National Climate Report - November 2018
- Climate Highlights — November
November Average Temperature Departures
November Percent of Average Precipitation
- For November, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 40.1°F, 1.6°F below the 20th century average, ranking in the coolest third of the historical record.
- Below-average temperatures impacted most locations from the Great Plains to East Coast with much-below-average temperatures in the Midwest to south-central United States.
- Some locations observed their coldest November on record, including Kansas City, Missouri. The city's average temperature was 35.6°F, 8.0°F below the 1981-2010 normal. There are reliable data for Kansas City dating back to 1888.
- On a statewide level, Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri and Oklahoma each had a top 10 cold November.
- Afternoon high temperatures were much colder than average for most locations east of the Rockies with 17 states having a November maximum temperature that ranked among the 10 coldest. Averaged across the entire contiguous U.S., the maximum temperature was 50.3°F, 2.4°F below average. This was the coldest maximum temperature departure from average for any month since November 2014.
- Alaska had its seventh warmest November on record with an average temperature of 19.3°F, 7.6°F above average. Much-above average temperatures were observed across western and southern parts of the state. Much-below-average sea ice was also observed off Alaska's west coast in the Bering Sea.
- The November precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 2.64 inches, 0.41 inch above average, and ranked in the wettest third of the 124-year period of record.
- Above-average precipitation fell across the East, Northern Plains and parts of California. The majority of the precipitation in California fell late in the month assisting wildfire containment efforts. In the East, Delaware, Maryland and Massachusetts were each record wet with 13 additional states having monthly precipitation totals that ranked among the 10 highest on record.
- According to the December 4 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 22.1 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, up slightly since late October. Drought conditions improved across parts of the Mountain West, Great Plains and Northeast. Drought conditions worsened in parts of California, the Great Basin and in Florida. Severe drought continued to impact the Alaskan Panhandle and abnormally dry conditions expanded in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
- Below-average precipitation fell in the Northwest, Southwest and parts of the Southern Plains.
- Two large and devastating wildfires impacted California in early November when high winds interacted with long-term dryness and above-average temperatures creating ideal fire conditions. The Camp Fire burned more than 153,000 acres in Northern California, near Chico. The fire destroyed more than 18,000 structures and caused at least 88 fatalities with the town of Paradise being the hardest hit. This marked the most destructive and deadliest wildfire on record in California and the deadliest wildfire in the U.S. since the Cloquet Fire in 1918 killed 453 people in Minnesota. The Woolsey Fire destroyed more than 1,500 structures and caused at least three fatalities in and around Malibu.
- Climate Highlights — Autumn (September-November)
September-November Average Temperature Departures
September-November Percent of Average Precipitation
- During meteorological autumn (September-November), the average temperature for the Lower 48 was 53.8°F, 0.2°F above average, ranking near the middle value in the 124-year period of record.
- Above-average autumn temperatures spanned both coasts with below-average conditions across the interior. Most of the warmth in the East occurred early in the season, with the West consistently warmer than average. Seven states had a seasonal temperature that ranked among the 10 warmest, while North Dakota had its 12th coolest autumn.
- Maximum temperatures were particularly cool across the Great Plains, Midwest and Northeast. Seven states had a top 10 cold autumn maximum temperature. Minimum temperatures were above average in the West, South and East. Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia each had record warm autumn minimum temperatures with 15 additional states having top 10 warm conditions.
- The Alaska autumn temperature was 32.4°F, 6.5°F above the long-term average. This marked the second warmest autumn on record for Alaska, behind 32.9°F that occurred in 2002. Record warmth was observed across western and southern parts of the state. Many towns, including Anchorage, Bethel, Nome and Cold Bay, had their warmest autumn on record. The above-average temperatures limited snowfall with only 5.3 inches accumulating in Denali National Park, its lowest autumn total since 1943.
- The autumn precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 9.61 inches, 2.73 inch above average. This was the second wettest autumn on record, behind the 9.72 inches which fell in 1985.
- Above-average precipitation fell across many locations east of the Rockies. Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia each had their wettest autumn on record. Fifteen additional states had a top 10 wet autumn. Drier-than-average conditions were observed in the Northwest and in Florida. Locations along Florida's Atlantic Coast were record dry, including West Palm Beach.
- The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for autumn was 58 percent above average and ranked as the eighth highest value in the 109-year period of record. Extremes in the number of days with precipitation (second highest) contributed to this top ten ranking.
- On the regional scale, the Northeast had its seventh highest autumn CEI value, while the Southeast had its fourth highest.
- Climate Highlights — year-to-date (January-November)
Jan-November Average Temperature Departures
Jan-November Percent of Average Precipitation
- For the year-to-date, the contiguous U.S. temperature was 55.2°F, 1.4°F above the 20th century average and was the 16th warmest January-November on record. This was the coolest January-November since 2014.
- Above-average temperatures were observed across the West and East where 13 states had a top 10 warm January.November.
- Alaska had its third warmest year-to-date on record. Near- and below-average temperatures were observed across the Central and Northern Plains to the Upper Midwest. No state had a record warm or cold year-to-date.
- For the year-to-date, the national precipitation total was 31.31 inches, 3.72 inches above average. This marked the fifth wettest January-November on record and wettest since 1998.
- Above-average January-November precipitation fell across most locations east of the Rockies. Eight states from the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast were record wet with near-record precipitation totals observed into the Midwest. Below-average precipitation stretched from the Northwest to Southwest, with Oregon having its 10th driest year-to-date on record.
