National Overview:

November Extreme Weather/Climate Events
  • Climate Highlights — November
  • Both November and the autumn season of September to November were warmer than average, using temperatures averaged across the contiguous United States. Precipitation totals across the country were also above average during November, but near the long-term average for the autumn season. This monthly analysis is based on records dating back to 1895
  • The average U.S. temperature in November was 44.3 degrees F, or 1.8 degrees F above the 1901-2000 long term average, while the average autumn temperature was 55.5 degrees F, or 1.3 degrees F above average. Precipitation averaged across the nation during November, was 2.33 inches, or 0.21 inch above average.
  • During November, the eastern half of the country experienced above-average temperatures. The warmest temperature anomalies, which is the temperature compared to the 20th century average, occurred across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, with thirteen states across these areas having November temperatures among their ten warmest on record.
  • Cooler-than-average temperatures were present across parts of the West and Northwest, with six states having November temperatures below average.
  • Precipitation during November was variable from region to region. Several storm systems brought above-average precipitation to the Ohio Valley and parts of the South. Eight states had November precipitation totals ranking among their ten wettest.
  • Below-average precipitation was observed across parts of the West, and parts of the northern United States and south. Minnesota tied its 9th driest November on record, with only 0.35 inch of precipitation — 0.95 inch below average.
  • As of November 29th, about six percent of the contiguous United States remained in the worst category of drought, called D4 or exceptional drought, a decrease from the nearly 9 percent at the beginning of the month. Drought conditions lessened across Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma, where there was above-normal precipitation during November.
  • The 2011 North Atlantic hurricane season officially came to a close on November 30th, after an above-average season for the basin. There were 19 named storms during the 2011 season, tying with three other years (2010, 1995, and 1887) as the 3rd busiest season on record. Seven of the named storms became hurricanes, which is near average. Only Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene made landfall in the United States during 2011.
  • A large and powerful extratropical cyclone slammed into western Alaska in early November, with extremely high tides, strong winds, heavy rain, and blizzard conditions. Winds gusted to over 80 mph and the storm surge topped 8 feet, marking the strongest storm to impact the region in decades.
  • A powerful Santa Ana windstorm whipped through mountain passes and canyons across the West and Southwest beginning on November 30th and continuing into December. The near-hurricane force winds were driven by the interaction between a strong high pressure system in the northwest and a low pressure system moving through the southwest. The high pressure system led to Portland, Oregon recording its second highest atmospheric pressure reading (30.76”) on record.
  • The November 2011 Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI) was 25.7, which is the 14th lowest November value in 117 years.
  • A list of select November temperature and precipitation records can be found here.
  • Climate Highlights — Autumn (September-November)
  • During the autumn period, the United States, as a whole, experienced above-average temperatures with a nationallyaveraged temperature of 55.5 degrees F. This was 1.3 degrees F above average.
  • Most states had autumn temperatures which were near to above average. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont had their record warmest fall. Eight other states had an average temperature that was one of the ten warmest on record. Conversely, four states in the Southeast and along the Gulf Coast had below-average autumn temperatures.
  • The nationally-averaged precipitation total during autumn was near average. Wet conditions were present from the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast. Parts of the upper Midwest were drier than average, and Minnesota had its third driest autumn on record.
  • The United States Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) and Regional Climate Extremes Index (RCEI) are sensitive to extremes in temperature, rainfall, dry streaks, drought, and tropical cyclones on the national and regional scale, respectively. For the autumn period, the Northeast region had its second highest RCEI value due to warm minimum temperatures, wet Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), and days with precipitation.
  • Climate Highlights — Year-to-Date (January-November)
  • For the first 11 months of 2011, the U.S. was warmer than average. Much of the warmth was anchored across the Southern Plains and along the Eastern Seaboard. Delaware and Texas were record warm for the January-November period with statewide temperatures 3.2 degrees F and 2.5 degrees F above their long-term averages, respectively. Only Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington were cooler than average during the period.
