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Thanksgiving weather forecast: Here's where you'll be able to hold your get-togethers outside

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 11/26/2020 Doyle Rice, USA TODAY
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Thanksgiving will look a bit different this year: With experts recommending against big family gatherings inside because of the coronavirus, folks might be tempted to head outside to get together and safely practice social distancing.

But will the weather hinder those plans?

Unfortunately, on Thanksgiving Day, residents from Maine to Florida should be prepared for wet weather during the daytime hours, AccuWeather said.

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"A storm system moving through the East Coast on Thanksgiving Day could force some people indoors who may have hoped otherwise," AccuWeather meteorologist Renee Duff said. "Places such as Boston, New York City and Philadelphia could all get dampened by rain, but if this storm moves along any quicker it may start to dry out later in the afternoon." 

Temperatures aren't expected to be bitterly cold, however, so if it does clear out, being outside won't feel too frigid along the East Coast. Highs will top out mainly in the 50s and 60s in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, and in the 70s and even some 80s in the Southeast and Florida, the National Weather Service said. 

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While residents in the East will have to dodge raindrops on Thanksgiving, almost the entire remainder of the nation should be dry on Turkey Day. In fact, for millions of Americans across the center of the nation, the weather should cooperate for families looking to spend some time outdoors, according to AccuWeather.

Temperatures that are 5-10 degrees above average can be expected in places such as Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis on Thursday. And along with the comfortable late-November temperatures, a blend of clouds and sunshine and a relatively light southwest breeze could even allow for some outdoor plans to go off without a hitch, AccuWeather said.

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Elsewhere, it will be typically chilly in the Northwest and mild and dry in the Southwest on Thanksgiving. However, winds could be a factor in California: "Across Southern California, gusty winds will begin to ramp up on Thanksgiving Day, leading to increased wildfire concerns," Duff said.

"So anyone with plans to use outdoor flames or turkey fryers should exercise caution."

Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended against holiday travel this year, people have already been surging through airports. For those who decide to fly or hit the roads on Tuesday and Wednesday, the weather in the central U.S. will be on the stormy side. 

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On Tuesday, light snow is forecast to fall in portions of Colorado and also the Upper Midwest, especially in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The snow will continue over parts of the Upper Midwest through Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service said. The snow will change over to all rain overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. 

Also on Tuesday, severe thunderstorms are forecast to rattle portions of the sSouth Central U.S., including much of Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas. Large hail and severe wind gusts will be the primary hazards from the storms, the Storm Prediction Center said. 

By Wednesday, while the threat for severe storms lessens, rain will be the main weather story for a large portion of the Midwest and Deep South, slowing travel in those regions. 

Travel in the Northwest will also be impacted by coastal and valley rain and mountain snow, especially on Wednesday. Drivers will need to use caution as the snow will make driving conditions hazardous, the Weather Service warned.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Thanksgiving weather forecast: Here's where you'll be able to hold your get-togethers outside

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