The Thanksgiving weather extremes and averages for Montgomery

Turkey Day can bring a wide variety of weather to Central Alabama
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 12:35 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2022 at 5:28 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s no secret that our weather during the fall can vary quite a bit from day to day and year to year. That is certainly true for November and Thanksgiving. So let’s take a look at what has happened and what usually happens on Turkey Day in Montgomery.

A typical Thanksgiving brings afternoon highs in the 60s and overnight lows just below 40 degrees. Those are the numbers we consider “normal” for Thanksgiving, which does not occur on the exact same day of the month each year.

The average temperatures and rainfall in Montgomery on Thanksgiving.
The average temperatures and rainfall in Montgomery on Thanksgiving.(WSFA 12 News)

Most Thanksgivings are dry, but the ones that bring wet weather bump the average rain total to be 0.08″. That’s just the number you get when adding up the Thanksgiving Day rain totals over the last 30 years and then dividing by 30.

The last two Thanksgivings actually did bring rain to Central Alabama, with nearly an inch falling in 2020. Before that, though, the last time we saw rain on Turkey Day was all the way back in 2003!

Thanksgiving has brought a variety of weather over the last handful of years.
Thanksgiving has brought a variety of weather over the last handful of years.(WSFA 12 News)

The extremes on Thanksgiving range from highs in the 80s to lows well below the freezing mark. More than two inches of rain -- 2.23″ to be exact -- has fallen on a single Thanksgiving, but that’s obviously an extreme outlier.

Unlike Halloween, no snow has been measured on Thanksgiving in Montgomery’s recorded history. Just the luck of the draw I suppose. There’s truly no rhyme or reason for it, it’s just classic Alabama weather.

Turkey Day can bring a wide variety of weather to Central Alabama.
Turkey Day can bring a wide variety of weather to Central Alabama.(Climate Central)

To prove what I said above about the weather varying from year to year, consider this:

The warmest Thanksgiving and the coldest Thanksgiving occurred between 2013 and 2016. Of all the years that Montgomery has weather data for, those two extremes occurred in a four year period.

When looking at the long-term averages there hasn’t been much movement. The average Thanksgiving temperature in 1970 was about the same as the average Thanksgiving temperature in 2021. There have been plenty of Thanksgiving below the normal line and plenty above it. You truly don’t know what you’re going to get here in Central Alabama this time of year!

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