Weather

Turkey Day travelers take in warm Thanksgiving temps

Posted November 22
Updated November 23

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— Central and eastern North Carolina residents hitting the roads for the Thanksgiving holiday won’t encounter any holiday-ruining weather on Wednesday—or during the rest of the long weekend.

Temperatures on Wednesday started below freezing for many towns in the eastern part of the state. Despite the frozen start, though, a warm front moving through has the region gearing up for a mild holiday.

"We have some warmer air that's out ahead of the cold front that will start to move into our area by (Thursday)," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner. "(Wednesday) stays fairly cool."

Wednesday should be a good travel day, with highs in the upper-50s to low-60s and cloudy conditions. While there won’t be as much sun, it will remain dry. Travelers headed Raleigh-Durham International Airport should arrive two hours early and expect longer than normal lines at security checkpoints. Officials said they expect 35,000 people to pass through the airport Wednesday.

The cold front coming behind the balmy Thanksgiving weather, though, is pushing storm clouds across the country, bringing a slight chance of rain in the Triangle on Thursday morning.

"The mountains will see some of (the rain)," Gardner said. "But even in the mountains it's not going to be a whole lot."

Temperatures will rise in the afternoon to the mid-60s making the evening hours perfect weather for an after-dinner walk.

Black Friday shoppers waiting in line for holiday gifts will also have pleasant weather: low temperatures will be around 50 degrees, and the high will rise to 69.

A change in winds now coming from the southwest could carry smoke back into the Triangle from a rash of wildfires in the North Carolina mountains, Gardner said. The smoky winds could linger until Saturday when a new front will push the smoke out.

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