- The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for the year-to-date was 58 percent above average and ranked as the seventh highest value in the 109-year period of record. On the national scale, extremes in warm minimum (sixth highest) temperatures, one-day precipitation totals (eighth highest), and days with precipitation (eighth highest) were much above average.
- On the regional scale, the Northeast (tenth highest), Southeast (seventh highest), Southwest (second highest), and West (ninth highest) each had much-above-average extremes for the year-to-date.
These regional summaries were provided by the six Regional Climate Centers and reflect conditions in their respective regions. These six regions differ spatially from the nine climatic regions of the National Centers for Environmental Information.
- Northeast Region: (Information provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center)
- November was a cold month in the Northeast. The region's average temperature of 35.6 degrees F (2.0 degrees C) was 3.9 degrees F (2.2 degrees C) colder than normal. For the first time since April 2018, all twelve states averaged a below-normal monthly temperature. Departures ranged from 4.9 degrees F (2.7 degrees C) below normal in Maine, its 12th coldest November on record, to 1.3 degrees F (0.7 degrees C) below normal in Delaware. The Thanksgiving holiday featured all-time record cold temperatures for the month of November. See the last paragraph for more information. The first half of autumn was warmer than normal, while the second half was colder than normal. The Northeast.s average autumn temperature of 50.1 degrees F (10.1 degrees C) was 0.3 degrees F (0.2 degrees C) above normal. Eight states wrapped up the season on the warm side of normal, with three ranking this autumn among their 20 warmest: Delaware, sixth warmest; Maryland, ninth warmest; and New Jersey, 15th warmest. Average temperature departures for all states ranged from 1.8 degrees F (1.0 degrees C) below normal in Maine to 2.5 degrees F (1.4 degrees C) above normal in Delaware.
- The Northeast had its third wettest November on record with 6.17 inches (156.72 mm) of precipitation, 161 percent of normal. All twelve states experienced above-normal precipitation ranging from 135 percent of normal in West Virginia to 243 percent of normal in New Jersey. Delaware, Maryland, and Massachusetts recorded their wettest November since 1895. Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island had their third wettest November on record, while New Hampshire had its fourth wettest and New York and Pennsylvania had their fifth wettest. It was the 10th wettest November on record for West Virginia and the 11th wettest for Maine. Seven major climate sites also had their wettest November on record: Atlantic City, New Jersey; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Islip, New York; Baltimore, Maryland; and Washington National, D.C. Much of the Northeast was wetter than normal in September, but precipitation varied in October. Add in a very wet November, and the Northeast averaged out to have its wettest autumn since 1895. The region received 17.21 inches (437.13 mm) of precipitation, 148 percent of normal. Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and West Virginia had their wettest autumn since recordkeeping began. Massachusetts and Pennsylvania had their second wettest autumn followed by Connecticut and Delaware with their third wettest. It was the fourth wettest autumn for New York, the sixth wettest for New Hampshire, and the 13th wettest for Vermont. Precipitation ranged from 110 percent of normal in Maine to 186 percent of normal in Rhode Island. Ten major climate sites also had their wettest autumn on record: Atlantic City, New Jersey; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Islip, New York; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Charleston, West Virginia; Elkins, West Virginia; Beckley, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- The U.S. Drought Monitor released on November 1 showed 2 percent of the Northeast in a moderate or severe drought and 9 percent of the region as abnormally dry. Abundant rainfall during November eased drought across the region. Abnormal dryness improved but lingered in parts of northern New York, northern Vermont, and northern Maine. The U.S. Drought Monitor released on November 29 showed 4 percent of the Northeast as abnormally dry.
- On November 2, Atlantic City, New Jersey, had its highest minimum temperature for November with a low of 66 degrees F (19 degrees C). Severe storms moved through the Northeast the same day. Two EF-1 tornadoes touched down in Maryland, one of which caused two deaths. The tornadoes also removed the roofs of several buildings and snapped trees and power poles. Straight-line winds of up to 85 mph (38 m/s) damaged more than a dozen buildings in Pennsylvania. Heavy rain accompanied the storms, causing flooding in eastern Pennsylvania and eastern Massachusetts. In fact, Allentown, Pennsylvania, had its greatest November one-day precipitation total on the 2nd with 3.45 inches (88 mm) of rain. On November 9 and 10, up to 18 inches (46 cm) of lake-effect snow and whiteout conditions led to numerous accidents and the closure of several major interstates in western New York and Pennsylvania. Thundersnow was reported in western New York. An early season winter storm from November 15 to 16 dropped mixed precipitation and up to 18 inches (46 cm) of snow on the region. Newark, New Jersey, and Kennedy Airport, New York, had their greatest 1-day snowfall for November, with 6.4 inches (16 cm) and 4.8 inches (12 cm), respectively. The storm also made it Kennedy Airport's snowiest November on record. For Central Park, New York, and Newark, it was the earliest 6+ inch (15 cm) snowstorm on record. Thundersnow occurred in southern New England. The storm caused major travel disruptions. News reports indicated there were numerous accidents, commuters and students that were stranded for hours, and thousands of delayed and cancelled flights. An unseasonably cold air mass settled over the Northeast during the Thanksgiving holiday, with temperatures up to 35 degrees F (19 degrees C) below normal. In the coldest areas, low temperatures were below 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C) and high temperatures were in the single digits (degrees F). More than 50 daily temperature records were set from November 22 to 23 at the major climate sites. Preliminary data indicated these were some of the all-time coldest November temperatures on record for the state of New York. Six major climate sites recorded their all-time coldest temperatures on record for November. In addition, six sites had their all-time lowest maximum temperatures for November on record. It was the coldest Thanksgiving Day on record for Buffalo, and Rochester, New York. Up to 5 inches (127 mm) of rain fell in parts of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania from November 24 and 25, causing flooding and dozens of closed roads. From November 27 to 29, up to 35 inches (89 cm) of lake-effect snow fell in parts of New York.
