Quantcast

November Feed

November 2020 Reigns As Mildest November On Record

WashSqPk_Nov2020

 

November 2020 was 5.2 degrees warmer than average and became the warmest November on record, supplanting November 2015 by 0.2 degrees.  Sixteen days had highs in the 60s or 70s (one fewer than the 1931 record).  What stood out was a streak of six days with highs in the 70s from Nov. 6-11, the longest such streak to occur in November.  (And the seven days between Nov. 4-10 all had clear or mostly sunny skies.) Conditions on Thanksgiving Day were noteworthy as well.  Although the high of 65° wasn't the warmest on record (it tied for third warmest), its low of 55° was.  (Just two years ago Thanksgiving Day had a high/low of 28°/17°.)  It was also one the seventh rainiest Thanksgiving, with 0.79" falling in the morning.  What follows are a few other observations:

 

  • Typically, November is 5.4 degrees cooler than April.  This year, however, it was 2.4 degrees milder and became just the tenth November to be milder than April.  (Nov. 1975 was warmer than April by the greatest margin, +4.4 degrees.)
  • The eight-day period between Nov. 5-12 was 14 degrees above average.  The rest of the month was two degrees above average.  These 22 days included four days that were ten or more degrees above average and two other days that were ten or more below average.  Overall the month had nineteen days that were five or more degrees above average.
  • At 3.99", the month's rainfall was an average amount, and that was thanks to a rainstorm that brought 0.98" on the last day of the month.  It was also the month's biggest rainstorm.  This storm was accompanied by gusty winds.  The peak gust was 35 mph, which was the seventh day of the month to report a peak gust of 30 mph or greater (the area's three major airports, LGA, JFK and EWR had gusts of 30 mph+ on ten, twelve and nine days, respectively, and their peak gusts were much higher).

 

Chart - wind gusts nov 2020 

  • The three warmest Novembers have all occurred in the 21st century, as well as half of the ten warmest and half of the top 12.
  • Despite being the warmest November on record, this November is tied with Nov. 2011 for warmest average high and tied for fourth mildest average low.  Additionally, Nov. 2020 had two days with sub-freezing low temperatures (both were 30°) while half of the ten mildest Novembers had coldest readings that were above freezing.
  • Besides this November, Nov. 1994 and Nov. 1975 also had six days in the 70s (but they weren't consecutive).  But they rank second behind Nov. 1953, which had seven such days.

 
 Chart - 10 mildest novembers2

Here are five previous November recaps:

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

 

 Nov 7 high rises on hudson

 

 


November 2019 - Cold & Dry

The-month-november

 

November 2019 was the 31st coldest November and 32nd driest (going back to 1869).  It tied November 2012 as coldest November of this century.  Nine days had lows of 32° or colder, the most since 2013 and well above the 21st century average of three.  Looking at precipitation, the first 17 days of the month had just 0.25" of rain.  1.95" was measured for the entire month (more than two inches below average), with much of the rain concentrated during the seven days between 11/18-24.  Despite the cold temperatures no snow fell.  Other interesting aspects:

 

  • The 11-day period between 11/8-18 was ten degrees below average (six days had mean temperatures that were 10-20 degrees below average).  The month's other nineteen days had temperatures that were close to average, resulting in the month being 3.8 degrees colder than average overall (its average low was 4.5 degrees below average).  This was the most below average of any month since March 2015 (-4.4 degrees).
  • Half of the Novembers that were colder than Nov. 2019 occurred in the 19th century (1869-1899).  Looking at the past 100 years Nov. 2019 tied for ninth coldest.
  • The mildest reading of the month was 71° in the early hours of 11/1; the coldest reading was 23° on 11/13.  That reading was a record for the date and followed a record low of 25° the day before that. 
  • Since 1970 November's mildest reading has averaged 71°, which was the same as this November.  However, the second mildest reading has averaged 69°, but this year's was only 62°, which was the chilliest second mildest reading since November 1977.
  • Gusty winds on Thanksgiving Day somewhat marred Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Up until a few hours before the parade started it was uncertain whether its famous balloons would be permitted to float high above the streets of Midtown Manhattan, but it was decided to let them participate at a much lower height than usual.  Wind was the only issue as temperatures were at seasonable levels and there was no rain.

