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Record-breaking cold temperatures greet Thanksgiving celebrations

A map generated Thursday morning show the predicted high temperatures for Thanksgiving.
A map generated Thursday morning show the predicted high temperatures for Thanksgiving.

If you’re going to be outside at all on Thanksgiving, dress in layers, the National Weather Service advises.

High temperatures are only expected to reach the low 20s across Massachusetts, according to the weather service, and the wind chill will make it feel much colder during the morning hours.

A wind chill advisory was issued for Western Massachusetts for Thursday morning. The advisory will be in effect from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. for parts of Franklin County, Hampshire County, and Hampden County, where wind chill values could drop to as low as 15 below zero.

Just after 4 a.m. Thursday, the temperature in Worcester had dropped to 10 degrees, breaking the previous record of 11 degrees for this date, which was set in 1987, the weather service reported. Later in the morning, the temperature there reached just 7 degrees.

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“Frostbite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken,” the weather service said. “Make sure you wear a hat and gloves.”

Concerns about the cold led some communities to move their traditional Turkey Bowl games to Wednesday.

Hartford and Providence also saw records broken. Just after 5 a.m., Connecticut’s capital reached 13 degrees, beating the previous record of 14 degrees set in 1969, the weather service said. Then, a little before 9 a.m., the temperature in Hartford measured just 11 degrees.

The service also announced that Providence had reached 15 degrees, beating the old record of 16, which the city reached in both 1969 and 1987.

The record low for Nov. 22 in Boston was 9 degrees (set in 1879) and the record minimum high was 24 degrees (in 1880). Boston didn’t break a record for the low temperature on Thursday morning, reaching just 14 degrees.

The record low for the Thanksgiving holiday in Boston was 11 degrees (set on Nov. 27, 1873) and the record minimum high was 24 degrees (on Nov. 28, 1901), according to the weather service.

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Along the outer Cape, the weather service also predicted clouds and ocean effect snow showers and flurries.

Thursday night will be mostly clear and blustery, with lows in the teens, and some locations may set new records for cold temperatures on Thanksgiving, the weather service said.


Danny McDonald and Emily Sweeney of the Globe staff and Globe correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report. Abbi Matheson can be reached at Abbi.Matheson@globe.comFollow her on Twitter @abbimatheson