November 2017: An Unusual Month



Just after sunset on November 15th, a pleasant day with a high near 60 degrees.

While November normally sees the greatest drop in temperature of the three transition months of autumn, this year November was more like a fall transition month stuck in reverse.

If one divides the month into three ten-day periods, the first ten days was the coolest period and the last 10 days of the month was the warmest. The first 10-days of November had an average daily mean of 41.6 degrees, which was 6.6 degrees below normal. The last ten days of November had an average daily mean of 47.2 degrees, which was 8.4 degrees above normal.

There is an unexpected November scenario for you.

November Temperature Specifics: For November as a whole, the average daily high was 57 and the average low 33. This resulted in an average daily mean of 45 degrees, which was 1.5 degrees above normal.

The coldest reading of the month at the airport was 15 degrees on November 22nd. With a high of 44, the resulting daily mean was 30 degrees, also the coldest of the month.

The next day, the 23rd, Thanksgiving Day, was pleasant with a high in the upper 60s and the low around the freezing mark.

The day after Thanksgiving, the 24th,  the temperature hit 77 at the Lawrence Airport, the warmest reading of the month. With a low of 43, the daily mean was 60 degrees, also the warmest of the month. This was a rather incredible 30 degrees warmer than the daily mean temperature of just two days previous.

In fact, November 24th saw record warmth for the date throughout the region including at Topeka (79; previous record 76), Concordia (83; previous record 73), St Joseph (75; previous record 72) and Wichita (76; previous record 70).

Also instructive of the ‘reverse’ temperature trend in November, all ten days of the month that reached 60 or warmer occurred from the 15th to the 30th. On the other hand, five of the six days that recorded highs in the 40s occurred during the first half of the month.

Wind: Strong and gusty winds occurred on several days as a series of dry fronts swept across the region, especially during the last half of the month. The windiest day was the 18th with a peak gust out of the northwest of 42 MPH. Two days later, on the 20th, south winds gusted to 40 MPH. The day after that, northwest winds gusted to 40 MPH. Close behind, toward the end of the month, south winds gusted to 39 MPH on the 28th.

I don’t know about everyone else, but all the back and forth wind left a bumper crop of Pin Oak leaves surrounding my humble abode this season.

Barometric Pressure: In the fall, winter and spring months, it is sometimes interesting and instructive to note the barometric pressure. So, for any barometer watchers out there, the lowest barometric pressure of November was 29.37 inches on the 18th, which was also the day with the strongest winds. The highest barometric pressure was 30.42 inches on the 10th, the second coldest day of the month and also the day with the coldest high temperature (42 degrees).

Humidity: Very changeable humidity also occurs in the fall, winter and spring and can be indicative of weather trends. The three days of highest average humidity were all in the first half of November. Conversely, the three days of lowest average humidity were all in the last half of the month. The last 10 days of the month were quite dry with all of the three driest readings. The lowest humidity reading of the month was 21 percent on both the 21st and 26th. Close behind was a minimum humidity of 22 percent on the 30th and 23 percent on the 29th.

Precipitation: Rainfall in November was nothing to shout or write home about. Only 0.12 inches was recorded at the Lawrence Airport. The average from our reporting rain gage sites across the city was 0.18 inches.  Normal for November is 2.18 inches.

The only wetting rain of the month occurred on November 11th. On that day, a tenth of an inch of drizzle and small-dropped rain fell on our Veterans Day parade.

The last rain of any real significance dates back to October 21st and 22nd, when well over two inches fell.  With only negligible rainfall since, most of which fell on Veterans Day, we were 5 ½ weeks into a relative dry spell as of the end of November.

Calendar year precipitation: At this point, nothing is going to stop our well above normal precipitation for the calendar year. While November’s contribution was not significant this year, our six to seven regularly reporting precipitation sites across the city are up to an average of 44.24 inches for the year to date. Normal through the end of November is 37.08 inches.

Looking ahead: The one-month outlook issued by the NWS on November 30th forecasted a moderately strong likelihood of below normal precipitation for December. The temperature forecast for our area is non-committal – equal chances of above or below normal.

The average daily high and low for December is 42 and 21. December averages 1.47 inches of precipitation, including about five inches of average snowfall (that fluffy white stuff, in case you’ve forgotten).



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