 

Low flying balloon at macys parade

 

  • On 11/13 the relative humidity at mid-day fell to an exceptionally low 13%, the lowest humidity reported in November in the years of the 21st century.  It was also the only date outside of March and April with a humidity level this low.
  • Last November, 3.3 degrees colder than average, seemed more wintry than this November because it featured a 6.4" snowstorm and had one of the coldest readings ever reported in November, 15°.  It also was one of the wettest Novembers.  While its average high was 0.9 degree colder than this November, it's average low was 1.9 degrees milder.  Like Nov. 2019, the equally cold Nov. 2012 was dry (1.81").  However, a big difference was that Nov. 2012 had a snowfall of 4.7" on 11/7-8 (the earliest accumulation of four inches or more).

 

Chart - 10 coldest novembers since 1960

Other November recaps:

2018

2017

2016

2015

 

 November in union square park nyc

 

 


Early Snowstorm Takes New York City By Surprise: What Happened?

Snow covered long island expressway

 

The surprise snowstorm that crippled New York and its suburbs during the late afternoon and evening of Nov. 15, 2018 accumulated 6.4" in Central Park - the earliest date on record for a snowfall of six inches or more.  Snow began falling heavily shortly before commuters headed home from work, snarling rush hour traffic for hours; countless tree branches, many still laden with leaves (at least in New York's five boroughs), snapped from the weight of the snow, creating a hazard for pedestrians, drivers and commuter trains alike.  What was so surprising was how readily the snow piled up on the streets and sidewalks. 

 

Damaged tree

 

The morning after the snowfall found me a bit sheepish because 24 hours earlier I had dismissively told a number of co-workers not to expect much in the way of accumulation in the City because the ground was still too warm for snow to lay on the pavement.  From the 14th floor of my office building I've often seen snow falling heavily, but it doesn't necessarily mean it was laying on the cement surfaces at street level.  Figuring this would be the case with this snowfall, imagine my surprise when I left work at around 6:15 and saw that snow had piled up not only on the sidewalks but on the streets as well.  (Fortunately for me, I live in Manhattan so my subway commute home wasn't affected by the snow.)

So, what made this snowfall so disruptive?

  1. Novelty Factor. It was the first snowfall of the season, which always throws people for a loop.  (And, on average, first snowfalls are usually less than two inches.)  The fact that it occurred a month earlier than the typical first snowfall added to the siege mentality.  
  2. Lack of Warning.  There was no warning of a snowfall this significant for the City.  And although 1-2" inches had been predicted, even that amount was downplayed.
  3. Bad Timing.  Schools were letting out and commuters were leaving work early as the heaviest snow moved in.  (If this snowfall had occurred before daybreak, while children and workers were still at home, it would have caused only minor inconvenience.)
  4. Snow Intensity.  Although 6.4" doesn't seem like an amount that would bring things to a standstill, most of the accumulation occurred in a four-hour period, which meant that snow fell at a rate of one to two inches per hour (reducing visibility, which was another hindrance for drivers). 
  5. Colder Than Expected.  The coastal low pulled more cold air into the region than was expected, with the temperature dropping from 36° to 28° in just a few hours.  In March the area had been buffeted by a series of nor'easters that forecasters warned would bring heavy accumulations of snow, but temperatures in Manhattan hovered around 32° and 33° so the snow was more slushy than frozen, which inhibited accumulation.  And while the March 22 nor'easter produced a snowfall of 8.4", it fell over the course of nearly 24 hours.

 

As debilitating as it was, this snowfall may not go down in City weather folklore like the great blizzard of 1888, the Lindsay snowstorm of February 1969 or the post-Christmas blizzard of 2010 (to name just a few).  After all, unlike these classic snowstorms, the snow from this one, at least in the City, was mostly gone 12 hours after the first flakes fell as the temperature rose above freezing once the snow stopped, rain fell overnight, and the mercury was in the 40s by daybreak on 11/16. 

 

Nov 15 snowstorm

 

 


November 2018 Characterized By An Early Taste of Winter

November placard

 

After a mild start, with highs of 70°, 72° and 65° during the first three days of the month, the rest of November contended with unseasonably cold temperatures.  Overall, the month was 3.3 degrees below average, making it the coldest November in six years and the fifth coldest since 1960.  (Excluding the mild readings of Nov. 1-3, which were 11 degrees above average, the rest of the month was nearly five degrees colder than average.)

 

In addition to the unseasonable cold, November 2018 was also unusually wet, with half of its days reporting measurable precipitation.  With 7.62" measured this was the wettest November in 30 years - and the seventh wettest on record.  It was also the third month of 2018 to have more than seven inches of precipitation (the other two months were July and August), joining eight other years that have had three or more months with this much precipitation.  The crowning achievement of the month's rainfall occurred on 11/26 when the day's rainfall was enough to place 2018 among New York's ten wettest years (going back to 1869).  

