Tom Herbst walks with daughter Olivia, 2, on Oak Street Beach before family festivities on Thursday, November 22, 2012. I Stacie Scott~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 22, 2012 11:52AM
Enjoy the unseasonably warm Thanksgiving Day, because winds are expected to pick up and temperatures will be dropping soon.
While Thursday could rank as one of the warmest Thanksgiving Days ever recorded in Chicago, temperatures will turn sharply colder Thursday night and on Friday the mercury won’t be anywhere near the Thanksgiving Day high.
According to the National Weather Service, high temperatures on Thursday will be in the lower or middle 60s, which is unseasonably mild for this time of year. The most frequent range of high temperatures on Thanksgiving is between 40 and 49 degrees, according to the weather service. Last year, as a comparison, the high temperature was 47, which was in the most common range of high temperatures for Chicago.
Since Thanksgiving doesn’t always occur on the same day, there is no normal high, the weather service said. The highest temperature recorded in Chicago on Thanksgiving was 69 degrees, set on November 24, 1966. The coldest high temperature on Thanksgiving was 14 degrees, which occurred on November 27, 1930.
As of about 11 a.m. Thursday, the high temperature was 59 degrees at O’Hare.
The mild weather won’t be around long, though. There is a chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. Wind gusts will pick up to about 35 mph later in the day and showers are likely this evening. Though the skies will clear up around midnight, the air will turn sharply colder, according to the weather service. Lows late Thursday will be in the lower 30s, and Friday will be windy and partly sunny, but much colder than today, with high temperatures in the mid-30s.