- For more information, please go to the Northeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Midwest Region: (Information provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center)
- November precipitation varied across the Midwest with wet conditions in Indiana, Kentucky, and especially Ohio while drier conditions were more common especially in the western states and near Lake Michigan. Statewide precipitation in Ohio ranked as the 10th wettest in its history (1895-2018) with 4.95 inches (126 mm) which was more than 50 percent above the normal of 3.24 inches (82 mm). Minnesota statewide precipitation was 0.99 inches (25 mm) which was 69 percent of normal. Fall (September to November) precipitation in the region ranked as the 5th wettest with Kentucky ranked 2nd, Iowa and Ohio ranked 3rd, and Wisconsin ranked 9th. Only Missouri had below normal precipitation in the fall at 98 percent of normal. The other eight states ranged from 115 percent of normal in Illinois to 183 percent of normal in Iowa. Year-to-date (January to November) totals were also very wet in the Midwest, ranking as the 2nd wettest on record behind only 1993. Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin all ranked 2nd wettest in their respective histories while Indiana ranked 3rd, Kentucky ranked 4th, Michigan ranked 7th, and Illinois ranked 12th placing those seven states in the wettest 10 percent of their histories.
- November temperatures averaged 6.1 degrees F (3.4 C) below normal across the region, thus ranking as the 11th coolest November. Missouri had its 4th coolest November, Illinois its 9th coolest, and Iowa its 11th coolest. Statewide temperature departures ranged from -4.7 degrees F (-2.6 C) in Ohio to -7.6 degrees F (-4.2 C) in Missouri. November temperatures set new record lows at three dozen stations in six states with nearly two-thirds of the records in Missouri. Fall temperatures were an average of mostly warm conditions in the first 40 days of the season (September 1 to October 10) followed by cold conditions for the rest of the season. Fall averaged -1.3 degrees F (-0.7 C) across the Midwest with a couple states (Ohio and Kentucky) above normal and the other seven states below normal. Temperatures in the southeastern two-thirds of the region were well above normal until about October 10th or 11th, a strong cold front swept across the region dropping temperatures 20 to 30 degrees F (11 to 17 C) in just a couple days. The cold settled in and the rest of the fall averaged well below normal.
- Severe weather was limited to just three days in November affecting only two states (Missouri and Kentucky). On the 1st a single tornado report in Missouri was the only Midwest activity. The 5th was busier with reports of thunderstorm wind damage and tornadoes in Kentucky. The busiest day was the 30th with dozens of reports of thunderstorm wind damage and a handful of tornado reports in Missouri. One fatality was associated with the EF-1 tornado near Aurora, Missouri (Lawrence County).
- The fall rains and cool conditions in the latter half of fall finished off the last remaining areas of drought in the region. November began with just a fraction of a percent of the Midwest in drought and by the US Drought Monitor valid on the 13th all drought was gone from the region. The weeks of drought-free conditions in the Midwest were the first such weeks since May of 2017.
- Wet and cold conditions were not all good news however. Soybean harvest in the US was at its lowest level (1995-2018 period of record) as November came to a close according to the Department of Agriculture. Wet soils delayed or prevented field work in many low lying fields and yields suffered as shattering led to losses.
- Two significant winter storms affected the region in November. Freezing rain on the 14th and into the 15th coated parts of the southeastern Midwest. Numerous automobile accidents, power outages, school closings, and damage to vegetation were blamed on the icy conditions. Arboretums reported widespread damage such as a report from the Boone County Arboretum (in northern Kentucky, across the river from Cincinnati) of damage to about 50 percent of their 3600 trees and shrubs with severe damage affecting up to 15 percent of the specimens. The second storm was a snow storm that brought blizzard conditions from Kansas City to Chicago on the 25th and 26th. The timing of the storm was particularly bad as it came at the end of the holiday weekend when so many people were travelling home. In addition to snow totals that topped a foot (30 cm), winds whipped to 30 to 40 miles per hour (48 to 64 km per hour) snarling travel on the ground along with aviation along its path. On the 25th, flight cancellations reached nearly 25 percent of scheduled flights at Chicago.s O.Hare Airport and about 50 percent of flights at Kansas City.s airport. Many roads were closed from Kansas to Chicago due to dangerous road conditions. November snow totals were several times normal across Missouri, much of Illinois, and southeastern Iowa.
- For further details on the weather and climate events in the Midwest, see the weekly and monthly reports at the Midwest Climate Watch page.
