Richmond Times-Dispatch

Thanksgivi­ng forecast unclear; rain possible

- John Boyer jboyer@ timesdispa­

With heightened interest in outdoor alternativ­es because of the pandemic, there’s plenty riding on the Thanksgivi­ng Day forecast this year.

Unfortunat­ely, it’s being clouded by more uncertaint­y than we’d like to see, now that it’s less than one week away.

In brief: It might rain across Virginia on Thanksgivi­ng, or Thursday could be dry if showers come and go on Wednesday night instead.

With any luck, the whole day won’t be a washout, but we could

be left with soggy ground and cloudy skies either way.

At least temperatur­es won’t stray too far from normal for late November.

It looks like morning

40s and afternoon 60s are the most likely scenario for Thanksgivi­ng Day, with several degrees of wiggle room depending on cloudiness and wind direction.

But for those eyeing other parts of the holiday weekend, more rain could dampen Friday and Saturday.

The uncertaint­y comes down to a low and front that will be scooting from west to east across the country, and their position and strength on Thursday. Then, more unsettled weather could follow to end the week.

The jet stream will be wavy and active next week, rather than stuck in the same channel. That opens up more possibilit­ies for when we see rain and how much, and also more changeable forecasts from one day to the next.

It’s not just us— the entire Eastern Seaboard will be playing the same waitand-see game.

And even though the baseline pattern will be bringing near- to abovenorma­l temperatur­es to Virginia next week, a parade of fronts will lead to daily fluctuatio­ns.

Most days should make a run at the 60s, while Tuesday is most likely to be stuck in the 50s despite sun. Lows will mostly vary from upper 30s to lower 50s, and freezing mornings aren’t favored.

At least we can already rule out ice or snow for central Virginia in such a pattern. But one front after another also makes it doubtful that we’d get a timely repeat of the constant sunshine and warmth we enjoyed earlier in the month.

Any run at 70 degrees late next week would probably come at the cost of a stronger southerly breeze, heavier rain and the odd chance of thunder.

By the final weekend of the month, there’s an inkling that chillier air will once again try to take over. So instead of one particular day looking iffy while the rest of the outlook holds firm, the whole holiday weekend has some question marks at this point.

The computer models ought to be more help for homing in on the rainfall — and dry intervals — by early next week.

The weather might cooperate with an open-air Thanksgivi­ng after all, but for now the forecast process isn’t playing nice.

Look for another update next week.

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