Chilly rain or sunny skies? See forecast for Thanksgiving travel in Central Kentucky

Kentucky travelers hitting the road early this week to avoid Thanksgiving traffic should look forward to showers and temperature lows in the 30s ahead of the holiday.

That’s according to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service in Louisville, which for Lexington indicates rounds of showers through to Wednesday.

Here’s what to expect from the forecast ahead of Thanksgiving. Plus, a look at auto club AAA’s predictions for the holiday, which it anticipates will be the third busiest Thanksgiving since it started keeping track in 2000.

What to expect from Kentucky weather this Thanksgiving

For the Lexington area, the NWS in Louisville projects showers will begin overnight Monday and continue intermittently throughout the day Tuesday.

The NWS forecast called for a 40% of showers after 2 p.m. Monday, followed by showers after 11 p.m. with a temperature low of about 49 degrees Fahrenheit. The chance of rain is strong at an estimated 100%, and new precipitation amounts could be up to three quarters of an inch. Wind gusts could reach 30 mph Monday night.

For Tuesday, expect more showers and possibly a thunderstorm in the mix. Look for a temperature low Tuesday night of about 39 degrees.

Conditions should be noticeably clearer starting Wednesday morning, with partly sunny conditions and a high near 48 degrees. If you plan to be outdoors Wednesday night, bring your winter coat. The forecast is calling for freezing temperatures.

On Thanksgiving Day, the outlook is upbeat with mostly sunny weather and a high of about 54 degrees.

There’s no in snow in the forecast for Central Kentucky for the week of Thanksgiving, but Lexington’s average first measurable snow date, Nov. 29, is approaching.

How busy will airports and highways be this Thanksgiving holiday?

In its Thanksgiving travel forecast, AAA projects more than 55 million Americans will head 50 miles or more from home during the travel period between Wednesday and Sunday.

That translates to a 2.3% increase in travel over last year and marks the third highest Thanksgiving forecast AAA has issued since it started tracking holiday travel in 2000.

About 49 million of the nation’s Thanksgiving travelers will be hitting the road, which is slightly more than last year. AAA estimates they could be paying less for gas than last year, too. AAA puts the current average price for gas in Kentucky at $3.055 per gallon compared to the national average of $3.308 per gallon.

If you’re planning to drive to visit loved ones for Thanksgiving, AAA advises against hitting the road Wednesday if you can. Still, if you’ve got some driving to do Wednesday, make sure you do it before 11 a.m. The absolute worst time to drive for Thanksgiving is between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to AAA.

Do you have a question about Kentucky for our service journalism team? We’d like to hear from you. Fill out our Know Your Kentucky form or email