Christopher C. Burt is the author of 'Extreme Weather; A Guide and Record Book'. He studied meteorology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.
By: Christopher C. Burt , 11:28 PM GMT on December 03, 2010
I plan to begin a monthly blog concerning various extreme weather events and records for each month from around the world. This entry, for November 2010, will be the first. This will be by no means a complete list of all the various extreme weather events from around the world, but simply a summary and mention of some of those of note.
This monthly blog will be fluid, meaning that I plan to update it as time goes on (during the month following the initial posting), and weather records trickle in during the weeks following my initial post. These 'post original comments' will be highlighted in bold type. So I would appreciate any information relevant to the month concerned that should be worthy of mention that I may have overlooked. Check back to the blog from time-to-time to view updates.
For the United States, November is usually the month of transition from Fall to Winter. Thus, the U.S. normally experiences a wide variety of weather extremes, especially those regarding temperatures. This past November was no exception.
The most dramatic temperature change was that affecting the western half of the nation. An exceptionally cold second half followed a very warm first half of the month. San Diego, California measured an amazing 100° on November 4th, not only the warmest temperature ever recorded in November (previous record was 97° on Nov. 1, 1966), but the latest date of a 100° reading on record, beating the previous such by two weeks (104° on Oct. 22, 1965). By the last day of November, San Diego temperatures had fallen to 42°, just 2° above the record low for the date. The San Francisco Bay Area saw record high temperatures in the lower 80°s on Nov. 15 fall to record low temperatures in the mid-30s by Nov. 24. Seattle tied its all-time warmest November temperature of 74° on Nov. 3, before falling to a record low of 14° on November 24 (along with several inches of snow).
Measurable snowfall was reported at sea level as far south as Brookings on the southern Oregon Pacific coastline on November 23. Billings, Montana fell from a record 71° on November 2 to a record -14° by November 24. The city also recorded 21.3" of snow for the month, just short of the November record of 25.2" in 1978. Exceptionally heavy snowfall was measured at all mountain locations in the West; the 139" at Rendezvous Bowl in Jackson Hole, Wyoming was the greatest amount so early in the season ever recorded. Ten feet of snow fell in the Sierra Nevada ski resorts during the last week of the month, and similar amounts piled up in the Colorado and Utah ski locations.
The opposite held sway for locations in the East where little or no snowfall was recorded at most New England and Appalachian locations, although snowless Novembers have occurred several times in the past as well.
A 'blue norther' swept Texas on November 25-26 sending temperatures plunging; San Antonio fell from 83° on the 25th to 28° on the 26th and Junction from 81° to 18°, Laredo fell from 91° to 37°.
There were no notable record extreme precipitation events anywhere in the lower 48 states.
Several tornado outbreaks worthy of note occurred: Wisconsin and northern Illinois on November 22 injuring several people and damaging homes in Caledonia, Illinois and Union Grove, Wisconsin. This was one of the latest tornado outbreaks on record for this area. A tornado swarm, including a couple of F-2’s, hammered the Southeast on November 30.
November was one of the coldest on record for some portions of Western Europe. In fact, for the central region of Norway, it was the coldest November on record. The monthly absolute minimum temperature for the country was -35°C (-31°F) at Karasjok on November 26, one of the coldest November readings on record during a November. Ireland actually did record its coldest November temperature on record when a reading of -13.7° C (7.3°F) was registered at Casemont Aerodrome in Baldonnel on November 28 (Ireland’s national all-time coldest temperature was -19.1°C/-2.4°F at Markree Castle back in January 1881). Dublin also recorded its coldest November temperature on record that same day with an -8.8°C (16°F). The previous record was -6.7°C (20°F). In the United Kingdom the coldest reading was -21.2°C (-6.2°F) at the Scottish highland’s village of Altnaharra. This was just 2°C higher than the coldest November reading on record for anywhere in the United Kingdom. Heavy snowfall accompanied the cold during the last week of the month with a very rare 5" accumulation in Dublin (greatest November snowstorm in history.) Record November snowfalls closed airports throughout the United Kingdom. Edinburgh, Scotland received 16" of snow with some parts of England and Scotland reporting up to 4 feet of snow. Even parts of London received almost 10" of snow during the last days of the month.
Figure 1. Edinburgh, Scotland buried under 16" of snow, November 2010. Photo courtesy of The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh.
In Geneva, Switzerland 12" of now fell on Nov. 30-Dec.1, the fourth heaviest snowfall for that city since 1895. The Italian Alpine ski resort of Sestiere recorded 60cm (2 feet) of snow in one 24-hour period the last day of November.
Ironically, Eastern Europe including Moscow, endured an unusually warm month until cold air filtered in during the final week. Moscow recorded a temperature of 14.5°C (58.1°F) on November 11th, not only the warmest temperature ever measured so late in the season, but also the warmest November temperature on record (at VVC, Moscow’s official weather site location). Novosibirsk, in western Siberia reached 3.7°C (39°F) on November 15th, its warmest November temperature on record.
By November 30th, however, temperature readings had fallen below zero Fahrenheit. In Siberia, the "coldest inhabited place on earth", Omyakon, bottomed out at -53.8°C (-64.8°F) on November 28th for the coldest reading measured on Earth (inhabited location) for the entire month of November 2010. Istanbul, Turkey recorded 78°F on November 15, also a record so-late-in-the-season temperature, but 2°F short of its all-time November record.
Southern India and Sri Lanka recorded exceptional rains as a result of Cyclone Jal. Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, recorded 445mm (17.5”) of rain in 24 hours on November 7th, its heaviest single-day rainfall since June 1992. The same storm system also brought record flooding rains to southern Thailand, where Hat Yai on the Kra Isthmus was flooded by 10 feet of water in its downtown district. Nearby Surat Thani measured an amazing 47.69" of precipitation during the month of November. The popular tourist resort of Ko Samui recorded 11.26" of rain on the single day of November 9th.
The coldest reading for the month (and hence the world) was -71°F at Vostok on November 5th. Although not a November record, it is interesting to note that on December 1st the Dome Argus site recorded a temperature of -52°C (-61.6°F), which is the coldest temperature ever measured in the Southern Hemisphere during any December on record (nearing mid-summer, of course, for Antarctica).
Deadly floods struck both Columbia (Nov. 8-22) and Venezuela (Nov. 25-30). Up to 16" of rain inundated areas around Bogota, Columbia and the death toll reached 136. In Venezuela, floods around Caracas killed 25.
Australia has just completed its wettest Spring (September-November)on record with a nation-wide average of 163.0mm (6.42”) clearly besting the previous record of 140.1mm (5.52”) set in 1975. The greatest 24-hour total was 254.4mm (10.02”) at Noosaville, Queensland on October 9th. Lake Eyre has reached its greatest water accumaulation since 1990 as a result of this wet spring. Maximum temperatures averaged -1.23°C below average nation-wide for the Spring season, 4th coldest on record, but milder minimum temperatures caused the overall temperature ranking for Spring to be just about close to normal.
Thanks to Blair Trewin of the Australian Met. Dept. for the above information.
On November 26 a single lightning bolt apparently killed seven and injured 40 people at a nursery school party in Kwa Zulu, Natal Province in eastern South Africa. This would rank as one of the top ten deadliest such instances on record anywhere in the world.
Christopher C. Burt
Comments will take a few seconds to appear.