  • Nationally-averaged precipitation totals for January-November were near the long-term average, but significant differences between regions existed. Texas was record dry for the 11-month period, with a statewide precipitation total of 12.0 inches which stands at 14.0 inches less than average. For the year-to-date period, the Ohio Valley and Northeast had very wet conditions with Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont each having the wettest January-November period on record.
  • For the year-to-date period, the USCEI ranked at the 12th highest value on record. A large aerial extent of warm maximum and minimum temperatures, wet and dry PDSI, and days with precipitation contributed to the elevated USCEI value. On a regional level, the Northeast region and the South region both had their second highest RCEI values during January-November 2011. Across the Northeast, warm minimum temperatures, wet PDSI, 1-day precipitation totals, and days with precipitation were the most significant contributing factors. In the South region, warm maximum temperatures and dry PDSI were the most significant contributing factors to the high index value.
  • The autumn 2011 REDTI is 19.5, which is the 11th lowest value in 117 years.
  • The number of billion-dollar weather/climate disasters in the United States during 2011 rose to 12 for the year-to-date. This record year breaks the previous record of nine billion-dollar weather/climate disasters during a single year, which occurred in 2008. The aggregate damage from these 12 events is approximately 52 billion U.S. Dollars. The two new Billion Dollar weather and climate events added to the 2011 total include:
    • Separation of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona wildfires from Southern Plains Drought and Heatwave as the wildfires are separately over one billion U.S. dollars.
    • Addition of the June 18-22, 2011, Midwest/Southeast Tornadoes and Severe Weather which just recently exceeded the one billion U.S. dollars threshold

Alaska Temperature and Precipitation:

  • Alaska had its 6th coolest November on record, with a temperature 8.2 °F (4.55°C) below the 1971–2000 average.
  • Alaska had its 18th coolest September-November on record, with a temperature 1.7 °F (0.95°C) below the 1971–2000 average.
  • Alaska had its 43rd coolest year-to-date period on record, with a temperature 0.6 °F (0.31°C) below the 1971–2000 average.
  • Alaska had its 41st driest November since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 5.0 percent below the 1971–2000 average.
  • Alaska had its 47th wettest September-November on record, with an anomaly that was 1.1 percent below the 1971–2000 average.
  • Alaska had its 41st driest year-to-date period on record, with an anomaly that was 2.3 percent above the 1971–2000 average.

For additional details about recent temperatures and precipitation across the U.S., see the Regional Highlights section below. For information on local temperature and precipitation records during the month, please visit NCDC's Records page. For details and graphics on weather events across the U.S. and the globe please visit NCDC's Global Hazards page.

Regional Highlights:

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 Climatic Data Center.

  • Northeast Region: (Information provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center)
  • November’s temperatures averaged 44.0 degrees F (6.7 degrees C), making this the third warmest November in the Northeast since 1895. This month’s average was 4.3 degrees F (2.4 degrees C) above normal and 4.5 degrees F (2.5 degrees C) warmer than November 2010. It was the eighth consecutive month with above normal temperatures. Each of the states in the region had averages that were within the top 14 warmest in 117 years. Delaware and Maine ranked 2nd warmest, while New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont saw their 3rd warmest November since 1895. Departures ranged from +2.9 degrees F (1.6 degrees C) in Maryland to +5.6 degrees F (3.1 degrees C) in Vermont. It was the 4th warmest autumn (September November) in the Northeast since 1895. The three-month average was 52.8 degrees F (11.6 degrees C), which was 2.8 degrees F (degrees C) warmer than normal. Each of the region’s states averaged warmer than normal; three states, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont, saw their warmest autumn in 117 years. With eleven months of above normal temperatures, it’s no surprise that the January through November average was also warmer than normal. The year-to-date average of 50.3 degrees F (10.2 degrees C) was 1.2 degrees F (0.7 degrees C) warmer than normal. It was the 13th warmest January through November in the Northeast since 1895 and the warmest January through November in Delaware.
