WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Do you have any idea what the forecast for Thanksgiving may be this far in advance?

Posted November 10, 2007 11:41 a.m. EST
Updated November 11, 2007 12:53 p.m. EST

MIKE MOSS SAYS:       Scott,     I'm afraid specific forecasts that far in advance (twelve days as I write this) simply wouldn't have much meaning and would likely change several times before Thanksgiving arrived. While there are some weather patterns that foster predictions out to a week or so in advance that may work out okay, in many cases about three to five days in advance is the point where you can begin to put more stock in the specifics of a forecast (of course, the nature of the atmosphere/land/ocean system is such that even some of those will not work out, but on the whole, within that time frame forecasts will be more correct than the alternatives of assuming weather will stay the same as it currently is, assuming the weather will match a climatological average for the date, or making a random guess).

UPDATE:   One thing I usually like to add to answers like this and forgot to include is a mention of the climatology for the day in question. Thanksgiving this year is on 22 November, and for the Raleigh area the normal low for that date is 38 degrees and the normal high is 60, both with a standard deviation of about +/- 10 degrees. The probability of receiving measurable rain that day is just under 30%, while the probability of receiving at least a quarter inch of rain on that day is a bit under 15%.