 

Besides this excessive rainfall, the month will also be remembered for two other weather events: 1) the surprise afternoon/evening snowstorm of 11/15, which dumped 6.4" of snow, and 2) the bone-chilling cold on Thanksgiving Day and the day after. 

  • The snowstorm of 11/15, the earliest date on record for a snowfall of six inches or more, snarled the evening rush hour in a big way for most commuters.  This was the greatest snowfall in November since 1938 (when 8.8 inches fell on Nov. 24-25).
  • One week after the snowstorm Arctic air descended upon the region.  The high/low of 28/17 on Thanksgiving Day made it the coldest holiday since 1901.  And the following day the low fell to 15°, the coldest reading in November since 1932.  These cold readings, which would be well below average even during mid-winter, came near the end of a sixteen-day streak (Nov. 9-24) with below average readings that were nearly nine degrees colder than average.

 

Chart - coldest novembers since 1960

Other November recaps:

2017

2016

2015

 

 


November 2017 Was A Relatively Tranquil Weather Month

Central park in fallNovember 2017 featured two weather highlights.  The first was the flash-freeze of Nov. 10 and 11.  After eight weeks of very mild autumn weather that began in mid-September (including the warmest October on record), Arctic air moved in on Nov. 10, ushering in the earliest reading of 25° since 1976.  The lows on the 10th and 11th were both records - the first back-to-back record lows since August 1994.  The month's second noteworthy aspect was minimal rainfall.  With just 1.58", November was the driest month since March 2016, the driest November since 2001 and the fifth driest since 1970.  Nearly half of the month's rain fell on 11/7, when 0.70" was measured, mostly during the evening.  November's rainfall deficit was in contrast to a late October nor'easter that produced New York's greatest rainfall in more than three years (3.28" on 10/29-30).

 

Temperature-wise the month was 1.1 degrees below average, but it was the average low that made the month below average overall as it was 2.5 degrees below average while the high was close to average. The first and last six days were nearly five degrees milder than average while the period from Nov. 7 thru 24 was five degrees colder than average.  Only five days had highs of 60° or milder - the typical number is nine.  However, it was the chilliest November since 1959 to have two or more days with highs in the 70s.  (In recent history the fewest number of 60° highs was in 1962, when there was just one; the most is sixteen, in 2005, 1999 and 1979.)  Besides Nov. 10, 11 and 12, Thanksgiving Day (11/23) was the only other day during the month to have a low of 32° or colder.

  November 2017 Temperature Grid

 

Here are links to previous November recaps:

November 2016

November 2015

 

November
 

 


November 2016 Characterized By Soggy Second Half

New_York_Rain_3_(4669030741)November 2016 was the seventeenth month in a row that was warmer than average (+2.1 degrees) - extending what was already a record streak.  But the month's stand-out feature was rain.  After a very dry first two weeks (just 0.06" of rain), the second half of the month received more than five inches of rain.  On 11/15 1.81" fell, which at the time was the biggest rainstorm of the year; then two weeks later that amount was surpassed when 2.20" fell on 11/29, a record for the date.  Not only was this the biggest rainstorm in nearly two years (since 12/9/14, when 2.54" fell), it was the rainiest day ever between Nov. 21 and Dec. 9.  And although 2.20" of rain is not an extreme amount (e.g., 7.40" fell in Nov. 8, 1977 and 5.60" on the very same date in Nov. 1972), it just happened to fall during a relatively "quiet" time of the year as far as major storms are concerned.  With 5.41" measured, November 2016 was the wettest November in ten years (when 7.34" fell) and the fourth wettest since 1990.  

 

Some other observations:

  • Temperatures during the month ranged from 34° to 72°.  Since 2000 only four other Novembers have had a reading of 72° or warmer.  As for cold temperatures, this November was the seventh since the turn of the century not to see a reading of 32° or colder (average date for the first 32-degree reading is 11/18; the latest date for this reading is 12/21 in 1998).
  • The high of 66° on Election Day (11/8) was the warmest reading for a Presidential election since 1940 (when the high reached 71°).  Election Day followed by two days the running of the NYC Marathon, which had nearly perfect conditions as skies were sunny and temperatures in the 50s for the bulk of the race.  Breezy conditions (20-25 mph gusts) was the only fly in the ointment.
  • Thanksgiving Day was overcast and on the raw side, with a high/low of 48/38.  Rain stayed to the north and south in the morning, sparing the Thanksgiving parade, but later in the afternoon light showers dampened the sidewalks (but amounted to just 0.03").
  • This was the second month in a row with a wet second half.  Thru the first eleven months of 2016 there have been twelve storms that produced and inch or more of precipitation.  Of these, eleven occurred in the second half of their respective months.  The only one in the first half was the year's first one-inch rainstorm, on 1/10.

