WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)

Thanksgiving Weather: 2005-2017

By Jesse Ferrell
11/28/2017, 11:32:26 AM

(Originally published Nov. 24, 2017)

As I do every year I'd like to take a look at how the weather affected Thanksgiving and Black Friday on a national basis, and see where Turkey Day 2016 stacked up locally here in State College, Pennsylvania. Nationally, the big story this year was the Thanksgiving heatwave in southern California.

Thanksgiving Heat Wave - Weather Setup

Los Angeles hit 91 degrees, a new record hot Thanksgiving. These were the temperatures at 21Z:

Thanksgiving Heat Wave

In nearby Camarillo, it hit 99 degrees on November 23, the hottest it had ever been in November!

There was rain and some snow in the Pacific Northwest, but elsewhere the weather was fairly tranquil. Although forecast models had predicted a big east coast storm on the day before Thanksgiving a couple weeks in advance, most of them had given up on it by last weekend, and there was only a small coastal storm that brought rain (and some travel troubles) to New England.

Below is what our forecast Thanksgiving map looked like on Thursday; animations of our Thanksgiving and Black Friday forecasts are also available.

Thanksgiving 2017

Central Pennsylvania Thanksgiving Weather History

Locally here in State College, Pennsylvania, it was an average Thanksgiving, cold and cloudy, with nothing to write home about -- near normal temperatures for the second year in a row. Here is the official record:

State College Thanksgiving Weather 2005-2017

For the record, here are my best Instagram pictures from the last five Thanksgiving weeks in Pennsylvania:

Instagram Thanksgiving Week Best of - 2013-2017

Here are the 10-year record Thanksgiving events for State College, Pennsylvania (unchanged again this year, 3rd year in a row):

  • COLDEST: 2013,
  • WARMEST: 2007
  • RAINIEST: 2010
  • SNOWIEST: 2005*

*2014 was a runner up for daily snow, the most snow during the period for November and a tie for snow cover -- both days had several inches of snow on the ground Thanksgiving morning.

National Thanksgiving Weather History

Last year, we went further back in time and published an interesting article about U.S. Thanksgiving storms past, detailing famous storms in history: 10 notorious Thanksgiving storms that wreaked havoc, including...

Famous Thanksgiving Storms in History

+ 1898 - Infamous Portland storm
+ 1921 - New England's worst ice storm
+ 1926 - Thanksgiving Day tornado outbreak
+ 1945 - Severe nor'easter disrupts Thanksgiving
+ 1950 - The Great Appalachian Storm
+ 1971 - Snowfall blankets northeastern U.S.
+ 1982 - Hurricane Iwa disrupts Hawaii's Thanksgiving
+ 1988 - Historic tornado twists from Raleigh to Jackson, North Carolina
+ 1992 - 93 deadly tornadoes rip through Gulf Coast states
+ 2010 - Tornado outbreak slams Deep South

Here are links to my previous blogs about past Thanksgiving weather:

Thanksgiving 2016 Header

We had considerable snow in the West in 2007 and a swath of snow through the Midwest (see my blog entry from Nov. 20, 2007). Here in Central Pennsylvania, I did a video outside on Thanksgiving morning when temperatures were in the 60s, but they plunged later that day. There was also a surprise snow in Texas and tornadoes in Florida.

In 2006, after it snowed on Tuesday in Florida, I took a bunch of great weather photos on Thanksgiving Eve, and on Thursday it rained so hard that the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade was almost cancelled. I about busted my butt on Black Friday black ice here in Central Pennsylvania.

And back in 2005 on Thanksgiving Eve, Tropical Storm Delta (the 25th named Atlantic system that year) formed. My first year of blogging for, we had a White Thanksgiving here at AccuWeather HQ, and over 2 feet of lake-effect snow fell in New York state, along with high winds over the entire Northeast (waves even flooded the streets of Lake Erie). It was frigid on Black Friday with wind chills below -25 here.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)