  • After three wetter than normal months, precipitation totals averaged on the dry side in November. The Northeast total of 3.20 inches (81.3 mm) was 84 percent of normal. New Jersey (106 percent), Pennsylvania (103 percent) and West Virginia (122 percent) were the only states with above normal totals. Departures in the drier-than-normal states ranged from 48 percent of normal in Maine to 99 percent of normal in Delaware. It was the 11th driest November in Maine since recordkeeping began in 1895. Autumn (September November) precipitation totals averaged 14.69 inches (373 mm), which was 127 percent of normal. The Northeast saw its fifth wettest autumn in 117 years; with 18.25 inches (464 mm), Pennsylvania saw its wettest autumn on record. West Virginia’s three month total of 15.08 inches (383 mm) made this the 2nd wettest autumn since 1895 and Maryland’s total of 16.96 inches (431 mm) ranked 3rd wettest on record. Six states Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont - and the region overall saw their wettest January through November in 117 years. New York’s eleven-month total of 50.48 inches (128 cm) surpassed the all-time annual record of 50.18 inches (127 cm) The January through November totals in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are within one inch (25.4 mm) of their annual record amounts.
  • For more information, please go to the Northeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
  • Midwest Region: (Information provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center)
  • November temperatures were above normal across the Midwest. Temperature ranged from 1 degree F (1 degree C) to 6 degrees F (3 degrees C) above normal for the month. The second and fourth weeks of the month were warm across the region while pockets of below normal occurred in the first and third weeks. Daily records were heavily dominated by record highs with more than 400 new or tied records compared to about a dozen record lows. Fall (September-November) temperatures averaged near normal in the southern Midwest and 2-4 degrees F (1-2 degrees C) above normal in the northern half of the region.
  • November precipitation ranged widely in November. Parts of Minnesota and northwest Iowa received less than 0.10” (3 mm) and amounts increased to the south and east with the boot heel of Missouri and western Kentucky topping 10” (254 mm) for the month. Totals were near twice normal or more in swaths across northern Missouri to western Illinois and from the boot heel of Missouri up the Ohio River Valley and northward to western Lake Erie. Fall precipitation also ranged widely across the region. Three-month totals ranged from under 2” (51 mm) to nearly 20” (508 mm).
  • Drought conditions in the Midwest shifted to the west and north during November, continuing the migration seen in the fall season as a whole. November rains in Missouri, Illinois, and southeast Iowa led to improvements, or elimination, of drought conditions while dry conditions to the northwest led to degradations in Minnesota and northwest Iowa where Severe Drought designated areas expanded during the month.
  • Wet conditions in the eastern half of the Midwest saw no relief as heavy rains fell in November. Harvest in Ohio was behind schedule due to wet soils and continued rains. Minor to moderate flooding was reported in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky late in the month. Cincinnati’s airport station has already set an annual (calendar year) record precipitation total of 66.76” (1695 mm) with a month left in the year. The total is 27.72” (704 mm) above normal and already 9.18” (233 mm) above the old record from 1990. Records for the station extend back to 1869. Several nearby Kentucky stations are near their annual records as well.
  • All but a handful of the November severe weather reports in the Midwest came on the 14th with the passing of a cold front that triggered severe thunderstorms in the eastern half of the region. The only two November tornadoes in the Midwest occurred that day. One was reported near Mahomet, Illinois (Champaign County) in the early afternoon. Damage included several trees and one house. The second tornado was an EF1 rated storm that touched down near Paoli, Indiana (Orange County) after dark. The tornado track was two miles (3.2 km) long, damaging homes and businesses as well as the county courthouse and Paoli Police Department. There were several dozen additional severe hail and wind reports on the 14th extending from eastern Illinois and southeast Missouri, across Indiana and northern Kentucky, through Ohio.
  • For details on the weather and climate events of the Midwest, see the weekly summaries in the MRCC Midwest Climate Watch page.