 

One inch rainstorms 2016

 

Beautiful fall day
A beautiful mid-November Saturday in Greenwich Village, Hudson River Park.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


As Seen on TV ...

Pix11

Occasionally, I've been asked to provide my point of view about weather events on New York TV station WPIX.  PIX-11 news reporter James Ford came across my blog back in 2014 and has contacted occasionally to get my historical perspective on weather conditions.  (What's made it easier for both of us is the fact that PIX's office is conveniently down the street from my office on 42nd St.)  Here are the nine appearances I've made (so far) including links to each :   

 

Revised.wpix
Nov. 10, 2014.  In my first appearance I was asked to comment about an approaching Arctic front that would drop temperatures to more than 10 degrees below average between the 13th and 22nd. At its coldest, the high/low on Nov. 19 was 36/22, eighteen degrees below average.

 

Rob.frydlewicz.wpix.jan8
Jan. 8, 2015. Talking about another Arctic air mass (which had me wearing earmuffs).

 

RobFrydlewicz_deepfreeze_pix11
Feb. 16, 2015. Here I am in front of my apartment building (it was President's Day) commenting about the coldest February since 1930.  As you can tell by the pained expression on my face, it was very cold, with a wind chill of 5° below zero at the time of the interview.

 

8.me on tv
May 6, 2016.  Commenting about the cool, damp and overcast conditions during the first week of May.

 

Me again on tv
July 22, 2016.  And here I am in front of Penn Station (my train to Lancaster, PA was leaving in 15 minutes) giving my perspective about a heat wave that I thought was over-hyped.

 

 

Me on pix
March 14, 2017 - I was asked to comment about the snowstorm that brought "only" 7.6" of snow rather than the 12-18" that was predicted (the storm produced a lot of sleet) and on the admission by the National Weather Service that it knew this was going to happen but decided not to lower snow totals.

 

Pix interview july 13
July 13, 2017 - On the 40th anniversary of the Blackout of 1977 I was asked to provide some perspective about the heat wave that coincided with the event (which was one of the City's most intense).

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

 

 

Rob frydlewicz on pix-11 jan 30 2019
Jan. 30, 2019 - After an 18-month absence I was asked to comment about an approaching Arctic front. Shortly after this interview a blinding snow squall its arrival and the temperature plummeted from the low 30s to 6° above zero by midnight.

 

 

August 2019 on pix
Aug. 19, 2019 - On the second day with a high of 90° and dew points in the low-to-mid 70s, I was asked to comment on the hot weather. As I've said before this was far from the heat waves we had in 2010, 2011 and 2012. However, it's the warmer nights that were worthy of note. 

November 2015 - New York's Mildest November on Record

November 2015

Another warm weather trophy was placed in 2015's trophy case as November pushed aside November 2001 to become the mildest on record - by 0.1 degree.  It follows the warmest September, third warmest August and second warmest May.  Although the month's average high was 0.5 degrees cooler than November 2001's, it pulled ahead with an average low that was 0.6 degrees milder.  (The last day of the month was a nail-biter with a cooler than average high/low of 47°/33°.)  This November was 11.4 degrees warmer than average during the first week of the month while November 2001 was the reverse, experiencing its most unseasonably warm period during the final week of the month, averaging 13.6 degrees warmer than normal. 

 

Besides the mild temperatures both months were on the dry side, with November 2015 picking up 2.01" of rain and 2001, 1.36".  (Average amount is 4.02".)   All but 0.07" of 2015's rain came from two storms while much of 2001's came from one rain event.  

 

The following chart provides a side-by-side comparison of November 2015 and 2001:  

   

                                         2015    2001

Mean Temperature           52.8      52.7

Average High                    59.3      59.8

Average Low                     46.2      45.6

Highest Temp                     74°       75°

Coldest Temp                     32°       34° 

Highs of 60°+                     14         15

Days w/Mean Temp 10°+    7          8

    Above Average

Days w/Below Average        5          7

    Mean Temp   

Total Precipitation            2.01"     1.36"

Days of Precipitation            6         6

 

 Trophywinner2

Save


Snow in November

Weather_snowflakes

 

Measurable snow has fallen in November in New York, on average, once every three years (the last time was in 2018).  And Novembers with a snowfall of an inch or more have occurred once every five years.  However, over the years the likelihood of having snow in November has decreased.  Between 1869 and 1912, an inch of snow fell in November once every three years, and in between 1913 and 1955 it fell once every four years, but since 1956 an inch or more of snow has fallen just once every ten years.  Here are some additional findings:

