Los Angeles can expect a sunny and warm Thanksgiving

Los Angeles can expect a sunny and warm Thanksgiving
Taiana Milward of Brazil, who missed her flight, waits at Los Angeles International Airport. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

People who endured the busiest travel day of the year Wednesday will be rewarded with good weather until at least Sunday night in the Los Angeles area, although there may be showers in San Francisco starting Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Earlier forecasts predicted rain over the weekend in Southern California, but it now appears there's only a slight chance of showers Sunday night, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist.


Temperatures in downtown Los Angeles will range from a high of 85 on Thanksgiving to 71 on Sunday, when there also might be some patchy fog, forecasters said.

The average temperature on Thanksgiving in downtown is expected to be 71, Seto said.

It should be about 65 in San Francisco on Thanksgiving, about four degrees higher than average. The temperature is expected to drop to about 60 starting Friday, with a chance of rain beginning Friday night.

San Diego should expect 82 degrees on Thanksgiving, according to forecasts.

Overall, this year is likely to be California's hottest since 1895, when such record-keeping began. Between January and October, the average temperature across the state was 63.8 degrees. That's a record for that time period, and more than four degrees higher than the average — 59.6 degrees.

Rain may arrive in the early part of next week because of a low-pressure system, Seto said. So far, the region has received 5.6 inches of rain. In an average year, Los Angeles gets nearly 12.4 inches of rain by this time.

California is in a severe drought and state regulators have imposed water restrictions, including prohibiting hosing down driveways and sidewalks. Californians can use a hose to wash their cars only if the hose has a shut-off nozzle.

Water wasters could be fined as much as $500 a day.

The sunshine should be a welcome sight to travelers who endured crowded roads and delays related to a large storm on the East Coast.

As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 3,000 flights across the country had been delayed and 650 canceled, flight-tracking service FlightAware reported. More than 200 flights were canceled late Tuesday, even before the storm hit, as a preemptive measure, the website said.

Travelers from Southern California will probably face more crowds when returning home.

For the second consecutive year, Los Angeles International Airport is expected to be the busiest airport in the country over the holiday weekend with nearly 2 million travelers, according to the travel website Orbitz.

That total is 150,000 more than for Thanksgiving 2013, according to Los Angeles World Airports. On Sunday and Monday, 207,000 passengers are expected to be shouldering their way through the airport, LAX officials say.

Travelers taking to L.A.'s roads won't have it much easier, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.


The company predicts that up to 85% of Southern California's Thanksgiving travelers — about 3 million people — will get behind the wheel.

More than 4.8 million people statewide are expected to drive to holiday destinations. Wednesday and Sunday are the two busiest car travel days around Thanksgiving, AAA said.