (see above), and not the very warm weather we have seen the past couple of years.  I for one am hoping these trends hold since it’s far more pleasant to stuff yourself silly in cold weather.  As the holiday gets a bit closer I’ll post another update with a more concrete forecast.

Find me on Twitter @stephenuzick.


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