Election Day 2022 Forecast: Does Bad Weather Affect Voter Turnout? | Almanac.com

Election Day 2022 Forecast: Does Bad Weather Affect Voter Turnout?

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Find Out What Weather to Expect this November 8!

Bob Smerbeck, Brian Thompson, and Chris Burnett
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Election Day is Tuesday, November 8! As we wait for our local polling places to open, let’s take a look at a different sort of election forecast. Will we see rain, sun, or snow this year? Elect to know what weather is coming your way!

It may only be mid-fall, but that doesn’t mean that the weather can’t take a turn for the wintry (as some in the Midwest have already seen this year). It’s not unheard of for there to be incumbent—or rather, inclement—weather on Election Day itself, either. In 1894, an Election Day storm brought nearly a foot of snow to parts of Connecticut and 78-mile-per-hour winds to Block Island, Rhode Island. We can only hope for better weather this November!

Election Day 2022 Forecast

For the U.S. midterm elections coming up on November 8, we’re expecting to see a mixed bag of conditions across the nation. Some will wake to snow, some to rain, and some to a dry, sunny day!

We’re predicting favorable voting weather across much of the eastern United States, with a mix of sun and clouds and an autumn chill in the air throughout the region. Snow will threaten in the Northeast, but as we move south and west from there, the weather looks to be more pleasant for those waiting in line to vote, although it will be cold.

Farther west, temps will be mild, with some showers from the Great Lakes through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys and into the Deep South. Showers will also threaten parts of the Southeast, but Florida will remain as sunny as ever. 

Across the western half of the country, the weather will be mild, with quite a bit of sunshine from the Rockies to the West Coast—although some storminess could mean a wet journey to the polls in the Pacific Northwest.

It will be a cold Election Day across Alaska, with some snow showers around. Hawaii, on the other hand, will be mild with a few showers on hand. 

We hope that voting goes smoothly across the country, despite any wild weather that gets thrown our way!

→ How did Election Day come to be? Learn all about the history of this important day.

Does Bad Weather Affect Voter Turnout?

Given that getting to the polls can be made more difficult by weather conditions such as rain and snow—especially for older voters or those with reduced mobility—it seems only natural that weather would have a direct effect on voter turnout. Judging by the media coverage on Election Day, this appears to be a widely held belief, too. But how true is it, exactly?

One 2007 study took a look at past elections and turned up with interesting results. They found that voter turnout was reduced by about 0.9% per inch of rain and 0.5% per inch of snow above normal. It may not sound like much, but it does appear to add up: On Election Day 2000, Lincoln County, New Mexico, received about 7 inches more snow than usual, which led to a decrease in voter turnout of more than 3%! Similarly, when Tunica County, Mississippi, got 4.35 more inches of rain than usual on Election Day 1972, it reduced voter turnout by nearly 4%.

So, it would seem that poor weather on Election Day does impact voters, but only if it’s to an unexpected and above-normal amount! 

More Weather

  • Traveling for Thanksgiving? See what sort of conditions we’re expecting in our Thanksgiving Forecast!
  • It’s not too early to start thinking about winter! Check out our 2022-2023 Winter Forecast to see the chilling predictions for your area.