What do you think are the implications of combining "The Festival of Lights" with the day of gratitude for the blessings provided to our nation by a higher power (to paraprhase George Washington's proclamation of November 26, 1789)? The answer should be clear to anyone that is meteorologically inclined: a day with a great deal of sunshine over the entire nation. A day with a lack of storminess and ill-weather. And here in the favored Pacific Northwest we should be particularly blessed, because we deserve it.
Let me begin with the national outlook for Thanksgiving Day. Below is the GFS model forecast
by the National Weather Service that is valid at 4 PM Thursday PST (7 PM Thursday EST). This forecast shows three-hour precipitation (shading) and sea level pressure.
The signs of divine intervention (or at least Thanksgivukkah intervention) are obvious.
Precipitation is supernaturally avoiding virtually the ENTIRE US. Where there is precipitation over the ocean, it sudden ends at the coasts. The only exception is far NW Washington State, but not many folks live there and most of those watch Canadian TV. In other words, they don't count.
But there is more. Look at the sea level pressure pattern (solid lines). High pressure dominates most of the nation and there are no low pressure centers or storms influencing the U.S. mainland. Even most of Alaska is experiencing high pressure. As a trained meteorologist let me assure you that to see the entire U.S. spared of inclement weather in late November is a miracle of the first order.
Living in God's country here in the Northwest, we can, of course, expect a special benediction by this confluence of Chanukah and Thanksgiving. Plus, we suffer from bad weather more than most and are thus more deserving of special intervention. Monday, November 25th, will be the 6th straight day without rain, during a period when the climatological chance of rain is around 65%! And the chances looks certain that Puget Sound will go without measurable rain at least through Wednesday (8 days), with some light rain late on Thanksgiving.
Does the number eight (8) ring any bells with you? It should. The miracle of Chanukah was that there was enough oil in the temple for one day, but it lasted a full eight days. Here is Seattle we will enjoy eight dry days, when we would have been lucky to have had one. Profound and bit scary.
So how unusual is such a string of 8 dry days at Seattle Tacoma Airport? I can answer that.
Here is a plot of the probability of getting at least .01 inch over a period of eight days at Seattle Tacoma Airport. The probability is very high, around 97%. So the probability of getting less than than .01 inch over 8 days is only 3%. Very unusual to say the least.
Not convinced yet? Have you been reading about the new comet, called Ison, that appeared in our night skies? Guess what day it will be closest to the sun and thus brightest--potentially very bright? Thanksgivukkah.