Forecasts call for a warmer Thanksgiving in 2020


ST. LOUIS – Fall in St. Louis is characterized by big changes in temperatures as strong storm systems roll across the region and we transition from summer to winter. The weather on Thanksgiving Day is no exception.

On Thanksgiving day, we’ve been as warm as 74 degrees in 1966, 1973, and 1981 and as cold as 8 degrees in 1950.

However, these Thanksgiving records are different than your normal daily records because the date of Thanksgiving changes.

“Now one thing that I’d throw out there with Thanksgiving climatology, unlike Christmas where it happens on December 25th every year, Thanksgiving climatology is a little bit more difficult because it lands on that Thursday and it doesn’t really matter what numerical date it is,” Jared Maples, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis said.

The wettest thanksgiving on record was in 1968 where there was 1.56 inches of rain.

“And to kind of put that in perspective, it’s not all that rare that you would get rainfall of that amount, it’s just that specific system likely landed in that 24 hours perfectly so that rainfall wasn’t divided amongst two days,” Maples said.

While snow isn’t looking likely this year, the most snowfall seen on a Thanksgiving day is 6.5 inches back in 1929.

Despite November snowfalls the last few years, snow on Thanksgiving doesn’t happen too often.

Based on climatological data alone, there is only a 6 percent chance of measurable snow on Thanksgiving and a 6 percent chance there will already be snow on the ground.

“When I look back through the last several years, it was actually not that common to receive snowfall on thanksgiving,” Maples said. “We did get traces of snow, but as far as measurable snowfall, I had to go back quite a while and that was back on November 25, 2010 where we had two-tenths of an inch of snowfall but the total precipitation was 78 hundredths of an inch.”

Thanksgiving this year is looking dry with seasonable temperatures in the mid 50s.

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