Thursday could be the coldest Thanksgiving on record

Here's David Epstein's weather forecast for the holiday week.

Snow on the beach and frozen salt water along the shoreline of Quincy. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

There’s a lot of weather activity headed our way over the next several days, including the coldest Thanksgiving on record, the potential for a little more snow, and perhaps a major coastal storm to conclude the Thanksgiving weekend.

I highly recommend you stay tuned to the latest forecast over the next several days as things can change quickly.

Here’s what you can expect from the weather each day during the Thanksgiving holiday week.


A weak weather system passes off the coast Monday evening and keeps skies mainly cloudy along with chilly temperatures. Other than some light precipitation, the entire lower 48 is mainly dry. This will be a good evening for travel, but the lack of sunshine means it will be rather dismal all day.


A new weather system will cross New England with a band of snow to the north and a band of rain to the south. The rain-snow line looks like it will be north of the Mass. Pike for the bulk of this system, though later in the afternoon on Tuesday, as colder air rushes in, there may be a brief change to snow in and around Boston. I don’t expect roads to become a problem in most areas as temperatures will be marginally cold. If you are heading up toward the New Hampshire border, be aware there could be up to three — or perhaps four — inches of snow. That’s the most likely location for any travel trouble, especially during the evening hours.


The rest of the country looks remarkably quiet and this should be good news for those of you driving or taking other forms of transportation ahead of the holiday.


This is a big travel day across the region and other than a few snow showers in Northern New England — and perhaps a quick snow shower in Southern New England — it looks to be quite dry. Temperatures will be chilly, averaging about 10 degrees below normal. But the real cold will show up for the next day.


A new storm system will move into the West Coast and bring rain there for Thanksgiving, but the big story for us will be the cold air. We could see record cold temperatures on Thanksgiving day, and the period between Wednesday night and Friday is going to be one of the coldest ever in November. The coldest Thanksgiving on record was November 28, 1901, when the high was 24 degrees. As long as Boston is colder than that at midnight Thursday, this is likely to beat the record.

Wind chills Thanksgiving morning will be in the single digits. Those of you who will be doing any outdoor activity should prepare to dress as if it is the middle of winter. The ground will be frozen solid.


Friday and Saturday

Temperatures will be chilly on Friday, only reaching toward freezing. Saturday looks like a much better day with plenty of sunshine and temperatures into the mid 40s. After the cold of the previous two days, it will feel like a bit of a heat wave.


Sunday could end up dry, but we’ll be watching the development of a new storm system along the East Coast. Depending on exactly when this system forms and how it tracks, we could end up seeing some significant precipitation. Since this forecast is still nearly a week away, there’s a lot of uncertainty, but you should stay tuned to the latest changes if you are traveling as the weather could impact your plans.