National Snow & Ice - November 2013


NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.


During November, numerous storm systems impacted the contiguous United States, bringing rain and snow. According to NOAA's National Snow Analysis, at the beginning of November, 7.0 percent of the contiguous U.S. had snow on the ground — the high elevations of the Rockies and portions of the Upper Midwest. Monthly snow cover peaked on November 24th as a storm moved through the Southern Rockies. By the end of November, 21.8 percent of the Lower 48 had snow on the ground — the high elevations of the West, along the Canadian border, the Great Lakes, and the Central Appalachians.

Northern hemisphere snow cover anomalies
U.S. October Snow Cover Extent Anomalies
Source: Rutgers Global Snow Lab

According to analysis from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the monthly snow cover extent across the contiguous U.S. during November was 591,000 square miles, 116,000 square miles above the 1981-2010 average of 475,000 square miles. This marked the 12th largest November snow cover extent in the 48-year satellite record and the largest since 2010. Above-average snow cover was observed across the Northern Rockies and Plains, the Southern Rockies, the Great Lakes, and the Northeast. Below-average snow cover was observed in the Far West and parts of the Central Plains. In Alaska, the November snow cover extent was 520,000 square miles, 11,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average of 531,000 square miles, and the 12th smallest November snow cover extent in the 48-year period of record. Below-average snow cover was observed across western regions of the state.


Summary of Notable Snow Events:
27 November US Satellite Image
27 November U.S. Satellite Image
Source: NOAA's NNVL

A strong storm system moved through the Southern Rockies, across the Southern Plains, into the Southeast, and along the Eastern Seaboard between November 22nd and 28th. Across the high elevations of the Southwest and Southeast and across the interior Northeast, heavy snowfall was observed, while freezing rain blanketed the Southern Plains in ice. The snow, in addition to the strong winds and heavy rains across coastal regions of the East, disrupted travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. Numerous flights were cancelled or delayed across the Northeast corridor due to the winds and rain. According to media reports at least 12 people died in automobile accidents from Texas to the Northeast related to the storm. The heaviest snow totals were observed in the Southern Rockies, with snow accumulations over three feet. In Odessa, Texas, 2.0 inches of freezing rain fell during the event. In the Eastern U.S., snowfall totals approached one foot in parts of Ohio and western Pennsylvania and New York state.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: National Snow & Ice for November 2013, published online December 2013, retrieved on August 23, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/snow/2013/11.