Messier than a spilled bowl of brown gravy: Thanksgiving rain & storms look likely

Not a total wash, but heavy rain and big rumbles could slow down holiday travel
Rain and thunderstorms are expected in rounds for Thanksgiving this year.
Rain and thunderstorms are expected in rounds for Thanksgiving this year.(KBTX)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 9:30 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2022 at 10:47 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Hold on to your stuffing, Brazos Valley. Confidence is increasing that rain and thunderstorms invite themselves over for Thanksgiving dinner this year. A storm system will spend Tuesday crawling out of the Pacific, moving inland over the northwest corner of the Lower 48. By Thursday, this potent weather maker is expected to spin over Texas...and may be slow to leave.

TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY TRAVELS

Heading over the meadow and through the woods early to get to Grandma’s house this year? No major concerns are expected be it by car, train, bus, or air Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • Monday’s wet, drippy weather may have a slight hangover into Tuesday morning as a few last patches of drizzly, sprinkly weather remain possible. Sunshine peers out between mainly cloudy skies to push thermometers back to the “warmer” side of 50°. Another low-end, spotty chance for very light rain is back after sunset
  • Wednesday will feature a 20% to 30% chance for passing, quick showers as mild air makes a return ahead of our featured weather maker this week. Still, no major travel impacts are expected...many remain dry through the day...temperatures are a little more comfortable in the closer-to-seasonable mid-60s.

THANKSGIVING DAY

First thing first: the overall severe weather threat looks minimal-to-low. Stormy, rainy weather is expected to arrive in rounds as we maneuver from the kitchen to the Thanksgiving table to the couch.

  • MORNING: Scattered rain and thunderstorms may already be ongoing ahead of or by sunrise, moving out of Central Texas and away from I-35 near or into the Brazos Valley. Quick heavy rain, thunder, lightning, and gusty wind will all be possible as this passes from west to east through midday. The northern and central Brazos Valley will need to monitor this round that either scrapes by or dips in during the morning hours.
  • MIDDAY: Data late Monday night suggests this is when the main round of rain and thunderstorms is expected to come together and start closing in on the area from the north and the west. Any last-minute moves to get to Thanksgiving events or to finish up frying the turkey should be happening around the noon hour.
  • AFTERNOON / EVENING: Widespread rain and thunderstorms will be possible as many are sitting down to the table for Thanksgiving dinner. Strong storms could produce very heavy rain that collects a quick 1″ to 1.5″+ of rain in a short amount of time. Frequent lightning, thunder, and wind gusts to 35mph are not ruled out with the strongest activity. Minor / low-lying road and street flooding could be a concern during and after these storms, especially in spots that typically collect water when it falls too quick during heavy rain events.

FRIDAY

Doing some early Christmas shopping to snag the deals? Wanting to get fully in the Christmas spirit and get the outdoor lights up on the house? Both of those could be tricky as rain and thunderstorms remain possible. By this point, heavy rain will be the concern -- especially where it may have repeated several times over the last 24 hours. Localized street / road / low-lying flooding could be a concern in a few places. Depending on when this system finally decides to pack up and start the move out of Texas, drier air has the potential to shut down any chance of rain from southwest to east as drier air returns.

RAINFALL POTENTIAL

November has been a healthy month of rain for the Brazos Valley. As of Monday evening, the official total at Easterwood Airport exceeded what is expected for the month by just over 0.75″.

Saturday dropped a steady, soaking 0.25″ to 0.75″ of rain. Monday repeated with nearly as much. Thursday and Friday stand to bring another 1″ to 2″ of widespread wet weather, with some rain gauges collecting as much as 3″ to 4″.

For the record: the wettest Thanksgiving Day Bryan-College Station has ever recorded happened 109 years ago in 1913. 0.85″ of rain fell that Thanksgiving Thursday -- a record that could be challenged this year. The all-time rain record for November 24th is 3.61″ -- which happened the following year in 1914.

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH FORECAST CHANGES & INTERACTIVE RADAR WITH THE KBTX PINPOINT WEATHER APP

WHAT TO MONITOR

As we fine-tune the forecast and get a better handle on this butterball of a weather maker, there will be changes to give a better understanding to timing, potential, and impacts for the holiday and weekend. Updates will be posted to help you make plans and get around this messy Thanksgiving weather.