- Southeast Region: (Information provided by the Southeast Regional Climate Center)
- Temperatures showed significant variations across the Southeast in November. Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama experienced temperatures that were colder than normal, but Florida.s temperatures as well as a few adjacent stations in southeastern Georgia experienced temperatures that were warmer than normal. Temperatures at Puerto Rican stations were near normal in November. Over 50 long-term stations were ranked in the top 5 for coldest maximum temperature, including Morganton, NC (1902-2018; 1st coldest), St. Bernard, AL (1911-2018; 2nd coldest), Washington, GA (1914-2018; 2nd coldest) and Lincoln, VA (1909-2018; 1st coldest). Two stations, Hialeah and Fort Lauderdale, FL, were ranked in the top 5 warmest maximum temperatures, and four stations, all in southern Florida or the Virgin Islands, were ranked in the top 5 warmest minimum temperatures. Numerous days of northwesterly wind flow in northern regions resulted in more than 20 long-term stations that were in the top five coldest for their periods of record. Temperatures in that region were as much as 6 degrees F (3.3 degrees C) colder than normal in northwestern Alabama. Sand Mountain Substation in Crossville, AL (1948-2018; 4th coldest) reported a monthly mean temperature of 44.7 F (7.1 C), which was 6 degrees F (3.3 degrees C) colder than normal. Jasper, GA (1942-2018; 5th coldest) also reported a mean monthly temperature 44.7 degrees F (7.1 degrees C), which was 5.7 degrees F (3.2 degrees C) colder than normal. Hickory, NC (1949-2018; 5th coldest) recorded a mean temperature of 45.5 degrees F (7.5 degrees C), which was 4.4 degrees F (2.4 degrees C) colder than normal. Widespread cold weather, with temperatures as low as 21 degrees F (-6.1 degrees C) across a broad region, were reported on the morning of November 28, as a ridge of high pressure built into the area following the passage of a strong cold front through the region. The coldest daily temperature in the region that morning was 2 degrees F (-16 degrees C) at Mount Mitchell, NC (1980-2018). This was the coldest minimum daily temperature for any station in November. Freezing temperatures extended south into northern Florida that day, bringing an end to the growing season there. The coldest temperature reported in Puerto Rico in November was 70 degrees F (21.1 degrees C) in St. Croix, VI on November 29. By comparison, warmer than normal ocean temperatures surrounding the Florida peninsula helped drive southern Florida mean temperatures that were in the top five warmest. Key West, FL (1871-2018; 5th warmest) recorded a monthly mean temperature of 79.8 degrees F (26.6 degrees C) that was 4.0 degrees F (2.2 degrees C) warmer than normal. Hialeah, FL (1945-2018; 4th warmest) reported a monthly mean temperature of 77.9 degrees F (25.5 degrees C) that was 4.3 degrees F (2.4 degrees C) warmer than normal. The highest daily maximum temperature reported this month was 94 degrees F (34.4 degrees C) at Aguirre, PR on November 12 and on the U. S. mainland at Everglades City 5 NE, FL on November 14.
- Precipitation across the Southeast varied from less than an inch (25 mm) in southern Florida to over 8 inches (203 mm) in northern Georgia and northeastern South Carolina. Observers in the driest areas of Florida reported less than 50 percent of normal rainfall, while extensive areas in northern and central Georgia, North and South Carolina and Virginia reported more than 200 percent of normal precipitation. Eighty long-term stations reported a monthly precipitation totals that ranked in the top five for November. Washington DC (1871-2018, 1st wettest) received 7.57 inches (192 mm) of precipitation, 4.40 inches (112 mm) wetter than normal, breaking the old record of 7.18 inches (182 mm) set in 1875. Other stations reporting their wettest November on record include Jacksonville, FL (1871-2018; 5.21 inches or 132 mm) and Dallas 7 NE, GA (1958-2018; 9.53 inches or 242 mm). In addition, Cape Hatteras, NC (1957-2018; 5th wettest) received 11.27 inches (286 mm) and Rome, GA (1899-2018; 3rd wettest) reported 10.38 inches (263 mm) of precipitation. Precipitation totals in the Florida Peninsula were drier than normal and were mainly in the lower third of all November amounts, but none were ranked in the driest 10 years. Tampa, FL reported 0.63 inches (16 mm) for the month, 0.92 inches (23 mm) drier than normal. Key West, FL (1871-2018) reported 1.21 inches (31 mm) in November, 1.09 inches (28 mm) below normal and West Palm Beach, FL (1888-2018) reported 1.79 inches (45 mm), 2.96 inches (75 mm) below normal. Rainfall in Puerto Rico was slightly drier than normal, with San Juan, PR observing 5.68 inches (144 mm), 0.67 inches (17 mm) drier than normal. The highest 1-day rainfalls across the region ranged from 4.17 inches on November 13 at Cape Hatteras (1874-2018; 9th highest 1-day November value) to 0.23 inches (6 mm) at Tampa, FL (1890-2018) on November 2, over a third of their monthly total this year. Danville, VA (1945-2018; 1st wettest 1-day amount for November) received 2.71 inches (69 mm) on November 12. Heavy rains caused flooding of streams and roadways in Georgia and North and South Carolina on November 12, in Georgia and South Carolina on November 14, and in Virginia on November 24. Snow was observed unusually early in the season in the Washington D. C. area on November 15, as a developing low pressure system moved up the East Coast. This resulted in the first measurable snow that occurred there in November in the last 22 years. Reagan International Airport received 1.4 inches (35 mm) and Dulles International Airport received 3.0 inches (76 mm). The snow, which was mixed with sleet and freezing rain, snarled traffic and closed schools. The highest verified total snowfall for the month, 6.0 inches (154 mm), fell at Mount Weather, VA on the 15th in the same storm that brought snow to the DC area.
