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More Snow, Frigid Temps for Holiday

November 20, 2018

LOWELL -- Brace yourself: this week’s weather forecast, featuring several inches of snow and frigid temperatures, does not look kind to Thanksgiving travelers.

Monday began with precipitation, and although the afternoon looked better, conditions Tuesday are expected to be messy. The southern part of the state will see rain, but communities along Route 2 and the New Hampshire border could receive 2 to 4 inches of snow, according to National Weather Service forecasts.

With the Tuesday before Thanksgiving becoming a busier travel day in recent years -- the American Automobile Association projects that more than 54 million people will travel 50 or more miles for the holiday -- roadways will already be crowded. Snow and rain will not help.

“Travel’s going to be slower than it normally would,” said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Boston office. “Route 2, the northern part of (Route) 290, the northern half of (Interstate) 495, going up (Interstate) 93 into New Hampshire ... it’s going to take you longer because roads are going to be slippery.”

The skies will clear up on Wednesday and give way to sun, but a cold front and winds up to 25 mph will bring frigid temperatures. Dunham described the day as “our transition day from not-too-bad temperatures to dang cold.”

With a forecast high for Thursday around 20 degrees -- perhaps even lower farther north -- and nighttime lows between 0 and 5 degrees, this could be the coldest Thanksgiving on record.

The record minimum high for Thanksgiving Day in Boston is 24 degrees, set in 1901. The city’s record Thanksgiving low of 11 degrees was set in 1873.

“That’s pretty long-standing,” Dunham said.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisLisinski.

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