Thanksgiving Day Weather Preview; Cold Blast Arrives For Black Friday
Wednesday, November 22nd, 2012
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours on this Thanksgiving eve. I know there are quite a few folks traveling out there, so if you’re catching us today… thanks for stopping by! Thankfully, weather conditions for one of the biggest travels days of the year (today) will be fairly quiet! One of the biggest concerns earlier Wednesday was the dense and widespread fog that enveloped places from the Great Lakes to the middle Mississippi Valley. Thanks to @gabeisababe for the image below is from Chicago, IL earlier today.
Here’s another shot from Chicago, IL thanks to @brittanyvogel
Snarled Airport Travel
Here’s a story from the ChicagoTribune – Foggy conditions from earlier today cancelled and delayed several hundred flights earlier Wednesday.
“CHICAGO (AP) — Thanksgiving travelers are encountering cancellations and delays at Chicago’s airports as extremely dense fog settles over the region. According to flightstats.com, 90 inbound and outbound flights were canceled and more than 400 were delayed at O’Hare and Midway airports as of around 7:45 a.m.”
The image below shows the widespread from from visible satellite from earlier today. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Richard Castro, visibility was near zero at both Chicago airports for about two hours.
Weather Conditions Today
The good news is that weather conditions across the nation are fairly quiet. Other than the fog, travelers out there today will find the biggest weather headaches out west. Note how quiet the eastern half of the country is!
Thanksgiving Day Weather
Things change up quite a bit towards the end of the week. A strong cold front with large temperature drops will be the biggest concerns on Thursday and Friday for folks in the mid-section of the nation. The good news is that this WILL NOT be a massive winter storm or severe weather outbreak. The biggest concerns will be the more Nanook-like weather for those heading out early Friday for those big shopping deals… More on that in a bit.
Thanksgiving Day – Forecast Highs
Ahead of the cold front, temperatures will be very mild! In fact, there could be a few records set as mild air surges north on a breezy south wind. Take a look at that temperature in the Twin Cities… 57° is the forecast high, which to have 50s on a Thanksgiving day is quite rare. In 140 years of record keeping, there have only been 10 50° days there! The warmest Thanksgiving day was 62° set in 1914 and 1922.
Highs From Normal – Thanksgiving Day
This is impressive, take a look at how much warmer than average it is expected to be on Thanksgiving Day in the eastern half of the country!
Thanksgiving Day Precipitation
As the storm system slides east, precipitation will be possible along the cold front through parts of the Mississippi River Valley and also closer to the center of low pressure in the Upper Mississippi Valley. As the temperature drops, moisture will turn over the snow closer to the International Border, in some cases it might be enough to shovel.
Here is peek at what the NAM model is suggesting for total snowfall amounts through AM Friday. It appears as if a thin band of 1″ to 3″ of snow may be possible across parts of northern Minnesota. Again, it’ll be enough to shovel/brush off your sidewalk/car in a few spots, but this will not be very widespread.
Big Temperature Swing
Take a look at the 850mb temperature outlook for Wednesday vs. Friday. Note how much ‘colder’ the colors looks over that time period. This will result in a near 30° temperature swing for some from Wednesday to Friday… YIKES!
Wednesday 850mb Temps
Friday 850mb Temps
Black Friday Highs
For those who are planning to hit those big box stores on Friday, don’t forget the heavy winter artillery! You’re going to need it across the far north where wind chill values could dip into the teens and single digits early in the morning. Daytime highs won’t rebound much, in fact it appears that many folks will be below average for a change!
Last But Not Least…
How could we forget about our fair weather fowl friends Cobbler and Gobbler.
“President Obama will give an official presidential pardon to one of two Thanksgiving turkeys, Cobbler or Gobbler. at 2 p.m. ET on Nov. 21, 2012. This event marks the 65th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation. President Barack Obama will be joined at the ceremony by the First Lady and the couple’s daughters, Malia and Sasha. Last year, the president called the annual ritual one of his “most important duties.””
The lucky turkey pardoned this year was named “Cobbler”
Turkeys Pardoned in Years Past
“President Bill Clinton and his 6 year old nephew Tyler join Jerry Jerome, left, chairmen of the National Turkey Federation, and Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman before granting a presidential pardon to a turkey named “Jerry”, from Barron Wisconsin during the annual Thanksgiving Day Presentation at the White House in Washington D.C. November 22, 2000″
“President George W. Bush pets this years pardoned turkey, “Stars”, with Jim Stocam, left, and Tom Fix, of Carthage, Mo., at the annual White House turkey pardon on November 24, 2003 in Washington”
Happy travels and happy Thanksgiving!
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