- There were 80 severe weather reports across the Southeast during November, which is nearly double the median monthly frequency of 45 reports during 2000.2016. Of those, 75 percent (60 of 80) were wind reports. A total of 16 tornadoes (6 EF-0, 7 EF-1 and 3 EF-1s) were confirmed across the region, which is much higher than the median frequency of 11 tornadoes observed during November. On November 2, a squall line moved across the Tampa Bay area, resulting in four brief EF-1 tornadoes and damage from straight-line winds of 40 to 65 mph (18-29 m/s). On the same day, an EF-2 tornado in Halifax County, VA snapped several mature pine trees 24 to 36 inches (610 to 914 mm) in diameter and severely damaged the roofs of several homes and a barn. On November 5-6, a strong cold front and associated upper level low led to the development of a strong line of thunderstorms, which produced three brief tornadoes in Alabama, as well as numerous high wind reports. Strong winds associated with the passage of the front resulted in scattered wind damage to trees and buildings in central Georgia on the evening of the 7th. A short-lived EF-0 tornado in Santa Rosa, FL resulted in tree damage to a small area and was accompanied by straight-line winds estimated at 70 mph (31 m/s) that blew playground equipment 100 feet (30 m) away. An EF-1 tornado in Atlantic Beach, NC on November 13 destroyed numerous sheds and caused the loss of some roofing material which may have been compromised by Hurricane Florence in October. On November 14 an EF-2 tornado in Emerald Isle, NC and downed several power lines as well as caused siding and roof damage to several structures. The tornado moved over Bogue Sound as a waterspout and weakened before coming onshore again, blowing some trampolines into a tree.
- Small areas of moderate drought (D1) and larger areas of abnormally dry conditions (D0) were present in parts of the Southeast throughout November. Early in the month, some residual dryness in northwestern Alabama and northeastern Georgia was noted, but rainfall in those areas quickly erased the dry conditions by mid-month. These rains missed areas of the Atlantic coast from southern Florida through southern South Carolina, however, leading to an expansion of abnormally dry conditions there. Moderate drought conditions developed in the southeast corner of Georgia and extreme northeastern FL, and a separate area of moderate drought along the East Coast of Florida developed and expanded to an area west of Lake Okeechobee by the end of November. No drought was reported in Puerto Rico in November, but the area of abnormally dry conditions (D0) in the south central part of the island expanded to cover more than 26 percent of the commonwealth by the end of the month. The precipitation that ended the dry conditions in Alabama and parts of Georgia was not welcome to farmers in those regions, who were trying to recover from the impacts of Hurricane Michael. Wet soils slowed field work significantly, and the crops that were left in the field degraded in quality due to their lengthy exposure to the wet conditions, especially cotton and pecans that were still harvestable after the hurricane. The wet soil also caused problems for peanut farmers because harvesting was delayed. Peanuts left too long in wet soil separated from the plants before they were dug up, reducing the number of peanuts harvested, as many were left behind in the ground. Some peanuts were also over-mature due to harvesting delays, resulting in lower quality that reduced their value. The delays in harvesting of summer crops also led to delays in planting winter grains and forage, although those that were planted in a timely way benefited from the ample moisture. Because of the wet and cool conditions, livestock producers were forced to feed hay earlier than usual while they waited for their forage stands to become established. In northern Florida, pasture quality declined due to wet and cool conditions late in the month, while in southern Florida, pastures declined due to dry conditions there.
- For more information, please go to the Southeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- High Plains Region: (Information provided by the High Plains Regional Climate Center )
- The High Plains region continued to be cool in November, especially throughout eastern portions of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas. This pattern that has prevailed since October resulted in below-normal temperatures for the fall season in these areas. While October was very wet, November was drier for most of the region, which helped with fall harvest. However, timely precipitation helped improve drought conditions across the region. li>
- The mountain snowpack season started off well in Colorado, which was a relief for many who were concerned about having two consecutive low-snowpack seasons. In fact, several ski resorts opened early this year for the first time in 10 years. Farther north in Wyoming, snowpack got off to a slow start but was catching up by the end of November. After several months of higher-than-average releases from mainstem projects in the Upper Missouri Basin to evacuate stored floodwaters, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced in late November that they would begin reducing releases from Gavins Point Dam. The Corps plans to clear most of the stored runoff in advance of ice-up on northern portions of the river.
- Wet conditions in the fall caused several impacts throughout the region. For instance, fall harvest of many crops was behind. Corn harvest was behind in much of the region, especially the Dakotas. According to the November 25th U.S. Department of Agriculture.s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, North Dakota had harvested 80 percent of its corn, which was 13 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Many producers in the Dakotas were waiting for the ground to freeze before moving machinery into the fields. Although producers were able to catch up by the end of the month, the U.S. had its 3rd slowest soybean harvest on record, which goes back to 1995. In Kansas, winter wheat emergence was behind, and some wheat was damaged due to flooding. Another concern resulting from the fall wetness is spring flooding. As we enter the winter season, soils are very wet in many locations, and the moisture will get locked in until spring. Combined with spring snowmelt, the risk for spring flooding will be a concern.
