November 2013 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By: Christopher C. Burt , 7:36 PM GMT on December 17, 2013

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November 2013 Global Weather Extremes Summary

Of course, the most significant extreme weather event globally during the month of November was Super Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippines deadliest natural disaster on record and one of the most powerful tropical storms to make landfall in modern history. Other significant events were the tornado outbreak in the U.S. Midwest, exceptional rainfall and flooding in Sardinia, Cuba, and Vietnam, a deadly tropical storm in Somalia, and unusually high temperatures in portions of Alaska, Russia, and Europe. It was earth’s warmest November on record. See Jeff Master’s blog about this.

Below are some of the month’s highlights.

NORTH AMERICA

A late season tornado outbreak occurred in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan on November 17th. At least eight people were killed including six in Illinois, the state’s deadliest November tornado event on record. All told about 65 tornadoes touched down including a November record of four in Michigan. It was the 4th or 5th largest tornado outbreak to occur during November in modern U.S. history. Two of the tornadoes were EF-4 monsters, one of which devastated the own of Washington in Illinois



An EF-4 tornado ripped through a residential neighborhood in Washington, Illinois killing two. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images.

In spite of the exceptional tornado outbreak, the month as a whole was fairly normal overall in the U.S. with near median temperatures and precipitation nationwide.





November statewide ranking for temperature (top map) and precipitation (bottom). NCDC/NESDIS/NOAA.

A cold snap around Thanksgiving time brought some record cold temperatures to the Southeast. Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina bottomed out at 1°F (-17.2°C) on November 24th and 25th, tying its all-time monthly minimum temperature. Ironically, the cold snap followed a late-season heat wave in the same region where Augusta, Georgia (only about 150 miles south of Mt. Mitchell) hit 86°F (30°C) on November 18th, its warmest so-late-in-the-year temperature on record.

Fairbanks, Alaska had a freak mid-month heat wave and windstorm on November 14th when the temperature peaked at a record daily high of 45°F (7.2°C). For more about this unusual event see my blog on the subject.

A terrific rainstorm pounded Havana, Cuba on November 29-30 dropping 7.8” (198 mm) of rainfall on the city and causing flash floods. Several buildings collapsed in the city claiming the lives of at least two people.

The coldest temperature measured in the northern hemisphere during November was -56.8°C (-70.2°F) at Summit, Greenland on November 14th (it is interesting to note that this was the same day as the record warm temperatures in Alaska mentioned above).

SOUTH AMERICA and CENTRAL AMERICA

I am unaware of any notable extreme weather events in South America during November.

EUROPE

It was a relatively dry and cool month in the U.K. In fact the driest November since 2004 overall. The warmest temperature observed during the month was 16.5°C (61.7°F) at Exeter Airport, Devon on the 6th and the coldest -8.1°C (17.4°F) at Braemer, Aberdeenshire on the 25th. The greatest 24-hour precipitation measured was 55.4 mm (2.18”) at Chillingham Barns, Northumberland on November 20-21.

The most extraordinary extreme weather event in Europe during the month was a torrential rainfall on the island of Sardinia on November 18-19 where one site, Orgosolo, picked up an astonishing 467 mm (18.39”) in just 24 hours (half the annual normal). Flooding killed at least 18. Jeff Masters posted a blog about the event with more details.



Raging flood waters strand a truck and bus in a tunnel near Olbia, Sardinia during the flash flood of November 18-19. Photo by Massimo Locci/AP.

Some record-breaking warmth occurred in Russia and the Ukraine during the first half of the month. In fact, it was Russia’s warmest November on record (since 1891). Moscow reached a balmy 16°C (61°F) on November 6th, its warmest November temperature on record. The following belongs in the Asia section of my report, but Irkutsk reached 14.4°F (57.9°C) on November 3rd, their warmest November reading on record (and about 14°C/25°F above normal for the date) as did Yakutsk with a 3.3°C (38°F) reading on November 1st. Temperatures in the Ukraine were observed as high as 24.9°C (76.8°F). On November 6th the temperature peaked at 33.0°C (91.4°F) at a site close to Valencia, Spain.

AFRICA

A rare tropical storm struck the coast of northern Somalia on November 11th. Designated as ‘Tropical Cyclone 3A’, the storm brought 45 mph (72 kph) sustained winds and heavy rainfall that caused flooding which resulted in the deaths of at least 100-300 according to the country’s President Farole. Jeff Masters noted, “According to the International Disaster Database, EM-DAT, this was the deadliest tropical cyclone in Somalia's history, tied with Tropical Cyclone ARB04 of 1994. According to the International Best Track Archive of storm tracks, only four other tropical storms have hit Somalia since accurate satellite measurements began in 1966.”



