Surprise, surprise: Rain on the menu for Thanksgiving

Seattle rain

In the Northwest, turkey and rain go together like smartphones and bus rides.

Things won’t be any different this year.

A firehose of moisture, arcing all the way back to Hawaii, will continue to dampen the Seattle area through Thanksgiving, with up to 2 inches of rainfall expected between now and the time you polish off that slice of pumpkin pie.

Ah, tradition.

Thanksgiving week is historically our soggiest time of the year, as the jet stream takes direct aim at Western Washington. To wit, the stretch between Nov. 22 and 28—the range of dates that Thanksgiving can fall on—is peppered with daily one-inch rainfalls, many of which are far short of any kind of record. Case in point: Thanksgiving this year. A one-inch deluge on Thursday would make for only the sixth-wettest Nov. 23 since record-keeping began in the 1890s—not even halfway to the all-time mark of 2.49 inches.

With the competition so stiff, Seattle is unlikely to even crack the top 10 on Thursday (0.74 inches of rain is needed to do the trick), instead settling for a half-inch or so. The same goes for tomorrow, but on a lesser scale—only a quarter-inch of rain is predicted, which wouldn’t even land us in the top 25. As for today? Increasingly heavy rainfall in the afternoon could put us close to an inch—but the high-water mark (literally) of 1.26 inches from 1980 is probably out of reach.

The University of Washington’s WRF model calls for highs in the low 60s in Seattle on Wednesday.

Temperature-wise, however, it’s a completely different story. A surge of warm air riding in from the Pacific will send the mercury zooming into the upper 50s by late this afternoon and evening—and into the overnight hours. As a result, nighttime temperatures will be unusually warm—some 15 degrees above average. The heat cranks up even further tomorrow, with highs catapulting into the lower 60s. The record high for the day of 58 should be toast by lunchtime, as thermometers around the Sound flirt with numbers more typical for early October.

The warmth lingers into Thanksgiving morning, with temperatures again only falling into the mid-50s overnight. Highs on Thursday should make another run at 60 degrees, before dipping back to the 50-degree mark around turkey time. Seasonable temperatures then return on Friday, with Mother Nature easing up on the rain as well—in fact, the latest weather models have most of the shower activity only hugging the coast.

Given the time of year, that sounds like a forecast we can all embrace.

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