  • Southeast Region: (Information provided by the Southeast Regional Climate Center)
  • Mean temperatures in November were near normal across most of the Southeast region, except across Virginia and central portions of North Carolina where monthly temperatures were between 2 and 4 degrees F (1.1 to 2.2 degrees C) above average. A cold spell occurred over a large portion of the region from the 11th to 13th of the month following the passage of a cold front. Several locations across Alabama, Georgia, and northern Florida (e.g. Jacksonville, FL, Gainesville, FL, and Mobile, AL) recorded their first freeze of the season, nearly one month earlier than normal. The warmest temperatures of the month occurred several days after the cold spell as a ridge of high pressure off the East Coast advected warm air into the region. Over 150 daily maximum and over 200 daily high minimum temperature records were tied or broken between the 14th and 17th of the month.
  • As in October, precipitation was highly variable across the Southeast. Monthly totals were between 150 and 200 percent of normal across northern portions of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, and across western portions of North Carolina and Virginia. Brevard, NC recorded its second wettest November on record with 10.85 inches (275.6 mm) of precipitation, including 6.24 inches (158.5 mm) on the 29th of the month. Greensboro, NC recorded 6.78 inches (172.2 mm) of precipitation, making it the third wettest November in a record extending back to 1903. In contrast, the driest locations across the Southeast were found across the southern two-thirds of Florida, where monthly precipitation totals were between 5 and 25 percent of normal. Daytona Beach, FL recorded just 0.06 inches (1.5 mm) of precipitation, making it the second driest November in a record extending back to 1922. Elsewhere across the region, monthly precipitation was between 50 and 75 percent of normal, including the eastern slopes and interior mountains of Puerto Rico. Precipitation across the rest of the island was between 150 and 300 percent of normal. The cold spell that occurred in the middle of the month resulted in trace amounts of snowfall across the higher elevations of western North Carolina and Virginia. Several locations across the interior of the region reported measurable snowfall from the 28th to the 30th of the month as an area of low pressure tracked through the Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys. Up to 3 inches (76.2 mm) were reported in northern Alabama and western North Carolina, while Caesar’s Head in northwestern South Carolina recorded just its fourth measurable November snowfall ever with 1 inch (25.4 mm) on the 30th of the month.
  • There were 110 reports of severe weather across the Southeast in November, including an outbreak of 11 tornadoes that occurred on the 16th and 17th of the month. Four of these tornadoes occurred in Alabama, including an EF-2 tornado that injured one person in Sumter County. Another two tornadoes were confirmed in Georgia, including an EF-2 tornado that injured two people and severely damaged three school buildings in Harris County. Damaging thunderstorm winds were responsible for the death of a woman in Forsyth County, GA when a tree fell on her car. Two tornadoes were confirmed in South Carolina, including an EF-2 tornado near Rock Hill in York County that tossed and rolled a mobile home nearly 75 yards (68.6 meters), killing two occupants inside. Three tornadoes were confirmed in North Carolina, including an EF-2 tornado that tracked across Davidson and Randolph Counties. Two individuals were killed when the home they were occupying slid off its foundation and rolled down a steep embankment.
  • For the second consecutive month, there were very few changes to the Drought Monitor across the Southeast region. By the end of November, more than half of the region was classified as being in drought, with nearly two-thirds of Georgia still classified as being in extreme drought. At one point during the month, the water level at Lake Lanier in northern Georgia was dropping at a rate of one foot (304.8 mm) per week. According to the North Carolina State Climate Office, adequate topsoil moisture conditions aided in the successful planting of winter grains. In contrast, the Florida State Climate Office reported that the cold spell near the middle of the month damaged vegetable crops across the Florida Panhandle, while warm temperatures and dry weather increased disease pressures to crops in parts of south Florida.
