Travel? Here’s your Thanksgiving forecast by region.


Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel occasions of the year. Tens of millions of people across the United States will take to the streets, rails and skies to visit relatives and loved ones. When it comes to travel, the weather naturally plays a major role. Luckily we have your prognosis.

Wednesday, the busiest travel day, will be remarkably calm in the Lower 48, with little precipitation outside of some snow showers in the Intermountain West.

The second half of the holiday season probably won’t be so quiet.

For days, weather models have been pointing to the development of a strong storm system in the eastern United States between Friday and the weekend. They’ve scaled back their forecasts for intensity somewhat, but significant rainfall could still affect parts of the central and eastern Lower 48.

In the west, meanwhile, signs are pointing to a mild and dry spell leading up to Thanksgiving. Temperatures can be 1o to 15 degrees or more above average thanks to a large high pressure dome that can be parked directly above. But wet, unsettled weather will sweep across the Pacific Northwest and northern California Friday through the weekend.

Here’s a first look at the forecast in your regional forecast:

There are no weather worries for Wednesday and Thursday. Between Friday and the weekend the chance of a strong coastal storm has reduced, but the weather could still be a bit unsettled at times. It is worth paying attention to the forecast, as it is still developing.

Wednesday: A cool day with upper 20’s for highs in northern Maine; 30s over New Hampshire, much of Upstate New York and Vermont; 40’s in southern New England; and near 50 for the south coast. Dry conditions with sunshine and a few passing clouds.

Thursday: Expect highs in the lower 20’s in far north Maine. Otherwise, highs range from the upper 30s to near 40 in Vermont and New Hampshire and from 40 to near 50 in southern regions. Sunshine gives way to cloudy skies late in the day. Pleasant in Boston; Manchester, New Hampshire; Accord, NH; Portland, Maine; Hartford, Connecticut; and Providence, RI

Friday: While the forecast still comes into focus, Rain is possible, except maybe some snow in inland Maine. High temperatures range from the 50s to 55s in eastern New England to the low 30s in inland Maine.

Weekend: High temperatures range from the high 30s and 40s in interior sections to the low to mid 50s near the coast. Depending on how the storm system develops on Friday, it could continue into Saturday and bring rain and wind. Alternatively it can be partly sunny and windy for most of the weekend before increasing clouds on Sunday with a chance of late day rain.

Mild and dry weather is expected for Wednesday and Thanksgiving. Depending on how strong a storm system develops on Friday, there may be continuous rain or only isolated showers. Calm weather prevails on Saturday and the first half of Sunday before downpours arrive on Sunday evening.

Wednesday and Thursday: Highs in the mid 50’s near the Mason-Dixon line to nearly 60 south of the nation’s capital to low to mid 60’s in the Carolinas. Mostly sunny skies except near the Carolina coast. Clouds and a very isolated shower are possible along the immediate coast on Wednesday.

Friday: It may rain, but how widespread and intense has yet to be determined. Some areas may become dry.

Weekend: Better on Saturday, with rain likely on Sunday.

The South and the Tennessee Valley

A developing low-pressure system will take shape near the Texas Gulf Coast on Thanksgiving, working north and bringing showers across much of the South through Friday. Another low-pressure zone could form over Texas and Arkansas by Saturday night, with more rain along and ahead.

Wednesday: Widespread highs in the 60’s, with low 60’s in northern regions and high 60’s to low 70’s near the Gulf Coast; 80’s in South Florida. Mostly pleasant. A shower in Florida.

Thursday: Similar temperatures as on Wednesday. Afternoon and evening rain are possible in Louisiana, Arkansas, western Mississippi and western Tennessee.

Friday: Showers and downpours and maybe some thunderstorms are likely in Mississippi, Alabama, coastal Louisiana and the Delta, northern and western Georgia, Tennessee and the Ohio Valley. Jackson, Miss; Huntsville, Alabama; Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta; Memphis; Nashville; and Louisville could see wet weather.

High temperatures are about 10 degrees cooler than Wednesday and Thursday, ranging from the low 50s in Tennessee to the low 60s along the Gulf Coast. In Florida, elevations range from the high 60’s in the panhandle to the 70’s and 80’s on the peninsula.

Weekend: Another round of showers is possible Saturday over Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi and may spread north and east on Sunday, but confidence is low. Highs are mostly in the 60s, with the exception of the 50s toward the Tennessee Valley and the 70s in South Florida.

Temperature differences across the southern plains could help spawn some storm systems, each of which could bring rain to Texas and southern Oklahoma between Friday and Sunday. Much of the central and northern plains, upper Midwest and Great Lakes behind a series of weak fronts will be mostly dry between Wednesday and the weekend.

Wednesday: Sun with a few passing high thin clouds. Highs around freezing in North Dakota and northern South Dakota, with 50s for the Central Plains and 60s farther south. Highs in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes will be in the 30s and 40s except closer to 50 near Chicago.

Thursday: Sunny over the northern plains, clouds in Texas and downpours in the eastern parts of the Lone Star State, especially in the afternoon. This could affect Interstates 20 and 30. A front makes it to Oklahoma. Late 20’s to early 30’s in northern North Dakota, 40’s to about 50’s in Kansas and Nebraska, and late 50’s to about 60’s south of the frontline in Oklahoma and North Texas. Upper 70’s to almost 80’s for the Gulf Coast. In the upper Midwest and Great Lakes, highs range from the mid-30s in the north to the 50s around Chicago.

Friday: Rain is possible in most parts of Texas outside of the Panhandle. Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Waco and Houston could be affected. Highs are in the 30s and nearly 40 from the Dakotas to the Great Lakes, but warm into the 60s over much of Texas.

Weekend: Similar temperatures. A chance of rain moves towards Oklahoma on Saturday and clears the southern plains on Sunday.

High pressure dominates, keeping temperatures high and keeping rain out. The exception will be in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, where rainy conditions can try to lap the coast.

Wednesday: Rain lurks off the Pacific Northwest coast but should stay offshore. A few clouds in Seattle. Cooler in the mountains, with highs about 5 to 10 degrees below average in the Columbia River Basin and Four Corners. Near average to slightly above average readings along the Pacific Coast.

Thursday: warmer. Ten to 20 degrees above average in northern portions of California’s San Joaquin Valley, with highs of 5 to 10 degrees above average as far north as British Columbia. Conversely, it will be colder than average in the Rocky Mountains. Atmospheric flow continues to point at Vancouver Island but does not reach the United States.

Friday: Similar temperatures as on Thursday. Dry and comfortable.

Weekend: It’s getting warmer in the Rockies. Stormy conditions begin to work along the coast Saturday before impacting the Sierra Nevada and bringing in significant snow early next week.