It’s time for the all-important holiday forecast: we have finally reached Thanksgiving week at Walt Disney World! If you’re here for the famously busy holiday week, can you expect pool days or will you be missing your parka?
I grew up in central Florida, so I have a photo record of the ups and downs of Thanksgiving weather here in the peninsula. (No, you cannot see any of them!) Some of my Thanksgivings involved splashing in the pool, some of them involved frost and the heaviest sweaters we owned (they were not very heavy). Truly, this time of year, anything can happen in Florida.
After a week of gradually warming days, plenty of sunshine, and chilly nights, what’s coming for our holiday week? Let’s dig in.
This week in Walt Disney World Weather
Rain chances have been suppressed most of the week by an unfriendly atmosphere, but Sunday morning wakes up to a cold front. The front will cause big problems around the midsection and east coast of the U.S., but in Florida it’s just going to race on through. We’ll have some scattered rain chances on Sunday, but just a 30% chance of precipitation for the central Florida region.
Dry air will fill in rapidly behind the passing cold front, limiting rain chances, and even the slowest models have the chance of rain tapering off by sunset. The high on Sunday reaches an absolutely delightful 73 degrees, then we chill right down to 50 overnight as the cold air from the north spills into the region.
After the front, high pressure takes over the atmosphere. All of this sinking air will suppress any rain chances for the rest of the week! Monday will be our coolest day of the week, with a high around 70, and every day afterwards we will see a slightly warmer day and a slightly higher overnight low. The initial guidance for a cold front with rain midweek has fizzled out, and it’s looking like a sunny, warm week with pleasantly cool nights that is just what the doctor ordered for all of our Thanksgiving week visitors!
So here’s what’s coming, day by day.
Monday’s nippy morning, with a start around 50 degrees, turns into a sunny day with a high around 70, as the wind stays out of the north and keeps us cool and dry. Overnight temps around 50 will give way to a warmer 77 degrees on Tuesday.
Tuesday the wind starts to shift around to blow out of the east, and the air warms moderately. We’ll cool off much more slowly Tuesday night than on the previous evening, for a wake-up on Wednesday around 57 degrees, and a sunny, calm Wednesday with a high of about 80 degrees. Wednesday night, the low only sinks to 61 degrees.
Thanksgiving is forecast to be sunny and 81, with gentle northeast breezes. After a low of 60, your Black Friday forecast is sunny with a high around 78 degrees.
Although long-range forecasts are not proving very consistent this season, right now there is no real change in this warming trend through the weekend. That means a high around 80 on both Saturday and Sunday next week, along with sunny skies.
Well, that’s a fairly straightforward forecast! The toughest thing for Thanksgiving-week travelers is going to be deciding which of your hoodies to bring along. As for swimming? Well, the resort pools are heated, so that’s up to you. But judging by how many children I saw in the pools last weekend when the temperatures were in the low 60s, the kids are definitely going to want to get back to the resort for some splash time. Make it early afternoon, though, to catch the best of the sunshine. The day feels old at 4:30, and the sun finally sets around 5:30.
Word to the wise: do not forget sunblock!
Speaking as a local who managed to get a sunburn on her nose the other day, don’t mistake cool temperatures and slanting autumn sunlight for low UV readings. The average UV rating for Orlando in November is a 5 — that’s “moderate” — whereas in New York City, it’s a 2.
The EPA recommends SPF 15 or higher when dealing with a UV rating of 3 to 7. If you’re coming from a northern region where the winter sun has already shifted strength significantly, ramp it up with the sunblock or you’re going to get a sunburn!
And if you’re wondering what I left off in order to burn my poor nose, it was an SPF 15 that I usually wear when I’m out in the afternoon, and I was only in the sun for about ninety minutes — in late afternoon!
This time of year, it becomes especially easy for WDW locals to play “where are those guests from?” based upon their level of sunburn. I’ll give you a little hint, my dear northern Europeans: you can be very easy to spot. Do not, do not, do not forget the sunblock.
Until next week, when maybe (?) we’ll be talking about some rain!