Today in New York Weather History: November 20
Today in New York Weather History: November 21

Today in New York Weather History: Thanksgiving Day Weather Highlights



1901 (11/28)

Today would have been quite cold even by the standards of mid-winter as the high/low was only 26°/19°, making this the second coldest Thanksgiving Day of all time (based on mean temperature).  The day's low reading tied Thanksgiving 1876 for the second coldest minimum temperature reported on the holiday.  (The coldest Thanksgiving was in 1871, with a frigid high/low of 22°/15°.)


1924 (11/27)

Sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 30s greeted spectators of the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The day's high and low was a seasonable 49°/34°. 


1926 (11/25)

For the second year in a row, the high/low on Thanksgiving Day was 43°/32°; skies were clear in both years as well.


1927 (11/24)

Although it was just 0.14", the light rain on Thanksgiving Day fell during the fourth Macy's Christmas Parade.  The rain put somewhat of a damper on the debut of the parade's famous helium balloons.  


1933 (11/30)

Today's high of 69° was not only Nov. 1933's mildest reading, it was the mildest reading of any Thanksgiving Day (a record that's still standing).  Ironically, this touch of springtime occurred during the 10th coldest November on record (now ranked 11th).


1935 (11/28)

This was the third year in a row with a very mild Thanksgiving Day.  In fact, all three are still ranked among the ten mildest: 1933 (high/low of 69°/50°); 1934 (60°/54°); and 1935 (62°/50°).


Norman rockwell thanksgiving


1938 (11/24)

It was a raw, cold and windy Thanksgiving Day (high/low of 34°/21°), with snow and sleet moving in late in the afternoon and continuing into the following day.  3.9" accumulated today, and 4.9" the following morning.


1971 (11/25)

Beginning late last night and continuing through this morning, a nor'easter lashed the area.  1.06" of rain fell, making this the rainiest Thanksgiving Day since 1935.  Besides the wind and rain, it was also cold, with a high/low of 39°/33°.  Ferocious winds that gusted to 63 mph in Central Park produced wind chills that were in the low 20s.  These high winds also forced parade officials to ground Macy's famed parade balloons - the only time this has happened.  


1972 (11/23)

With a high/low of 35°/21°, this was the coldest Thanksgiving Day since 1941.  It was also the coldest day this November.  One bright spot was that skies were clear.


1973 (11/22)

A year after the coldest Thanksgiving Day in many years, this year's was the mildest in 40 years as the high/low was 64°/53°, fourteen degrees above average.  Skies were mostly sunny.


1975 (11/27)

0.45" of rain fell between 5 AM-1 PM, making for a damp Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.




1978 (11/23)

Rain moved in after 3 PM, long after the parade had ended, and by midnight 0.77" had been measured.  Temperatures were chillier than average, with a high/low of 49°/31°.


1985 (11/28)

1.15" of rain fell during a dreary afternoon and evening.  At the time this amount tied 1935 as the wettest Turkey Day.  


1989 (11/23)

This was the snowiest Thanksgiving on record as 4.4" fell during the morning (but was mostly over by the start of the Macy's parade).  The previous record was in 1938 when 3.9" fell.  This very early snowfall (4.7" when including what fell the previous night) would be greater than any in the the upcoming winter.




1994 (11/25)

Thanksgiving Day was the coldest day of this November, with a high/low of 41°/25° (12 degrees colder than average).  And it was as equally cold as last Thanksgiving, which had a high/low of 40°/26°.


1996 (11/28)

Today's winter-like high/low of 31°/23° was 16 degrees below average, with a dusting of snow.  The morning low was the coldest recorded on Thanksgiving since 1972's 21°.


1997 (11/27)

High winds resulted in four spectators watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade being injured when the Cat in the Hat balloon was blown into a street lamp at 72nd St.  (A piece of the lamp struck a young woman, putting her in a coma for more than three weeks).


1998 (11/26)

Two-thirds of the month's below-average rainfall was reported today (0.97"), most of it between 7 AM-noon.  More than half of it poured down during the Macy's parade (10 AM-noon).  Up until today it appeared this was the going to be the second driest November on record. 


2002 (11/28)

Thanksgiving Day 2002 was the coldest day of November (similar to Thanksgiving 1994), with a high/low of 35°/24°, thirteen degrees below average.