- The cool pattern present throughout the High Plains in October continued into November, as below-normal temperatures were prevalent across most of the region. The western and central High Plains experienced monthly temperature departures of 2.0-4.0 degrees F (1.1-2.2 degrees C) below normal, while the eastern High Plains were much colder with departures of 4.0-7.0 degrees F (2.2-3.9 degrees C) below normal. The cool temperatures produced some records in Kansas and Nebraska. The following locations broke the top 10 of coolest Novembers: Topeka, KS (5th coolest), Salina, KS (7th coolest), Lincoln, NE (8th coolest), and Concordia, KS (9th coolest). Statewide, Kansas had its 12th coolest November on record. One impact of the cool temperatures across the region was the early ice-up of smaller lakes in the northern High Plains.
- Despite a warm start to the fall season in September, cooler temperatures prevailed in October and November, resulting in much of the region experiencing below normal temperatures on the whole for the fall. With the exception of portions of Colorado and southern Wyoming where fall temperatures were slightly above normal, temperature departures ranged from near normal to 6.0 degrees F (3.3 degrees C) below normal elsewhere. It was particularly cool across the Dakotas during the fall, which resulted in some records. The following locations ranked in the top 10 of coolest falls: Grand Forks, ND (3rd coolest), Aberdeen, SD (5th coolest), Dickinson, ND (7th coolest), and Pierre, SD (10th coolest). Statewide, North Dakota had its 12th coolest fall on record. Maximum temperatures were particularly cool this fall, as North Dakota and South Dakota ranked 9th and 10th for coolest November maximum temperatures on record, respectively.
- November was relatively dry for a large portion of the High Plains, with southern and eastern areas of the region receiving less than 70 percent of normal precipitation. However, precipitation was above normal in western North Dakota, the Nebraska Panhandle, and portions of Wyoming. Several snowstorms traversed the region in November, bringing enough snow to break records in Kansas and Nebraska. The following locations broke the top 10 for snowiest November on record: Concordia, KS (2nd snowiest), Topeka, KS (4th snowiest), Lincoln, NE (7th snowiest), and Grand Island, NE (10th snowiest).
- One particularly impactful event occurred on the 24th-25th when a winter storm prompted road closures throughout the region. Blizzard conditions contributed to numerous accidents and low visibility, which caused highway officials to close portions of Interstate 80 in Wyoming and Nebraska, Interstate 70 in Colorado and Kansas, and Interstate 35 in Kansas. Kansas Governor Colyer declared a state of emergency, and even the University of Kansas in Lawrence closed down. The storm produced impressive snow totals for this time of year. For instance, Concordia, Kansas received 7.9 inches (20 cm) of snow on the 25th, which was its 2nd highest 1-day total snowfall on record for November.
- With all the snow in November, it might seem odd that severe weather occurred during the month as well. On the 2nd, the National Weather Service forecast office in Denver/Boulder, Colorado issued two severe thunderstorm warnings for damaging winds. These storms did produce some minor damage, as high winds blew down highway signs. While not unprecedented, it is extremely rare for severe weather to occur in Colorado in November.
- Although November was drier than normal for much of the region, it was a very wet fall for eastern portions of the High Plains. Areas of Kansas, southeastern Nebraska, and southeastern South Dakota had impressive records for fall precipitation. The following locations broke the top 10 of wettest falls: Salina, KS (3rd wettest), Concordia, KS (4th wettest), Dodge City, KS (4th wettest), Sioux Falls, SD (6th wettest), and Lincoln, NE (7th wettest). In fact, some locations have already had or are on pace to have their wettest year on record. As of the end of November, Yankton 2E, SD had already had its wettest year on record.
- Mountain snowpack got off to a great start in Colorado this year, which has helped improve drought conditions and quell concerns of a repeat of last year.s abysmal snowpack. As of the end of November, snowpack was above normal across Colorado except for basins in the southwestern part of the state. In Wyoming basins, snowpack was a mix of above and below normal. As for the Upper Missouri Basin, mountain Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) above Fort Peck Reservoir was 89 percent of average by the end of November, while SWE between Fort Peck and Garrison Reservoirs was 99 percent of average, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Much of the Plains experienced an early start to winter, as snow was on the ground across much of North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, southeastern Nebraska, and northeastern Kansas by the end of the month.
- Drought conditions continued to improve throughout the High Plains region in November, as beneficial precipitation helped alleviate long-term deficits. Region-wide, the area experiencing drought or abnormal dryness on the U.S. Drought Monitor (D0-D4) decreased from approximately 37 percent to 35 percent.
- Several areas of the eastern High Plains saw drought relief. For instance, the two areas in north-central North Dakota that were in severe drought (D2) improved to moderate drought (D1) due to ongoing cool, wet conditions. Similar conditions led to the removal of abnormally dry conditions (D0) in an area of western North Dakota. The drought in eastern Kansas improved as well, as ample soil moisture and above-normal precipitation prompted the removal of the area in D1 near the Kansas-Missouri border, as well as part of the D0 area in east-central Kansas.
- Meanwhile in the western High Plains, mountain snowpack continued to build, further improving drought conditions. In Colorado, beneficial snowfall led to a reduction in extreme drought (D3) in northern portions of the state, while exceptional drought (D4) was reduced in the Sangre de Cristo Range in southern Colorado. Above-normal snowpack helped drought conditions improve in areas of far western and eastern Wyoming as well. However, D0 was introduced to portions of west-central Wyoming, an area that received less than 50 percent of normal precipitation during the fall season.