  • 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)
  • Overall, the High Plains Region experienced a warm and dry November. These conditions were favorable for crop producers and allowed most of the remaining harvesting activities across the Region to be completed. The largest temperature departures were in the Dakotas, northern Nebraska, and pockets of eastern Colorado. In these areas, temperatures were generally 4-6 degrees F (2.2-3.3 degrees C) above normal. Although a few locations had temperature departures which were 6-8 degrees F (3.3-4.4 degrees C) above normal, monthly temperature records were not set this month. Below normal temperatures were confined to western Wyoming and a few isolated locations throughout the Region. While monthly temperature records were not set this month, many locations set new daily temperature records on or near Thanksgiving. Interestingly, for many locations across the Dakotas the warmest and coldest temperatures of the month occurred near Thanksgiving. For instance, Bismarck, North Dakota had its lowest temperature of the month, 0 degrees F (-17.8 degrees C), on November 20th and just three days later set a new record high of 62 degrees F (16.7 degrees C) on November 23rd. Thanksgiving was unusually warm across the Region this year and many locations set new record highs for the day. Omaha, Nebraska recorded its warmest Thanksgiving on record with a high temperature of 73 degrees F (22.8 degrees C). This was also the warmest temperature ever recorded this late in the autumn season in Omaha (period of record 1871-2011). On average, October 27th is the last day of the season that is at least that warm in Omaha.
  • November 2011 was drier than normal for most of the Region. Many locations in North Dakota, South Dakota, and a swath running from southwest to northeast Nebraska received less than 25 percent of normal precipitation. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the ongoing lack of precipitation caused moderate drought conditions to spread into eastern North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, and northern Nebraska. Additionally, abnormally dry conditions spread across North Dakota and into parts of western South Dakota. For many locations, this autumn (September, October, and November) was one of the driest on record. One of the many locations to set records this autumn was Sioux Falls, South Dakota which only received 0.87 inches (22 mm) over the three month period. To put this amount into perspective, the normal precipitation for autumn in Sioux Falls is 6.30 inches (160 mm). The old record for driest autumn occurred in 1952 with 1.02 inches (26 mm) of precipitation (period of record 1893-2011). There were some exceptions to the dryness this month. Central Wyoming, southern and eastern Kansas, and the southeastern corner of Colorado all received at least 150 percent of normal precipitation. The precipitation was a welcome sight in the drought impacted areas of Kansas and Colorado. Heavy rains occurred November 7-8 in southern and eastern Kansas. During this time many daily precipitation records were set and, when combined with the rest of the month, the precipitation helped many locations to be ranked in the top 10 wettest Novembers on record. Topeka, Kansas received 2.98 inches (76 mm) over the two day period, which included 2.05 inches (52 mm) on the 7th alone. This amount crushed a long-standing daily precipitation record of 1.43 inches (36 mm) set in 1918 (period of record 1887-2011). By the end of the month, Topeka had received 4.66 inches (118 mm) of precipitation which was the 8th wettest November on record. It is interesting to note that on average, November is usually one of the driest months of the year; however this November was the second wettest month of 2011 in Topeka.
  • The U.S. Drought Monitor had many changes this month. Beneficial rains across southern and eastern Kansas led to one category improvements for much of the drought stricken area. Additional improvements were made in south-central Colorado as two areas of extreme drought (D3) were downgraded to severe drought (D2). Only a small area of exceptional drought remained in southwest Kansas and the far southeast corner of Colorado. Nebraska and the Dakotas all had degradations, as precipitation totals were well below normal. Abnormally dry conditions (D0) spread across southern North Dakota and into northwestern South Dakota. Moderate drought (D1) spread south through eastern Nebraska and also developed in eastern North Dakota. According to the North Dakota State Climate Office, before the introduction of D1 this month, the state had gone 115 consecutive weeks with no drought. D2 spread into northeastern Nebraska and east-central South Dakota as well. According to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook conditions in portions of South Dakota, Nebraska, and northern Kansas were expected to improve, while drought conditions in other areas were expected to persist.
  • For more information, please go to the High Plains Regional Climate Center Home Page.
  • Southern Region: (Information provided by the Southern Regional Climate Center)
  • November was generally a warmer than normal month for much of the Southern Region, with most stations averaging approximate 1-3 degrees F (0.56-1.67 degrees C) above normal. The highest departures from normal occurred in Arkansas, and north central Tennessee, where many stations reported monthly average temperatures between 3 to 5 degrees F (1.67 to 2.78 degrees C) warmer than expected. Tennessee had a state average temperature of 51.10 degrees F (10.61 degrees C), which was the nineteenth warmest November on record there (1895-2011). Arkansas experienced its twenty-fifth warmest November on record (1895-2011) with an average temperature of 53.40 degrees F (11.89 degrees C). All other state averages fell within the middle two quartiles. Louisiana averaged 59.80 degrees F (15.44 degrees C) for the month, while Mississippi reported a state average temperature of 55.90 degrees F (13.28 degrees C). Texas averaged 56.90 degrees F (13.83 degrees C) for the month and Oklahoma averaged a temperature of 49.60 degrees F (9.78 degrees C).
