Driest November on Record

By Russell Russ

November was a record setting month. It was the driest November on record for us, which means the driest over the last eighty-one Novembers. It was also the seventh driest month of any month for this same time period. Not what we needed this year, but certainly one for the record books.

The month’s low temperature of 17 degrees was observed on November 6 and the high temperature of 62 degrees was observed on November 11. The average mean temperature was 35.4 degrees, 1.7 degrees below normal. There were no daily temperature records set this month, but it was the coldest November since 1997. Looking back at our records, this month was the twentieth coldest November on record. Not really that noteworthy until you notice that it was the coldest one in the last 15 years. Does this mean something? Good question.

The total precipitation for the month was a mere 0.84 inches, 3.85 inches below normal and the driest November on record. The next few driest Novembers were 1976 with 1.04 inches, 1946 with 1.52 inches, 2001 with 1.54 inches and 1933 with 1.98 inches. As for driest months of any month here is that list: Feb. 1987 with 0.60 inches, Oct. 1963 with 0.63 inches, Mar. 1981 with 0.64 inches, Aug. 1953 with 0.65 inches, Jan. 1970 and Jun. 1988 with 0.74 inches, and Dec. 1943 with 0.83 inches.

Through November this year, the total precipitation amount was 39.90 inches. For the first eleven months of the year we were 8.45 inches below normal for this time period. With still one month to go, 2012 is currently the fifth driest year on record for this weather station. At this time last year, which ended up being the wettest year on record, we were nearly 24 inches above normal.

The month’s snowfall total was 6.7 inches, 0.1 inch above normal. Through November, the yearly snowfall amount for 2012 was 35.3 inches, 38.7 inches below normal for this time period. This is nearly 70 inches less than last year’s snowfall total through November. With still one month to go, 2012 is currently ranked second for least amount of yearly snowfall.

It has been said that November’s weather, especially the latter half of the month, is a good indicator of what the coming winter will be like. Does this mean that this winter will be cold with an average amount of snow? Good question again, but one thing is fairly certain, unless something really wild happens in December, 2012 will surely rank high on the record lists for lack of precipitation and lack of snowfall.