- For more information, please go to the High Plains Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Southern Region: (Information provided by the Southern Regional Climate Center)
- Temperatures for the month of November were below normal throughout the Southern Region. Parts of northeastern Oklahoma and northwestern Arkansas experienced temperatures 8 to 10 degrees F (4.44 to 5.56 degrees C) below normal. Parts of northeastern and southern Oklahoma, northern, eastern, western, and southern Arkansas, northern, eastern, and southern Texas, northeastern and northwestern Louisiana, north-central and southwestern Mississippi, and northern, northwestern, and southwestern Tennessee experienced temperatures 6 to 8 degrees F (3.33 to 4.44 degrees C) below normal. Parts of eastern, southern, northern, western, and central Texas, northwestern, northeastern, central, and southern Louisiana, eastern, central, northern, and western Oklahoma, most of Arkansas, northern, central, and southern Mississippi, and northeastern, central, southern, and western Tennessee experienced temperatures 4 to 6 degrees F (2.22 to 3.33 degrees C) below normal. Parts of northern, western, central, southern, northeastern, and southeastern Texas, southwestern, western, and northeastern Oklahoma, central and southern Arkansas, northern, northeastern, western, and southeastern Louisiana, southern, western, eastern, and northeastern Mississippi, and eastern, central, and southeastern Tennessee experienced temperatures 2 to 4 degrees (1.11 to 2.22 degrees C) below normal. Parts of northern Louisiana experienced temperatures 2 to 4 degrees F (1.11 to 2.22 degrees C) above normal. Parts of northern Louisiana experienced temperatures 4 to 6 degrees F (2.22 to 3.33 degrees C) above normal. The statewide monthly average temperatures were as follows: Arkansas . 45.20 degrees F (7.33 degrees C), Louisiana . 54.50 degrees F (12.50 degrees C), Mississippi . 50.30 degrees F (10.17 degrees C), Oklahoma . 44.10 degrees F (6.72 degrees C), Tennessee . 45.00 degrees F (7.22 degrees C), and Texas . 51.30 degrees F (10.72 degrees C). The statewide temperature rankings for November were as follows: Arkansas (seventh coldest), Louisiana (twenty-third coldest), Mississippi (twelfth coldest), Oklahoma (ninth coldest), Tennessee (twenty-fifth coldest), and Texas (sixteenth coldest). All state rankings are based on the period spanning 1895-2018.
- Precipitation values for the month of November varied spatially across the Southern Region. Parts of southern, southwestern, and western Texas as well as part of western Oklahoma received 5 percent or less of normal precipitation. Parts of southern, southwestern, western, central, and northern Texas as well as parts of central, northern, and western Oklahoma received 25 percent or less of normal precipitation. Parts of southern, southwestern, western, northwestern, northern, central, northeastern, and southeastern Texas, most of Oklahoma, and northwestern Arkansas received 50 percent or less of normal precipitation. In contrast, parts of northwestern, southeastern, and eastern Texas, northwestern, northern, northwestern, southern, and southeastern Louisiana, central, southern, western, and northern Mississippi, southwestern and southeastern Arkansas, and eastern Tennessee received 150 percent or more of normal precipitation. Parts of southeastern Texas, northeastern and southeastern Louisiana, and western Mississippi received 200 percent or more of normal precipitation. The state-wide precipitation totals for the month were as follows: Arkansas . 5.05 inches (128.27 mm), Louisiana . 6.80 inches (172.72 mm), Mississippi . 6.57 inches (166.88 mm), Oklahoma . 1.10 inches (27.94 mm), Tennessee . 5.38 inches (136.65 mm), and Texas . 1.65 inches (41.91 mm). The state precipitation rankings for November were as follows: Arkansas (forty-fifth wettest), Louisiana (nineteenth wettest), Mississippi (nineteenth wettest), Oklahoma (thirty-sixth driest), Tennessee (twenty-eighth wettest), and Texas (sixty-second wettest). All state rankings are based on the period spanning 1895-2018.
- At the end of November, drought conditions improved slightly across the Southern Region. Severe drought classifications were no longer present across the region, a change from the beginning of the month. Moderate drought classifications were present in parts of extreme western and northern Texas as well as northeastern Oklahoma and northwestern Arkansas. There were no drought conditions in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi. While drought conditions decreased, there was an increase in the area experiencing abnormally dry conditions.
- In November, there were a total of 151 storm reports across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. There were 25 tornado reports, 15 hail reports, and 111 wind reports. Tennessee tallied the most tornado (10) and wind (46) reports while Oklahoma tallied the most hail (3) reports. Tennessee tallied the most reports total (56) while Louisiana tallied the least (11). Every state reported at least one tornado. Three states (Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee) did not record any hail reports. Every state except for Louisiana (4) had more than 10 wind reports. There were only 9 days in November where a storm report of any type was reported in the Southern Region, with 137 of the 151 total reports occurring on two days (80 on November 5, 57 on November 30).
- On November 3, 2018, a wind gust of 66 mph (106.22 kph) was reported near Fort Worth, Texas.
- On November 4, 2018, a tornado was reported near Natchitoches, Louisiana.
- On November 5, 2018, there were 19 tornado reports and 61 wind reports across Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. One person was killed and three were injured from an EF-2 tornado that touched down near Eagleville, Tennessee, while one person was injured from a tornado near Tupelo, Mississippi. A wind gust of 65 mph (104.61 kph) was reported in downtown Waynesboro, Tennessee.
- On November 7, 2018, hail slightly larger than golfball size was reported near Pelahatchie, Mississippi. Also, a landspout tornado was reported near China, Texas.