Tropical Cyclone 3A over the Puntland of Somalia on November 11th. Flooding from the storm may have killed as many as 300 according to press reports. MODIS image from NASA.

The island nation of Comoros tied its national all-time record high temperature on November 19th when a reading of 35.6°C (96.1°F) was measured at Hahaya Airport. The previous 35.6°C was observed at Moroni Airport on Dec. 31, 1960.

The warmest temperature measured in the northern hemisphere during November was 42.5°C (108.5°F) at Matam, Senegal on November 11th (a 44.5°C reading on November 20th was A METAR error).

ASIA

Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippine Islands of Samar and Leyte with devastating effect on November 8th. Sustained winds of 195 mph (314 kph) were estimated to have occurred at the time of landfall which, if accurate, would make this the strongest tropical storm to make landfall anywhere in the world in modern history.



How the winds of Haiyan compare to other land-falling wind speed estimates from previous tropical storms around the world. Weather Underground graphic.

As of mid-December the death toll stands at 6,060 with another 1,700 still missing. So much has already been written on the storm that there is little more I can add. Jeff Masters published a great recap of the historic storm which also includes many useful related links here.



The staggering intensity of Super Typhoon Haiyan can be seen in this rainbow IR satellite image taken at the moment of landfall on Samar, Philippines November 7th. The winds were estimated to be sustained at 195 mph at this time. NOAA.



Small islands like this one in Samar Province were virtually swept away by Haiyan’s winds and storm surge. Photo by Eric De Castro/Reuters.

Tropical Storm Podul struck Vietnam about a week after Haiyan and inundated the central portion of the country with as much as 458 mm (18.03”) in 24 hours at Hue. At least 41 deaths were attributed to the ensuing floods.

Yet another powerful cyclone threatened India this Fall when Cyclone Lehar made landfall in Andhra Pradesh on November 28th. Fortunately, this time, the storm weakened considerably (from being a CAT 2 storm at one point) by the time it came ashore. Lehar was the third named storm to make landfall along the coasts of the Bay of Bengal, the first time this has occurred since 1996.

Israel observed some unusually warm temperatures during November, with 35.4°C (95.7°F) measured at Ben Gurian Airport on November 27th, perhaps the warmest such ever recorded so late in the year. It is especially interesting in relation to the cold and snow (at higher altitudes) that have just recently occurred in the country.

AUSTRALIA

The average temperature nation-wide was once again above normal in Australia, the 16th consecutive month of such (since August 2012). Precipitation varied widely but overall was slightly above normal.





Temperature (top) and precipitation (bottom) deciles for Australia during the month of November. Maps courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The hottest temperature measured in Australia (and the world) during November was 46.4°C (115.5°F) at Roebourne, Western Australia on November 5th and the coldest -6.3°C (20.7°F) at Thredbo, New South Wales on November 4th. It is interesting to note the extreme range of temperature over Australia November 4-5! The greatest calendar day precipitation was 258 mm (10.16”) at Gray (Haven of Hope), Tasmania on November 13th.

NEW ZEALAND

November was a very warm month in New Zealand. Auckland recorded its 2nd warmest November on record and measured its hottest November temperature ever observed on the 23rd with a 26.8°C (80.2°F) reading. Nearby Hamilton also set its all-time November heat record with a 28.4°C (83.1°F) temperature the same day (with a POR dating back to 1906).

The warmest temperature observed anywhere in the country during the month was 30.3°C (86.6°F) at Clyde, South Island on November 19th and the coldest -2.4°C (27.7°F) at Hanmer Forrest, South Island on November 1st. The greatest calendar day precipitation was 186.6 mm (7.35”) at Ngawi, North Island on November 26th.

ANTARCTICA

The coldest temperature in the southern hemisphere and the world during November was –61.7C (-79.1°F) recorded at Concordia on November 2nd.

KUDOS: Thanks to Maximiliano Herrera for global temperature extremes data and Jeremy Budd and NIWA for New Zealand data.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

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8:46 PM GMT on December 20, 2013
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6:20 PM GMT on December 18, 2013
Thanks for the review of events!
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About weatherhistorian

Christopher C. Burt is the author of 'Extreme Weather; A Guide and Record Book'. He studied meteorology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.