  • The month of November was a wet month for much of the northern part of the Southern Region. Many stations in Oklahoma averaged between 150 and 300 percent of normal. This was also the case for central and northern Arkansas, and western and eastern Tennessee. For Oklahoma, it was the ninth wettest November on record (1895-2011), with a state average precipitation total of 4.87 inches (123.67 mm). Arkansas averaged 8.66 inches (219.964 mm) of precipitation, making it the eighth wettest November on record (1895-2011) there. Tennessee averaged 7.36 inches (186.94 mm), which was the seventh wettest November on record (1895-2011). Elsewhere in the southern region, conditions were generally drier than normal. The driest areas included western and southern Texas, where the majority of stations received less than half the expected precipitation. This was also the case for the Florida parishes of Louisiana and the southern most counties of Mississippi. Texas averaged only 1.24 inches (31.49 mm) of precipitation. Though it was drier than normal, it was still much wetter than in recent months. Conditions were slightly wetter in Louisiana and Mississippi, though still drier than normal. Louisiana and Mississippi reported state average precipitation totals of 3.64 inches (92.46 mm) and 3.71 inches (94.23 mm), respectively.
  • Drought conditions in the Southern Region did not change much in terms of extent, however; there were significant improvements in terms of intensity. In total, the region saw approximately a ten percent reduction in areal extent of each drought category. This equates to a one category improvement over much of the region. Exceptional drought, which last month covered over 40 percent of the region, has now been reduced to just under 30 percent. Drought conditions have been removed in western Tennessee, and much of Arkansas is now drought free. Some new moderate drought has crept into southern Mississippi, but deterioration of drought conditions this month has fortunately been minimal.
  • Similar to last month, severe weather in the Southern Region did not dominate the day to day weather pattern. On the seventh of the month, a number of tornadoes touched down in south central Oklahoma, however; there were no fatalities or injuries reported. Damage was also minimal in general. The following day, more twisters touched down in northeastern Louisiana and in eastern Texas. Some minor damage was reported, but most of it was limited to trees and power lines. On the fifteenth of the month, several tornadoes touched down in southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. Four injuries were reported in Jones County, Mississippi when an EF2 tornado packed winds in excess of 130 miles per hour (209.21 km/hr). The storm was reported to have a path length of 12 miles (19.31 km) and a maximum swath width of 300 yards (274.32 m).
  • For more information, please go to the Southern Regional Climate Center Home Page.
  • Western Region: (Information provided by the Western Regional Climate Center)
  • Several strong, deep troughs passed through the West this month, bringing cold Arctic air and slightly below to well below normal temperatures to areas west of the Rockies. The associated storm systems, however, generally resulted in precipitation values that were below normal. In part, the trajectories of these storms leave many of them with insufficient moisture to produce typical November precipitation.
  • November’s cool temperatures west of the Rockies were punctuated with warm days in the latter half of the month due to strong ridging. Many locations saw 2-3 days with temperature departures from normal greater than +10 F (5.5 C) around the Thanksgiving holiday. Tonopah, located in southwest Nevada, recorded a monthly average temperature of 36.8 F (2.67 C), tied for 9th coolest average temperature on record. Olympia, Washington was also cooler than normal with a month average of 40.5 F (4.72 C). This is the 12th coldest November on record there, and -2.8 F (1.5 C) below its November normal.
  • East of the Rockies, temperatures were near to slightly above normal. Colorado Springs, Colorado experienced a warm November at an average temperature of 40.6 F (4.8 C). This is +4.4 F (2.4 C) above normal and the 17th warmest November on a record beginning in 1948.
