National Overview - November 2003
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|Temperatures across the country averaged cooler
than normal in the West and warmer than normal in the East. This is
in reverse to a national pattern which has persisted for several
The precipitation signal was mixed across the country with much of the East again receiving more precipitation than average as well as the Great Lakes and parts of the Southwest. Some areas of the Midwest were slightly dry during November, though the signal was generally moderate.
For additional details, see the Monthly Highlights section. For details and graphics on weather events across the U.S. and the globe go to NCDC's Global Hazards page.
The Atlantic Basin had above average activity in terms of the number of named storms in 2003. As of November 30th, the official end of the season, 14 named storms had developed, however two further storms (Tropical Storms Odette and Peter) developed in December after the official end of the season. Sixteen named storms is well above the 1944-1996 average of 9.8, but consistent with a marked increase in the annual number of tropical systems since the mid 1990s (1995-2002 average = 13.3). Seven of the named storms were classified as hurricanes and three of those were 'major' (category three or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale). See the Atlantic Hurricane page for further details.
In the Eastern North Pacific, the season began slowly, though 16 named storms had developed as of the end of November. None of the storms reached hurricane strength until Hurricane Ignacio in late August, however seven storms had reached hurricane strength by November 30th. None of those reached 'major' status, the first year since 1977 in which there was no major hurricane. The 1966-1996 average for the Eastern Pacific is for 16.4 storms to form. The 1995-2002 average is slightly lower than this at 12.8. See the East Pacific Hurricane page for more details after December 12th.
Indices used to determine the state of ENSO suggest that the Equatorial Pacific is in a neutral ENSO phase and Sea Surface Temperatures are slightly above normal across the eastern equatorial Pacific. To see the latest NOAA advisory and typical impacts of a La Nina or El Nino episode for the U.S., go to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
Monthly and Seasonal Highlights:
See NCDC's Monthly Extremes web-page for weather and climate records for the month of October.