If you’re looking to enjoy a safe holiday, outdoor dining is an option to consider.
This year, the weather looks to cooperate over the majority of the Lower 48, with somewhat milder-than-normal conditions in many areas.
The Eastern Seaboard, especially Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, is most likely to experience rainfall, as a storm system swings through. However, the exact timing of rainfall ― whether it ends in the morning or lingers — is uncertain.
Here, we’ve got your region-by-region Thanksgiving Day forecast.
Mid-Atlantic to New York
While damp weather is possible, uncertainty in the details abound from the Mid-Atlantic to New York City. Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York may all deal with some morning rain and breezy conditions. What happens thereafter unclear.
Gradual clearing and improvement will take place as the system departs from south to north. The question is when that occurs. Some models show a slow-moving system dragging its heels and yielding a cooler, cloudier day, while other indications suggest a faster-moving system that could exit east and bring a nicer afternoon. In the latter scenario, breaks of sunshine could emerge shortly after lunchtime. Rain is more likely to linger in the afternoon in New York than Washington.
As a result, high temperatures are challenging to predict. In New York, temperatures should hold in the upper 40s to near 50 depending on the track of the storm-system. Mid-to-upper 50s are likely farther south for Philadelphia, Baltimore, and the nation’s capital, except flirting with 60 in the Virginia Tidewater.
Any breezy weather early in the day should die down by the evening.
The forecast is even trickier in New England, where timing disagreements between multiple weather models spell the difference between a brisk, cool day and a slug of wet weather and wind.
Right now, rain is most likely in southern and eastern areas, primarily southeast of Interstate 95 in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Berkshires and most of northern/western New England may see gradual improvement after lunchtime Thursday after a night and early morning of heavy downpours if the system is fast-moving.
Alternatively, there’s a chance the system is so slow that it doesn’t even arrive on Thursday, sparing most areas any rainfall and delaying it until Thursday night into Friday. In that case, temperatures will be higher.
A fresh breeze will be prevalent in southern New England, where a few spots might hit 60 degrees. Otherwise, lower 40s north and west with 50s in between. Exact temperatures will depend on where the cold front sets up.
Rain totals may be appreciable, a widespread half-inch to an inch with localized two-inch amounts possible.
South and Southeast
The cold front sweeping to the East Coast could touch off a few downpours and thunderstorms, most probable along the central Gulf Coast. Ahead of the front, a narrow strip of higher humidity should spread northward along with gusty south to southwesterly winds. That will spell an uptick in clouds and perhaps some showers over eastern Georgia and the Carolina Coastal Plain, although the exact timing is uncertain.
This is the zone where outdoor dining would be most pleasant. Highs in the 70s are likely ahead of the front, with 60s and perhaps a few upper 50s behind it. Florida, as is customary, will be warmer, mainly in the upper 70s to near 80.
Behind the front, a cooler, more refreshing air mass with low humidity and temperatures falling into the 40s overnight is possible.
Midwest and Plains
No precipitation is expected anywhere across the Midwest or Plains during the daylight hours on Thursday, with the slight exception of spotty snow flurries near the international border from the eastern Dakotas into northern Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Temperatures will be warm south of a stalled cold front, with 70s possible in Oklahoma and Texas; a sharp temperature contrast will exist southeast to northwest over the panhandles. Meanwhile, 40s and 50s are likely over the Corn Belt and Central Plains, the temperatures gradually cooling as one heads north crossing the west to east stalled front.
Highs could vary significantly across the Northern Plains and Minnesota depending on where the front sets up, with 30s to near 40 a good bet but the potential for warmer weather if the front shifts north. Breezy westerly winds are possible in the Great Lakes vicinity.
Intermountain West and West
Moist flow off the Pacific Ocean will spur unsettled weather in the Pacific Northwest, where a damp day is likely in Seattle and Portland, Ore., with perhaps accumulating mountain snow inland.
Elsewhere, California, the Desert Southwest, and the Four Corners are expected to be dry. Isolated snow showers are possible in the higher elevations of the Intermountain West.
Temperatures should be seasonably cool, with 30s and 40s for most of the Intermountain Region (20s at the high elevations), and 60s and 70s from California’s Central Valley and Coast through southern Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.