Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! Will it be a record setting one?

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there!  This post will look at the climatology on the day that we give thanks.

According to the Minnesota State Climatology Group, a typical Thanksgiving Day in the Twin Cities has high temperatures in the 30s, and at least a bit of filtered sunshine.  This year will atypical as high temperatures will be approaching 60 degrees in the Twin Cities!  I have little doubt that we will see temperatures in the 55 to 60 degree range with just a few high clouds in the area.  With last weekend’s snow pack pretty much gone, the sun’s energy will be used to warm the surface.  For now, I am going with a forecast of 59 degrees in the metro.  If this was to happen, it would tie the record for November 24th set in 1990.  The most recent mildest Thanksgiving happened in 1998 when the mercury hit 58 degrees in the Twin Cities.  As for the warmest Thanksgiving, it is 62 degrees, set in 1914, and later tied in 1922.


A Thanksgiving with temperatures above 50 degrees is a rare event in the Twin Cities as it has occurred just eight times since 1891.  Thursday’s setup will feature southerly winds pulling warm air into the Upper Midwest as the upper-level jet stream lifts into southern Ontario, Canada.  Some locations across far southern Minnesota will likely see 60 degree readings during the afternoon.


This time last year, there was little snow on the ground across the Twin Cities with the most in Scott County.  Across northern Minnesota, it was a different story as there was significant snow on the ground north of a Brainerd line.

Snow is commonplace across the state on Thanksgiving.  Historically, one in three Thanksgivings have at least one inch of snow on the ground.  In 1993, a Thanksgiving Day Blizzard affected central, western, and south central Minnesota, with heavy snow across most of Minnesota.  Over a foot of snow accumulated over west central Minnesota, and snowfall in excess of six inches or greater occurred north of a line from Bricelyn, in Faribault County, to the Twin Cities.  MSP picked up 4.3 inches of snow this day.

This could be one for the record books!  Enjoy your Thanksgiving with family and friends.


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