2004 (11/25)

It was a mild Thanksgiving Day through early afternoon, with temperatures in the 60s during the morning hours, but after the temperature peaked at 65° in the early afternoon, a cold front moved through and the mercury fell 30 degrees by midnight.  The day's high was the mildest Thanksgiving Day reading since 1966, when the high was also 65°.


2005 (11/24)

A strong cold front blew through during the afternoon and the temperature plummeted from 49° to 24° by midnight.  There were light showers before and after the Macy's parade.


2006 (11/23)

An all-day rain totaling 1.72" made this the wettest Thanksgiving on record, easily topping 1985's and 1935's previous record (1.15").  Temperatures were chilly, with a high/low of 44°/40°.




2007 (11/22)

Today's high of 66° was the second mildest reading on Thanksgiving Day, behind 1933's high of 69°.


2013 (11/28)

This was the third consecutive Thanksgiving that fell on 11/28 with a subfreezing temperature at the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  This year it was 30° at 9 AM (in 2002 it was 27°, and in 1996 it was 26°).


2014 (11/27)

It was a raw and gray day, with temperatures stuck in the 30s (high/low of 38°/34°).  Snow flurries fell during the Macy's parade.


2018 (11/22)

A week after one of the biggest November snowfalls on record (6.4"), today, with a winter-like high/low of 28°/17° (the low occurred just before midnight), became the second coldest Thanksgiving Day on record; only Thanksgiving 1871 was colder.


Chart - 5 coldest thanksgivings


2020 (11/26)

A pre-dawn deluge was a distant memory when the sun came out in the afternoon, and the temperature rose into the mid-60s.  Not only was today's high of 65° tied for third warmest on Thanksgiving Day (behind 1933's 69° and 2007's 66°), the low of 55° was the mildest of any Turkey Day, as was the mean temperature of 60.0°.  And the 0.79" of rain that poured down this morning was the most since 2006 (which was the rainiest Thanksgiving on record.  


2022 (11/24)

This was the eighth day in a row with sunny skies and, fittingly, this morning's telecast of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade began with the star of the Broadway revival of Funny Girl belting out the number "Don’t Rain On My Parade".  The day had close to seasonable temperatures, with a high/low of 54°/40°.


Lea michelle macys thanksgiving parade 2022









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every year, I always look forward to the Friday before this holiday cause two of the FM radio stations I listen to begin playing Christmas songs. Magic 98.3 (their studio is in Somerset, NJ) begins playing them at 2PM and 100.7 LEV (their studio is in Bethlehem, PA) begins playing them at 5PM ... and they don't stop playing them until midnight as 12/27 transitions to 12/28.


Regarding the 1971 entry, a trace of snow was also recorded in Central Park. While in and of itself this does not mean much, especially compared to the winds grounding the balloons for the only time, it was much snowier not too far to the north; as close as Poughkeepsie almost 2 feet of snow fell and a similar amount fell in the Albany area, making this a very historic Thanksgiving weather-wise for them.


Actually, in 1971, the winds were 20 mph (with 40 mph wind gusts), and in 1975 half an inch of rain fell.


what was the weather Thanksgiving 1930 ? my dad was born day before


It was quite cold, one of the coldest Thanksgiving Days on record. The high/low was 33/21 and there were snow flurries during the afternoon. It was also on the breezy side. The following day was even colder (27/15).


The 2007 entry says the high of 66 was the warmest Thanksgiving since a high of 69 on Thanksgiving of 1930, but you post elsewhere in here that Thanksgiving 1990 had a high of 69 and was the warmest since 1930.

So there's an error here 2007 should say it was the warmest Thanksgiving since 1990.


But now looking again and looking at the 2020 entry, I think it's actually the 1990 entry that is the mistake because it's based on a date of 11/29.....under the "old" (pre-1940s) definition of Thanksgiving being the LAST Thursday of November instead of the FOURTH Thursday it would be correct but in 1990 Thanksgiving would've been on the 22nd, with a hi/lo of 56 and 39.


Thanks for pointing out those errors. I think I've fixed them all. I remember having issues with some of the dates, and I think it may have been because, as you pointed out, of the change from Thanksgiving being the final Thursday of November to the fourth Thursday.

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