Rainy Thanksgiving week ahead in Florida, weather service says. Will it be cold Thursday?

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We're getting closer to what is expected to be one of the busiest Thanksgiving travel seasons in a long time, and forecasters have a better idea of what kind of weather we can expect in Florida for the holiday.

Short version: the Panhandle and the Keys may get wet all week, North to Central Florida may see some wet days before the holiday, and most of Florida could see showers Thursday evening. And if you're traveling for Thanksgiving anywhere in the eastern half of the country this week, be prepared for delays.

A low-pressure system developing over the middle of the U.S. is expected to bring widespread rain and possible thunderstorms across the eastern two-thirds of the country over the next couple of days, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service. Eastern Texas to the lower Mississippi Valley will get plastered later today into tonight with heavy downpours and the possibility of high winds, tornados and hail.

By Tuesday, the center of the system is expected to reach the lower Great Lakes area, dragging rain and thunderstorms toward New England on Tuesday night with strong thunderstorms forecast across the southeast U.S. Gusty thunderstorms may add to weather-related delays around Atlanta on Tuesday, AccuWeather forecasters said.

"A pre-Thanksgiving storm may bring travel impacts from the central to the eastern U.S. early next week," the National Weather Service said in an advisory. "Areas of severe thunderstorms, gusty winds, heavy rain, and heavy snow are all possible."

National auto club AAA predicts that more than 3 million Floridians will travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, out of more than 55.3 million Americans nationwide, nearly 1.3 million more than last year.

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Will it rain on Thanksgiving in Florida? What will the weather be like in Florida the week of Thanksgiving?

6-10 day precipitation forecast for Nov. 22-26, 2023.
6-10 day precipitation forecast for Nov. 22-26, 2023.

Depending on where you are, probably, at least that evening while you're digesting your holiday.

In the Panhandle, as of Monday, there's a 20-50% chance of rain and possibly thunderstorms today and tonight, a 90% chance of showers for Tuesday, a 20% chance Wednesday, and a 40-50% chance on Thanksgiving, according to the NWS.

Tallahassee won't see rain till Tuesday, the NWS said, with a 20-50% chance of showers throughout the day and evening, a slight chance of thunderstorms on Wednesday and a 30-50% chance of showers on Thursday. By Tuesday night the rains may hit the Jacksonville area, but Thursday the day is forecast to be mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers in the evening.

Central Florida may see some showers today but otherwise if it rains this week it will be Wednesday and Thursday evening with a mostly cloudy Thanksgiving.

Southwest and South Florida may dodge all the rain till Thursday night, when there's a 20% chance of thunderstorms.

There's a low chance of rain for areas in the Florida Keys all week, however.

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Will it be hot or cold on Thanksgiving in Florida?

6-10 day temperature outlook for Nov. 22-26, 2023.
6-10 day temperature outlook for Nov. 22-26, 2023.

It won't be as cool as last week's forecast, though it might be in most areas of the state, but the cold front accompanying the low-pressure area sweeping across the country will bring temperatures in the Panhandle down to the high 40s overnight Wednesday night and into the low 60s on Thanksgiving.

North Florida can expect temps in the high 70s all week with a dip to the low 70s for the holiday and overnight lows before and after in the 50s.

Central Florida will be running a bit warmer, with temperatures in the high 70s until a Wednesday overnight drop to the low 60s, but Thanksgiving Day will still be in the low 70s, the NWS said.

The cold front still might affect Southwest Florida, but only enough to bring the Thursday temps down to just 81 degrees with overnight lows before and after in the high 60s.

And South Florida should see a high-70s Thanksgiving, with temps in the high-70s, low 80s in the beginning of the week.

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What does the Farmers' Almanac predict for Thanksgiving weather in Florida?

The Farmers' Almanac forecasts plenty of snow and rain across most of the U.S. this upcoming winter.
The Farmers' Almanac forecasts plenty of snow and rain across most of the U.S. this upcoming winter.

According to the Almanac, it'll be time to "cuddle up with some hot apple cider!" Conditions for the Southeast, including Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, are expected to be fair but cold. "Cold" being relative for the Sunshine State, of course.

The Almanac has predicted a return to cooler weather in its 2023-2024 winter forecast, with a greater chance of rain for the southeast.

"The Southeast and Florida will see a wetter-than-normal winter, with average winter temperatures overall, but a few frosts may send many shivers to snowbirds trying to avoid the cold and snow back home," the Farmers' Almanac predicted.

The Old Farmers' Almanac, a competitor, predicts warm weather and scattered showers for Nov. 23-30.

What did the Farmers' Almanac predict for Thanksgiving weather around the country?

If you'll be traveling for the holidays, here's what you can expect to run into, according to the Farmers' Almanac:

  • Northeast & New England: New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. should see "mostly fair but cold weather."

  • Great Lakes, Ohio Valley & Midwest: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Wisconsin may see rain and possibly snow beforehand but see a "mostly fair but cold Thanksgiving."

  • North Central: Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana may get hit with light snow in the Rockies before the holiday, followed by a heavy snowfall in the Nebraska and Dakotas area.

  • South Central: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico should see a "clear and cold" holiday, with some stormy weather from the west.

  • Northwest: Washington, Oregon, and Idaho may see "rain and wet snow."

  • Southwest: California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona may be getting a "rainy Thanksgiving," the Almanac said.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: National Weather Service predicts wet Thanksgiving week, Florida temps