WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)

Thanksgiving Weather Roundup 2013

By Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist/Community Director
12/01/2013, 6:23:19 AM

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As I do every year, I've taken a look at the weather both nationally and locally (here in Central Pennsylvania) before I left the office for Thanksgiving. This blog was first published 11/20/2013, then updated through 11/29.

UPDATE: 11/29/2013: This Thanksgiving has officially gone down in my history books as the coldest (no matter which station or how you measure it - Penn State or the Airport; low, high, or 3 PM temperature) Thanksgiving since I began blogging in 2005.


Although we had slightly more snow, and snow on the ground, in 2005, this November has shown its true colors by beating 2005 for monthly snowfall, something new I've added to the data this year.

UPDATE 11/27/2013: One day until Thanksgiving, and our final Thanksgiving Day (story) and Black Friday (story) maps have been published. Like last year, they are shown here in full HD format. But here's something even more unique: I've created animations of the different versions that have been drawn over the last week (along with maps from the Thanksgiving storm that's leaving the nation tonight). It's interesting to see how the forecast has changed over the last week. (Click here for the East Coast storm impacts loop; Black Friday was not included because it only included two different maps).


Locally, the forecast has moderated slightly from 14/28 to 18/30, but will still clock in as the coldest Thanksgiving since I started blogging in 2005.


It looks like we'll have a White Thanksgiving based on what's on the ground on my webcam this morning:


Capital Weather Gang also reports that the weather tomorrow in Washington, D.C. will be the coldest since 2000, and will land solidly in the top 10 coldest Thanksgiving ever, top 5 since 1930. In Pittsburgh, it's (at least) the coldest Thanksgiving in 23 years (thanks to Ralph for the image):


UPDATE 11/26/2013: The East Coast storm is snarling traffic as we speak. It's been a couple very busy days for us at


The storm dropped a few inches of snow here at AccuWeather HQ overnight. Although it's raining here now, it's possible there will be enough snow left over to make for a White Thanksgiving, which hasn't happened since 2005. Here's a sample view from the AccuCam:


The local forecast is now calling for 14/28 for a low and high, still likely to be the coldest since I've been blogging (see below).

UPDATE: 11/25/2013: Thanksgiving and Black Friday weather are still predicted to be relatively tranquil, but the midweek storm is now forecast to snarl travel due to heavy rain in the big cities of the East Coast, and wintry precipitation inland. At this point, I can't advise travelling anywhere in the East, Tuesday or Wednesday.

UPDATE: 11/24/2013: The local forecast has been "downgraded" further, cutting another 10 degrees off the high temperature! We're now looking at 14/24 for a low and high, crushing 2005's hopes to remain the coldest Thanksgiving here in Central PA. In fact, the current predicted afternoon temperature is lower than 2005's overnight low! Quite a contrast to last year's warmest Thanksgiving afternoon in my records.

UPDATE: 11/23/2013: Our first Thanksgiving Day forecast story is out.

UPDATE: 11/22/2013: The models have shifted back westward overnight, with the GFS & Euro agreeing on a significant snowfall for the Appalachians and interior New England on the day before Thanksgiving. See our story for more info on that. Thanksgiving Day itself should be much more tranquil, although it will be the coldest in 25 years.

UPDATE: 11/21/2013: Most models are downplaying the possibility of an East Coast snow storm next week. Our first Thanksgiving Day forecast map is out:

ORIGINAL REPORT 11/20/2013: Nationally, while last year's weather map was very quiet, a major storm system will be ongoing in the Southeast this Thanksgiving Day, and abnormally cold air will plunge into the Midwest and Northeast. There are rumors of a snowstorm on Turkey Day, but the Euro model "fooled us once" last week with a blizzard, and the models are verifying worse now for 1-week forecasts than they have for months. Our first day-before Thanksgiving forecast map, as of Nov. 20, is shown below:


Locally, as of 11/20, this year is forecast to feature the coldest air since I started blogging in 2005, at 19 F, both here in State College and 22 in York, Pa., where I'll be on Thanksgiving Day. It *is* the latest possible Thanksgiving this year (the 28th), and it's even Thanksgivukkah, but the real reason for the cold this year is that a cold front from Canada (pent-up air as cold as -48 degrees) is sweeping the nation this weekend.


Below is the weather matrix for Thanksgiving Days 2005-2013 (predicted) here in State College, Pa. The White Thanksgiving of 2005 previously held the record for the most snow and coldest day. The "warmest" Thanksgiving afternoon was last year (2012).


Here are links to my previous blogs:

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)