First 10 Days of November Cool, Mainly Cloudy and Dry


The Baker Wetlands on Sunday, November 5th:  Breaking up was hard to do, but low cloudiness  finally cleared during the afternoon of the 5th as a dry cool front pushed in from the north.  This was welcome relief following a long, dreary period of continual overcast skies since the 31st of October.  Time to get out and take a few photos, finally!

Temperatures during the first 10 days of November averaged a cool 6.6 degrees below normal, according to official readings taken at the Lawrence Airport.  Precipitation has been limited to a bit of light drizzle recorded at some manual city sites during the first few days of the month.

A low overcast deck that prevailed from the 1st through the 4th of the month finally cleared out during the afternoon of Sunday, November 5th, after a dry cold front pushed in.  Clear skies and cool temperatures prevailed behind the front on the 6th.   On the 7th, a fast, westerly jet stream flow aloft brought mid and high level cloudiness.  Wednesday, the 8th, brought clear skies and light winds.  The 9th was mostly sunny but with some thin high clouds.  The 10th had a broken high stratus deck at around 5000 feet most of the day.

The average high temperature during the first 10 days of November at the Lawrence Airport was 51 and the average low 32 (rounded to the nearest whole degree).   At my residence, near Clinton Parkway and Inverness, the average high was 50 (one degree cooler than the airport) and the average low 35 (three degrees warmer than the airport), ranging from a high of 57 on the 2nd to a low of 26 on the 10th.  Normal for the 10-day period as a whole is 61 and 36, though average temperatures drop about a half a degree daily this time of year.

As the numbers show, the deviation below normal so far in November has been determined more by the cool high temperatures than the overnight low readings.  However, lows have averaged about 4 degrees below normal, with half of the days during the period dipping into 20s at the official Lawrence climate site on the Kansas River floodplain.

The warmest temperature during the period at the airport was 57 on November 5th and the coolest was 23 on the morning of the 8th.

Only the second day of the month has had a mean temperature above normal, and it was only one degree above normal, at that.   This was also the warmest average day with a high of 56 and low of 45.  The coolest day was the 10th with a high of 41 and low of 25.  The 10th also recorded the greatest negative daily deviation with a mean temperature of 13 degrees below normal.

No precipitation has been recorded at the airport during the month.  Two of our manual rainfall sites across town recorded one hundredth of an inch from light drizzle on the 2nd, with other sites recording a trace.  Trace amounts were also recorded at some city sites on the 1st, 3rd and 4th of the month as light drizzle and mist drifted down at times from the persistent low overcast.

The airport site recorded ‘mist’ at times during this period, a non-precipitation aviation weather condition which occurs when the humidity is high and the visibility is recorded at 6 miles or less.  When the visibility drops to a half mile or less with high humidity, the aviation weather condition is recorded as ‘fog,’  which also occurred on a few mornings early in the month.


At jet stream level (250 MB) on the morning of November 4th:  Splitting upper trough along the west coast with a ridge over Kansas and a strong jet stream flow.  Warm air aloft is trapping cool, low-level moist air over northeast Kansas, resulting in the persistent low cloudiness. 


Topeka upper air sounding on the evening of November 4th.  A strong inversion starting just below 900 MB extending to 850 MB traps cool, low-level moist air near the surface.  Dry air lies above the inversion until the jet stream flow brings some mid and high level moisture and clouds above about 500 MB.  Strong westerly winds aloft peak at 115 knots at about 250 MB.  


On the afternoon of the 5th, a cool, dry north breeze shunted the moist air southward allowing the sun to come out following five consecutive overcast days.  This seemed to be a good time to test the strangely sunlit, wind-blown waters.


But there is a bit too much wind to see any fish here..


So time to fly to calmer waters..


Come on out, the water’s fine..



Coots and ducks seemed to be enjoying the novel late afternoon sunshine on November 5th, though the temperature was about 50 and falling on the dry, late-day north breezes.


Monday, the 6th, was blessed with more sunshine and a decent sunset at Clinton Lake.  Here, some coots swim slowly by in the foreground.   Low clouds were trying to push in from the south by late in the day, as seen here near the horizon, blocking the setting sun.   Temperatures were falling through the mid 40s at sunset.  The low clouds moved on in and held temperatures in the lower 40s after dark.



Jet stream cirrus in the fast flow aloft reflected some color in the water, too.


Jet stream level on Tuesday evening, November 7th, a mostly cloudy day with mid and high level overcast.  A very strong jet streak is over northeast Kansas ahead of a short wave trough to the west that was bringing drier air aloft and some gradual clearing very late in the day, as seen below.


Late in the day on Tuesday the 7th:  Some clearing was taking place from the north.   This was a rather raw, cloudy day with north breezes.   The photo was taken at a wildlife area north of Valley Falls, about 35 miles north-northwest of Lawrence.


A big old buck was being rambunctious.  Well, it is that time of year..


East of Valley Falls, a last gasp light show after sunset as some clearing finally pushed in from the north.


Wednesday, November 8th:  A sunny, calm and cool day after some early morning clouds.  Upon setting foot the at the Baker Wetlands parking lot in the afternoon, a red tailed hawk immediately swooped in.  I think he was actually interested in Norman, the Dog, before he then noticed me, too.  The red-tail then quickly changed course, alighting on the immediately adjacent light pole.


The young red tail hawk hung around surveying the scene for a minute.  Deciding there was not much to see after all, he then flew over to a nearby tree top.  This appears to be the same resident juvenile I have photographed previously in the same tree by the interpretive display board near the visitor center.   Rather scraggly-looking before, he is now a handsome fellow.


The coots and ducks seemed to be enjoying the sunny, cool and calm conditions..


And the light winds brought good stalking conditions for the herons..


Shortly after sunset some Canada Geese approached a watery landing site from which to reach their overnight roosts.


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