Bitter cold, windswept snow and slashing rain will number among the weather highlights across the nation on Thanksgiving Day.

Sub-zero cold will kick off the day from the Great Basin to the northern Plains as arctic high pressure settles into the northern Intermountain region. Indeed, the coldest valleys of the northern Rockies will dive 30 F to 40 F below zero.

Thrusting southward in the wake of a cold front, harsh cold winds will invade Dallas to Kansas City, St. Louis and even Chicago.

The tail of a north-central blizzard will hang on from eastern Dakotas to western Lake Superior. Powerful winds whipping about this storm will drive wind chills anywhere from 10 F to 50 F below zero.

Even the normally mild West Coast will begin the holiday cold with widespread frost and freeze away from the immediate coast.

Meanwhile, warmth and moisture streaming north from the Gulf will spread soaking rain, some with thunderstorms, along and ahead of a cold front from Ohio to southern Texas. Rain will spill eastward to the Middle Atlantic, New York state and New England.

For those finding warmth and sunshine the ideal Thanksgiving fare, the place to be will be Florida, most of which will warm to between 80 F and 85 F.

Unusual warmth, if not abundant sunshine, will spread throughout the Deep South.

Story by Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews