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dave epstein

Thursday could be the coldest Thanksgiving on record

Wind chills Thanksgiving morning will be in the single digits. Those of you who will be doing any outdoor activity should prepare to dress as if it is the middle of winter. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/File

There’s a lot of weather activity headed our way over the next several days, including the coldest Thanksgiving on record, the potential for a little more snow, and perhaps a major coastal storm to conclude the Thanksgiving weekend. I highly recommend you stay tuned to the latest forecast over the next several days as things can change quickly.

I think the best way to frame this is to go through each of the upcoming days and let you know what you can expect.


A weak weather system passes off the coast this evening and keeps skies mainly cloudy along with chilly temperatures. Other than some light precipitation, the entire lower 48 is mainly dry. This will be a good evening for travel. But the lack of sunshine means it will be rather dismal all day.



A new weather system will cross New England with a band of snow to the north and a band of rain to the south. The rain-snow line looks like it will be north of the Mass Pike for the bulk of this system, though later in the afternoon on Tuesday, as colder air rushes in, there may be a brief change to snow in and around Boston. I don’t expect roads to become a problem in most areas as temperatures will be marginally cold. If you are headed up towards the New Hampshire border, be aware there could be up to three -- or perhaps four -- inches of snow. That’s the most likely location for any travel trouble, especially during the evening hours.

Light snow accumulations are possible Tuesday. Dave Epstein

The rest of the country looks remarkably quiet and this should be good news for those of you driving or taking other forms of transportation ahead of the holiday.

Much of the United States is storm free this week. Tropical Tidbits


This is a big travel day across the region and other than a few snow showers in Northern New England -- and perhaps a quick snow shower in Southern New England -- it looks to be quite dry. Temperatures will be chilly, averaging about 10 degrees below normal. But the real cold will show up for the next day.



A new storm system will move into the west coast and bring rain there for Thanksgiving, but the big story for us will be the cold air. We could see record cold high temperatures on Thanksgiving day and the period between Wednesday night and Friday is going to be one of the coldest ever in November. The coldest Thanksgiving on record was November 28, 1901, when the high was 24 degrees. As long as Boston is colder than that at midnight Thursday, this is likely to beat the record.

The coldest weather in the lower 48 will be in New England on Thanksgiving Day. Tropical Tidbits

Wind chills Thanksgiving morning will be in the single digits. Those of you who will be doing any outdoor activity should prepare to dress as if it is the middle of winter. The ground will be frozen solid.

Actual temperatures will be cold enough to produce wind chill readings in the single numbers Thursday morning. Dave Epstein/NOAA Data

Friday and Saturday

Temperatures will be chilly on Friday, only reaching towards freezing. Saturday looks like a much better day with plenty of sunshine and temperatures into the mid 40s. After the cold of the previous two days, it will feel like a bit of a heat wave.

Friday morning lows will be one of the coldest starts to winter ever recorded so early! Dave Epstein/NOAA Data


Sunday could end up dry, but we’ll be watching the development of a new storm system along the east coast. Depending on exactly when this system forms and how it tracks, we could end up seeing some significant precipitation. Since this forecast is still nearly a week away, there’s a lot of uncertainty, but you should stay tuned to the latest changes if you are traveling as the weather could impact your plans.


A new storm will take aim at New England late Thanksgiving weekend or could hold off until the new work week. Tropical Tidbits