 

  • Snow in November isn't an indicator of a snowy winter.  In the 50 winters with November snowfalls, just one out of four had snowy winters (40 inches or more).  Of the 19 winters with 50" or more snowfall, ten didn't have measurable snow in November.  And fourteen winters that saw snow in November ended up with less than 20 inches of snow (the winter of 2018-19 finished just above that, with 20.5"). 
  • Three winters had their most snow in November: 1882-83 (14.0"); 1938-39 (12.8") and 1989-90 (4.7").  However, the snowiest November on record, 1898's 19.0", wasn't the snowiest month that winter, as 25.3" fell in February 1899.  
  • The highest concentration of November snowfalls occurred in the twelve-year span between 1871 and 1882, when measurable snow fell in eight of them.  This was followed closely by the ten years between 1931 and 1940 when snow fell in seven of the years.  By far the longest stretch of years without measurable snow in November was the 15-year period between 1997 and 2011 (but six of the winters had 40+ inches of snow).
  • The most consecutive years with an inch or more of snow in November is three: 1896 (5.0"), 1897 (2.3") and 1898 (19.0"). 
  • Seven Novembers had more than one snow event; all but one were in the 19th century.  The outlier was November 1938.
  • Finally, measurable snow has fallen in October in four years.  In three of those years snow also fell in November.  The only year without a November snowfall was in 2011.

 

 NOVEMBERS WITH SNOW IN PAST 50 YEARS
     
  Snow (in Inches)
  November Winter Total
2018 6.4 20.5
2014 0.2 50.3
2012 4.7 26.1
1996 0.1 10.0
1995 2.9 75.6
1989 4.7 13.4
1987 1.1 19.1
1978 2.2 29.4
1977 0.2 50.7
1974 0.1 13.1
                  

Save

Save

Save


Autumn Warm Spells - When Summer Keeps Hangin' On

Sheep.meadow

 

Although the general public often refers to warm spells in the fall as "Indian Summer," most occur before the first frost arrives (which, compared to the suburbs, comes weeks later to Manhattan/Central Park).  This analysis goes back to 1950 and looks at warm spells that have occurred mostly in October and November (with some beginning in late September).  For my purposes I focused on those that were at least four days in length.

 

 

LENGTHIEST

Two-thirds of the years since 1950 have had warm spells of four or more days (including the ten of the eleven years between 2010 and 2020).  Seventeen years had two or more, with 1953 experiencing four.  There have been ten warm spells that lasted ten days or more, the most recent being in the autumn of 2006.  The lengthiest was twenty-one days, which has occurred twice, in 1959 and 1984.

 

MOST ABOVE AVERAGE

There have been thirty-nine warm spells in autumn that averaged ten degrees above average or more (based on daily mean temperature).  The five-day heat wave of Sept. 22-26, 1970 was the most above average, +18 degrees, with four of the five days experiencing highs in the 90s. 

 

LENGTHIEST AUTUMN WARM SPELLS 
(SINCE 1950)
           
    # of Average Degrees
 Year Dates Days High Low Above
1959 Sept 21-Oct 11 21 81 65 +11
1984 Oct 11-31 21 70 57 + 8
1973 Sept 27-Oct 15 19 74 57 + 6
1995 Oct 2-14 13 76 58 + 7
1986 Sept 23-Oct 4 12 79 64 + 8
1979 Nov 18-28 11 65 52 +14
1994 Oct 30-Nov 9 11 69 52 + 9
1990 Oct 6-15 10 80 65 +13
2006 Nov 8-17 10 63 53 +10
1970 Oct 6-15 10 74 60 + 9
           
           
WARM SPELLS WITH GREATEST DEPARTURE
FROM AVERAGE
           
    # of Average Degrees
 Year Dates Days High Low Above 
 1970 Sept 22-26 5 90 72 +18
 1950 Oct 29-Nov 2 5 79 58 +17
 2020     Nov 6-11 6 73 58 +16
 1979 Oct 20-23 4 81 65 +16
 1991 Nov 19-23 5 67 54 +16
 1954 Oct 10-15 6 82 64 +15
 1961 Nov 3-6 4 73 59 +15
 1963 Oct 24-27 4 79 57 +15
 1979 Nov 18-28 11 65 52 +14
 1971 Oct 26-Nov 3 9 72 60 +14
 1975 Nov 2-10 9 72 57 +14
 2007 Oct 3-9       7     82     66      +14

 

 

 

 

Save