Near Record High Temps Possible For Thanksgiving

Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 18, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-18 20:47:40-05

I know some of us are waiting for the real winter to start, but it won’t happen this week. In fact, temps are expected to climb to near 60 or better by mid-week and into Thanksgiving Day. For travel purposes, it will be uneventful across the Great Lakes. Bear in mind the warm-up will be brief. A reasonably strong cold front may deliver a few rain showers later on Thanksgiving Day (in the evening/overnight), but our temps will cool back into the 40s on Friday as a shot of cooler air filters in from the north/west.

Lets take look at some of the numbers for Grand Rapids and how previous Thanksgiving Days fared up. Our warmest temperature occurred on 11/26/1896 when we hit 65 degrees. We made 64 on 11/26/1908, and 63 on 11/22/1990. We may be coming close to these numbers THIS year! Our computer forecast models are showing a surge of warm air into Michigan just ahead of a strong cold front on Thursday. We should easily be up around 60 or better!

The coldest Thanksgiving Days in GR occurred on 11/27/1930 at only 15 degrees. We had temps of 22 on 11/28/1929, and 24 degrees on 11/27/1919. The wettest turkey day occurred on 11/28/1968 with 1.58″ of rain. The second wettest was .70″ on 11/26/1981, and third wettest was .59″ on 11/22/1979.

The snowiest Thanksgiving Day in GR was on 11/22/1945 with 6.8″. We tabulated 3.8″ on 11/28/1991, and tied again with 3.8″ on 11/27/1952. So it’s clear to see West Michigan Thanksgiving Day weather is everything but normal or consistent. It really can be from one extreme to another and literally all over the board! These records are from the period 1893-2011. Thanks to meteorologist Bill Marino at the National Weather Service for compiling the data.

I suppose the really good news for travelers is only light rain showers are expected over the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions on Thursday, and another system with rain likely will be coming ashore in the Pacific Northwest affecting Washington and Oregon state. Click here to see the forecast model (what us meteorologists look at). Notice all of the purple on the United States map is accumulated precipitation. Only the Pacific Northwest is the real area receiving any appreciable moisture.

Make sure to get this week’s West Michigan forecast at Have pleasant, peaceful, and safe holiday Thanksgiving week!