What we know about the forecast for Thanksgiving

You may be thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and wondering what the weather will be like. The best forecasters can say right now is that it won’t be snowing.

It’s hard to pinpoint a precise forecast for Thanksgiving seven days in advance — unfortunately, our crystal ball is out of order — but with long-range computer models, we can say with reasonably high confidence that the D.C. region shouldn’t plan to break out the snow shovel for turkey day.

Much of the country has fair odds of seeing an unusually warm Thanksgiving — especially from the mid-Atlantic to the Gulf Coast. (Courtesy NWS/CPC)

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center estimates nearly the entire country east of the Rockies has between a 40% and 60% chance to see above average temperatures from Nov. 24 to Nov. 28.

Given that the average daily high for D.C. this time of year is about 60 degrees, that at least means it isn’t worth betting on winter weather for the Thanksgiving holiday.

But that doesn’t indicate it won’t rain — and though it’s still too far out to know for certain, there’s a non-negligible chance Thanksgiving Day could be a wet one.

As of this morning, the American GFS and European ECMWF models — the two major global forecast systems meteorologists often rely on — both showed a frontal boundary hovering close to the D.C. metro region on a Wednesday to Thursday slot, though they disagreed on when rain would begin and whether it would persist into the holiday itself.

“Most guidance is telling us there will be a storm affecting us in the Wednesday to Thanksgiving time frame,” Storm Team4 meteorologist Matt Ritter told WTOP. “A worst-case scenario for impact would be wet weather slowing travel on the day before Thanksgiving, and maybe Thanksgiving early morning.”

If you’re planning on spending this weekend prepping for a hearty stay-at-home Thanksgiving celebration, it’ll be smooth sailing all the way through Sunday afternoon.

Friday and Saturday will be partly sunny with highs in the low to mid 60s; Sunday is expected to remain clear but slightly cooler, with a slight chance of showers by the end of the day.


Thursday: Mostly sunny, brisk and chilly. Highs in the upper 40s to low 50s.

Thursday night: Mostly clear and cold. Overnight lows in the upper 20s to low 30s in rural areas; mid 30s to near 40 near cities.

Friday: Mostly sunny. More seasonably cool. Highs in the upper 50s to near 60.

Saturday: Partly sunny. Mild and pleasant. Highs in the low to mid 60s.

Sunday: Increasing clouds. Not as mild, but still pleasant. A few light showers possible toward evening. Highs in the upper 50s to low 60s.

Monday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with highs in the upper 50s.

Current conditions:

More Thanksgiving News:

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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