Thanksgiving weekend weather: Mild for most, rainy for some

Photo showing water and fall covered foliage in New York State.
Fall view along the water in New York State. (Getty Images)

As we head into Thanksgiving, NOAA forecasters anticipate temperatures close to seasonal normals in most areas of the country, but there will be increased chances of precipitation in some places. 

Be sure to check your local forecast, and give yourself extra time to travel if rain or snow is predicted to occur along your path.

Temperatures will be near normal for most

Aside from significantly colder-than-normal temperatures and the possibility of snowfall from the Four Corners region into the Southern Plains on Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day, much of the nation will experience average seasonal temperatures through the weekend.

Precipitation outlook: You might need that raincoat or umbrella

A low-pressure system is expected to develop and stall in the Southern Plains late on Wednesday, through Thanksgiving Day and into Friday. This system will spread  rain and thunderstorms from eastern Oklahoma and eastern Texas through Arkansas and Louisiana on Wednesday night into Thanksgiving Day. Showers and storms will eventually affect most of the South and Southeast on Thanksgiving Day and Friday.

The Lower Mississippi River Valley will experience the heaviest rainfall, with more than 2 inches likely in some locations. Localized flash flooding and isolated severe thunderstorms will be possible in the region.

From Thursday night to early Saturday, there is the potential for snow-related travel disruptions in parts of the Southern Plains, especially from eastern New Mexico, through the Texas Panhandle and into western Oklahoma.

The low pressure system will lift to the Northeast later this weekend and drop rain over much of the East Coast, with the potential for some light snow for interior New England as well.

In contrast, the Western U.S. will be mostly dry, though rain and higher-elevation snow will arrive in the Northwest over the weekend.

Brief periods of unsettled weather: Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico

Outside of the contiguous U.S., unsettled weather conditions will be possible in parts of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on or around Thanksgiving Day.

Those in the Alaska Panhandle will be impacted by a low-pressure system bringing heavy precipitation and gusty winds on Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day. Another system is likely to sweep from the Aleutians on Thursday night, through the rest of the southern parts of Alaska on Friday and Saturday, while a third system arrives in the Bering Sea region late in the weekend.

In Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, a passing tropical wave should increase chances of showers and thunderstorms on Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day. And in Hawaii, a cold front will also bring increased chances of showers from Wednesday night into Thanksgiving Day, with some gusty winds also possible after the passage of the front.

More on this weekend’s weather

Check out the national forecast map or visit weather.gov and enter the ZIP Code or City, State for your location to find out the forecast for your neck of the woods. 

Be sure to follow your local NOAA National Weather Service forecast office on social media for late-breaking weather updates.

P.S. Wish you all a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving wherever you find yourself this weekend.