Whether you're running in the Turkey Trot, heading over the hill and through the woods to grandma's, planning to get a jump on holiday shopping, or all of the above, dress in your warmest clothes.
Thanksgiving Day 2018 is going to be one of Buffalo's coldest on record, National Weather Service forecasters said. Daytime highs aren't expected to make it out of the low-20s. Overnight temperatures are forecast in the teens.
The last time the average daily temperature was as cold in Buffalo was in mid-February.
At an average temperature forecast of about 18 degrees, Thursday would tie Thanksgiving Day 2000 with Buffalo's coldest in the last 50 years.
On the bright side, it should be mostly sunny, forecasts show.
For Buffalo's 123rd annual YMCA Turkey Trot, that's what matters, race organizers said.
"As long as it's not wet, that helps," said Geoffrey Falkner, communications director for YMCA Buffalo Niagara.
The forecast race-time temperature is 16 degrees, weather service forecasts show. Falkner expects the cold won't chill the spirits of the filled-to-capacity field of 14,000 expected runners.
"They're pretty hardy. This is an institution that's been running every year consecutively for 123 years," Falkner said. "This is quite an event. They're not going to let cold temperatures deter them."
Weather service forecasters said there's a chance Buffalo could flirt with its coldest high temperature ever on Thanksgiving. The 22-degree high happened twice – on Thanksgiving 1903 and 1938.
What's going to make it so chilly?
An Alberta Clipper system rushing through Western New York on Wednesday will help to pull a deep pool of cold air from the Arctic region behind it.
"The clipper will pass by and will start up a strong northerly flow behind that system," said Kirk Apffel, a weather service meteorologist. "That cold has been building up for some time."
Besides the Turkey Trot and traveling to Thanksgiving dinner, Apffel said there's another crowd that will feel the Arctic air.
"A lot of people go shopping," Apffel said. "Thanksgiving night will be very cold."
Temperatures in the mid- to upper teens are forecast. The average temperatures for this time of year are in the mid-40s for a high and low 30s overnight.
The spate of cold weather – 35 of the past 39 days have run at or below normal for temperatures – that's forecast to continue this holiday week could yield to a slight "warmup" into the 40s by the weekend, the weather service said.