Cold, white start to Thanksgiving

Snow on Christmas decorations in Oneida.
Snow on Christmas decorations in Oneida.


Thanksgiving 2013 is a bit historic across the northern Cumberland Plateau.

Thursday dawned frosty across the region, with the unofficial low recorded at 13 degrees in Oneida at daybreak. But the frost was not the only reason the day dawned white, as between a half-inch and an inch of snow covered the landscape, leftover from Wednesday's unusual November snowfall.

Thursday's low of 13 degrees is a record low for Nov. 28 in Oneida, breaking the old record of 14 degrees set in 1967. And while Thursday morning was balmy compared to the all-time November low temperature of one degree above zero, set on Nov. 30, 1976, it appeared to be the coldest start to a Thanksgiving morning in Oneida dating back to 1952, when National Weather Service records-keeping began locally.

It was also the first "white Thanksgiving" in more than 60 years and one of the earliest accumulating snowfalls on record. According to NWS data, Wednesday's inch of snow marked only the sixth time that an inch or more of snow accumulated in Oneida in November, and the first since 1969. That year, three inches of snow fell on Nov. 14.

In 2011, a trace of snow fell in Oneida on Black Friday, marking the closest thing to a "white Thanksgiving" the northern plateau has seen in several decades.

Thanksgiving Day was expected to feature well below-normal temperatures in Oneida. The National Weather Service forecast called for a high of 37. The average high for Nov. 28 is 53.

Despite the snow and cold, road conditions remained good throughout the day Wednesday, and holiday travel was relatively unhampered locally.

The brush with winter was expected to be fleeting, meanwhile, with temperatures warming to near 50 degrees by Friday.

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