  • Dry conditions dominated in the West this month. The Reno, Nevada airport tied its 7th driest November in a record beginning in 1937 with a precipitation total of 0.06 in (1.52 mm). In central Oregon, the Redmond airport station also recorded its 7th driest year on record, with 0.21 in (5.3 mm). Many eastern Oregon and Washington locations received only 50-75% of their normal precipitation amounts. Albuquerque, New Mexico had its 29th driest year on record, receiving 0.13 in (3.3 mm).
  • Pockets of above-normal precipitation appear in the usually dry Southwest due to cutoff low systems that passed through the area this month. The much-needed precipitation from these systems helped to reduce the severity of the drought in western Arizona, though severe drought persists in New Mexico. San Diego Airport (Lindbergh Field), California experienced its 5th wettest November since 1914. This station received 3.12 in (79.2 mm), well above the station mean of 1.78 in (45.2 mm). Yuma, Arizona received 0.42 in (10.7 mm), tying as the 20th wettest year in a record beginning in 1948. The airport at Rock Springs, Wyoming experienced its 4th wettest November with a total of 1.46 in (37 mm), well above the station mean of 0.52 in (13.2 mm) in a record beginning in 1948. Wyoming also experienced pockets of above normal precipitation.
  • An intense storm developed southeast of Japan on November 7th, and strengthened as it moved across the northern Pacific towards the Bering Sea and western Alaska. The storm’s center dropped close to 50 millibars (1.48 inches of mercury) in 24 hours, reaching a minimum pressure of 944 millibars (27.88 inches) at its center. Waves to 35 ft (10.7 m) and 100 mph (161 kph) winds were recorded offshore as the storm approached. Hurricane force winds and blizzard conditions affected coastal Alaska. Storm surges of up to 10 ft (3 m) affected communities along Alaska’s west coast causing flooding, some structural damage and property loss. Winds of up to 93 mph (150 kph) were recorded at some locations, and many locations along the coast reported minor wind damage and downed power lines. Many locations were without power following the storm, and a subsequent smaller storm complicated rescue efforts. An ice zone connected to land had not yet developed to reduce the impact of large waves striking the coast.
  • A trough moved into Colorado and southern Wyoming Saturday bringing strong winds and heavy precipitation to the Rockies area. Gusts at Berthoud Pass reached 113 mph/182 kph and at Pike’s Peak 109 mph/ 175 kph. Other locations reported gusts in the 80-90 mph (129-145 kph) range. Mountain storm snowfall totals ranged from 14-25 in (36-63 cm). Many road closures were in effect due to the hazardous conditions. Some locations experienced power outages, and strong winds caused small wildfires in the Foothills.
  • The Caughlin Fire ignited at approximately 12:45 am PST due to arcing power lines and spread rapidly in southwest Reno due to a strong wind event featuring gusts of 45-74 mph (72-119 kph). The low relative humidity and high speed of these winds allowed the fire to spread quickly. The fire destroyed 32 homes, burned over 2000 acres, and voluntary evacuations were posted for 10,000 people.
  • A winter storm in the Pacific Northwest complicated travel leading into the Thanksgiving holiday. Wind gusts up to 97 mph (156 kph) were recorded along the Oregon coast, and gusts up to 85 mph (136 kph) in passes and canyons. More than 10,000 people were without power at some point during the storm and one fatality was reported in Washington due to a falling tree. Many road closures were reported due to downed trees. Heavy rainfall caused flooding in western Oregon and Washington, and 1-2 ft (30-60 cm) of snow was recorded in the Cascades, northern Rockies, and northern Sierra Nevada.
  • For more information, please go to the Western Regional Climate Center Home Page.

See NCDC's Monthly Records web-page for weather and climate records for the most recent month. For additional national, regional, and statewide data and graphics from 1895-present, for any period, please visit the Climate at a Glance page.

PLEASE NOTE: All of the temperature and precipitation ranks and values are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages. Graphics based on final data are provided on the Temperature and Precipitation Maps page and the Climate at a Glance page as they become available.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Monthly National Climate Report for November 2011, published online December 2011, retrieved on September 29, 2022 from