- On November 24, 2018, a wind gust of 59 mph (94.95 kph) was reported near Dalhart, Texas.
- On November 30, 2018, there were 3 tornado reports, 9 hail reports, and 45 wind reports across Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas. One EF-2 and two EF-1 tornadoes were reported in Crawford and Hepstead counties, Arkansas. Also, wind gusts of 67 mph (107.83 kph) were reported in Sallisaw, Oklahoma and Flippin, Arkansas.
- For more information, please go to the Southern Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Western Region: (Information provided by the Western Region Climate Center)
- Above normal precipitation was observed this month across central California, Montana, and other isolated locations in the West. Precipitation was generally below 75% of normal in the Pacific Northwest, and much drier than normal conditions dominated across the Desert Southwest. The coastal states observed above normal temperatures, while areas east of the Sierra Nevada and Cascades observed temperatures near to several degrees below normal. li>
- Following a dry start to the autumn season that primed the area for severe wildfires, several storm systems during the second half of November brought some relief to California. A moderate atmospheric river during the last week of the month impacted central California, bringing well above normal precipitation. Near the coast, Paso Robles reported a November total of 2.34 in (59 mm), 227% of normal. In the Sierra Foothills, the south entrance to Yosemite National Park logged 5.73 in (146 mm), 126% of normal. Above normal precipitation was also observed in the Inland Northwest; many locations in Montana observed persistent/frequent precipitation days. In western Montana, Missoula reported 2.57 in (65 mm), 254% of normal. This month.s storms contributed to snowpack in the West, though some areas remained well below median. In the Pacific Northwest, most of the HUC-6 basins were reporting 50-75% of median snow water equivalent (SWE). The Sierra Nevada, western Great Basin, and northern Arizona reported more than 150% of median SWE, a great start to the season, though median SWE values are typically low in November. Near to slightly above median SWE was observed in the eastern Great Basin and much of the Colorado River Basin. Snow conditions allowed some Colorado resorts to have an early opening for the first time in nearly a decade.
- Below normal precipitation dominated in the Pacific Northwest as well as the Four Corners region, allowing drought conditions to persist in these areas in the US Drought Monitor. Eugene, Oregon, reported 3.45 in (88 mm), 45% of normal. Albuquerque, New Mexico, received no measurable precipitation, while normal for the month is 0.57 in (14 mm). This has occurred in 23 other years in the station.s 128-year record. In eastern Utah, Moab also reported no measurable precipitation, the third such November since records began in 1998. During the month of November, drought conditions expanded in California and Nevada owing to the dry start to the autumn season. Improvements to drought conditions were observed in the far Southwest and western Washington in response to a wetter than normal October.
- California, Oregon, and Washington observed areas of above normal temperature this month. Seattle, Washington, reported an average temperature of 48.6 F (9.2 C), 3.2 F (1.8 C) above normal and the 7th warmest November since records began in 1945. In southwestern Oregon, Brookings reported an average temperature of 53.6 F (12 C), 3.5 F (2 C) above normal. In southern California, November temperatures averaged to 63.5 F (17.5 C) in Camarillo, 5 F (2.8 C) above normal and the 2nd warmest November since records began in 1952. Areas east of the Sierra Nevada and Cascades were within a couple degrees of normal to several degrees cooler than normal. Sunnyside, Utah, reported an average temperature of 34.0 F (1.1 C), 6.4 F (3.5 C) below normal.
- Above normal temperatures dominated across Alaska this month, with many locations reporting one of their top-ten warmest Novembers. In northwestern Alaska, Nome recorded an average temperature of 24.9 F (-3.9 C), 8 F (4.4 C) above normal and the 8th warmest November since records began in 1900. In the interior part of the state, Fairbanks reported a November average temperature of 11.7 F (-11.2 C), 9.1 F (5 C) above normal and the 10th warmest in a 90-year record. The southern Panhandle remains in severe drought; precipitation this month was average in this area, but not enough to overcome the precipitation deficit. Across the state, precipitation was near to slightly below normal. Precipitation was generally below normal across Hawaii, though several windward locations reported above normal precipitation. On the southern coast of Oahu, Honolulu reported 0.34 in (9 mm), 14% of normal. In contrast, on the northeast (windward) side of the island, Kapaka Farm reported 10 in (254 mm), 140% of normal. Drier than normal conditions were observed across Big Island, Pahala, in the southeastern part of the island, and 0.83 in (21 mm) was recorded for the month, 17% of normal. The state of Hawaii remains free of any drought designations in the US Drought Monitor.
- Early November - Devastating wildfires in California: The Camp Fire in Butte County, northern California, was ignited November 8 during a period of high winds following drier and warmer than normal conditions. The fire impacted the town of Paradise, resulting in 88 deaths and 18,804 structures destroyed (as of November 30). The Camp Fire became by far the most destructive wildfire in California history, surpassing the previous record-holder, the Tubbs Fire of 2017, which resulted in 22 deaths and 5,636 structures destroyed. The Camp Fire also resulted in prolonged poor air quality in heavily populated areas such as Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. During the same wind event, in southern California, the Woolsey Fire burned through 88% of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, destroying 1,500 structures and causing three deaths.
- For more information, please go to the Western Regional Climate Center Home Page.
Citing This Report
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Climate Report for November 2018, published online December 2018, retrieved on August 15, 2020 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201811.