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Thanksgiving Weather History/Extremes 
Grand Island, NE


Since 1942, Thanksgiving has been observed on the fourth Thursday of November, thus ranging in date from the 22nd-28th (prior to 1942, it was often observed on the last Thursday of November). 

Weather-wise, as is typical of the late-fall season in south central Nebraska, Thanksgiving weather conditions can vary dramatically from one year to the next. Just in the past 30 years, high temperatures in Grand Island have ranged from 16° to 72°, and lows have ranged from 1° to 39°! The information and tables below feature a wealth of Thanksgiving weather and climate information focused specifically on Grand Island, Nebraska, where November weather records date back 126 years to 1895.

Temperatures: According to the entire period of record, the warmest Thanksgiving occurred just four years ago in 2017 with a balmy high of 72º, while the coldest low temperature was a frigid -2º in 1938. Only 16-of-126 Thanksgivings on record (13%) have featured high temperatures of 60º-or-warmer, but 8 of these have occurred in the past 24 years. However, there have also been plenty of cold Thanksgivings in recent years, including two years ago in 2019 and four-consecutive ones from 2013-2016 that failed to reach 40º. As for bone-chilling cold , Thanksgiving 1985 (high of 14º/low of 3º) and 1993 (high of 16º/low of 1º) stand out among the coldest of the last several decades. 

Precipitation/Snowfall: As for liquid precipitation equivalent (often including melted snow), measurable amounts of 0.01"-or-more have occurred in 19-of-126 years, or only 15% of the time. In past 26 years, only two have featured measurable amounts (2019/2015). Measurable Thanksgiving snow (at least 0.1") has been quite rare on the actual holiday itself, with only ten instances on record (including two years ago). The 3.2" that fell six years ago in 2015 was actually the 2nd-snowiest Thanksgiving on record, falling slightly short of the 4.0" measured in 1931 and 1919. However, when including the entire "Thanksgiving weekend" as part of the holiday, 1983 certainly stands out: while Thanksgiving itself (on the 24th) was seasonable and dry, the 26th-27th (Saturday-Sunday) combined to pile-up a significant 13.6" of snow! 

 


** Thanksgiving 2020 RECAP: Following a one year "dismal bump in the road" in 2019, Thanksgiving 2020 got back on track to feature a seasonably-pleasant day. Albeit not as incredibly-warm as the 2017-18 holidays were, it was still a mostly sunny day with a slightly-above-normal high temperature of 49º and a low temperature of 28º (which actually occurred late in the evening). The only real "catch" to the day were somewhat-breezy north winds generally 10-20 MPH.  **
 

Grand Island NE Max Temperature Min Temperature Precipitation
30-Year Normals (1981-2010) 44 22 0.04
10-Year Averages (2011-2020) 48.7 26.3 0.03
 

 

Grand Island NE Thanksgiving Extremes (Since 1895)
Warmest Thanksgiving On Record (High Temp) 72° in 2017
Coldest Thanksgiving On Record (High Temp) 14° in 1985
Coldest Low Temperature -2° in 1938
Warmest Low Temperature 39° in 1997
Most Liquid Equivalent Precipitation On Record 0.93" in 1896
Snowiest Thanksgiving On Record 4.0" in 1931/1919
 

 

Top 5 Warmest Highs Top 5 Coldest Lows Top 5 Wettest Top 5 Snowiest
72° (2017) -2° (1938) 0.93" (1896) 4.0" (1931/1919)
71° (1998) 1° (1993) 0.41" (1931) 3.2" (2015)
70° (1914) (1985/1975/1952/1919) 0.35" (1928) 3.0" (1928)
67° (1976) 4° (1950) 0.30" (1919) 1.4" (1979)
66° (2011) 6° (2010/1896) 0.29" (2015) 0.5" (1993/1958/1950)
 

 

The Last Time _____ Happened On Thanksgiving?
Last 70+ degrees day: 72° in 2017 (warmest on record!)
Last 60+ degrees day: 64° in 2018
Last time the high temp was 40° or colder:  31° in 2019
Last time the high temp was 30° or colder:  16° in 1993
Last time the low temp was 10° or colder:   6° in 2010
Last time the low temp was 35° or warmer: 35° in 2017
Last time measurable precipitation fell (0.01 inch or more): 0.04" in 2019
Last time measurable snow fell (0.1 inch or more):             0.3" in 2019
Last time it snowed at least 1 inch:                                   3.2" in 2015

 
 In the past 30 years...

 - Since 1991, high temperatures on Thanksgiving have ranged from 16° (1993) to 72° (2017)
 - Since 1991, low temperatures on Thanksgiving have ranged from 1° (1993) to 39° (1997)
 - Since 1991, the high temperature on Thanksgiving has exceeded 65° three times (2017, 2011, 1998)
 - Since 1991, the low temperature on Thanksgiving has dipped below 15° three times (2010, 2007, 1993)
 - Since 1991, measurable precipitation (0.01" or more) has fallen four times (led by 0.29" in 2015)
 - Since 1991, measurable snow (0.1" or more) has fallen three times (led by 3.2" in 2015)



Grand Island, Nebraska - Past 10 Years Summary
Thanksgiving (2011-2020)

Date Max Temperature Min Temperature Precipitation Snowfall Weather Conditions
11/24/2011 66 34 0.00 0.0  
11/22/2012 60 35 0.00 0.0  
11/28/2013 35 20 0.00 0.0  
11/27/2014 38 15 0.00 0.0  
11/26/2015 34 21 0.29 3.2 First snow in 22 yrs
11/24/2016 38 29 0.00 0.0 foggy, dreary
11/23/2017 72 35 0.00 0.0 record-warmest!
11/22/2018 64 30 0.00 0.0 mostly sunny/breezy
11/28/2019 31 16 0.04 0.3 snow AM, freez. drizzle PM
11/26/2020 49 28 0.00 0.0 mostly sunny
10-Year Averages 48.7 26.3 0.03 0.3  

 

 

Past 10-Years Thanksgiving Summary: Grand Island, NE (2011-2020)
 
Warmest high temperature: 72° in 2017 (warmest on record!)
Coldest high temperature:   31° in 2019
 
Coldest low temperature:   15° in 2014
Warmest low temperature: 35° in 2017/2012
 
Highest precipitation:  0.29" in 2015
Highest Snowfall:         3.2" in 2015


For more climate related information, check out the following websites:

 

 

 

This page was composed by the staff at the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.


Last finalized for 2021: 1/12/21 but still need to double-check spreadsheet