November 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary
November was notable for some major extra-tropical storms that bought flooding rains to the U.S. Northwest and California as well as to England and Wales in Europe. A record heat wave affected southeastern Australia. One of the most intense typhoons of the year, Super Typhoon Bopha, developed unusually far south in the Western Pacific and eventually made landfall on Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines in early December killing hundreds.
Below are some of the month’s highlights.NORTH AMERICA
November was a topsy-turvy month temperature-wise across the U.S. with unseasonably warm temperatures occurring in California early in November and the Midwest in mid-November followed by a sharp cold front that saw temperatures plummet 60°F (33°C) in the Great Plains and heavy snow fall in North Dakota. Williston saw 8.0” of snow on November 10th, its 3rd greatest November snowstorm on record. The interior of Alaska suffered through an early season cold wave the last two weeks of the month when the temperature fell below 0°F on all but four days of the month. The temperature averaged -8.8°F (-22.7°C) for the month, some -11.4°F (-6.3°C) below normal. Chicken, Alaska dropped to -56°F (-48.9°C) on November 30th
The month was unusually dry in the lower 48 and Hawaii, with drought conditions expanding to include 62.7% of the country. It was the 2nd driest November on record for the Northeast and Southeast regions with many cities reporting their driest November on record. Nationwide it was the 8th driest November since records began in 1895.Temperatures across the lower 48 states averaged much above normal for the western two-thirds of the country during November (top map) and precipitation much below normal over all but the Northwest and California.
Climate division maps courtesy of NCDC.
A series of powerful extra-tropical storms slammed into the Pacific Northwest on November 17-20 and northern California on November 27-December 2nd. The former storm brought wind gusts as high as 114 mph to the coast of northern Oregon and southern Washington, while the later storm brought rainfall totals over 20” (500 mm) to some locations in northern California. See my three blogs posted in November for more details concerning these storms.Wind gusts 60-80 mph in the San Francisco Bay Area uprooted numerous trees (this one in Fairfax) and blew over a big rig on the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge on November 30th.
Photo by Robert Tong.
The coldest temperature measured in the northern hemisphere during the month was -57.4°C (-71.3°F) at Summit, Greenland on November 10th.SOUTH AMERICA and CENTRAL AMERICA
A week of torrential rains caused severe flooding in the Colon and Panama Provinces of Panama November 20-26. At least three died and 800 were made homeless in the affected regions.EUROPE
For England and Wales the week of November 20-26 was one of the wettest such in the last 50 years. Over 1000 properties were flooded and five fatalities reported during the course of several storms that passed over the country that week. The greatest 24-hour precipitation report was 88.4 mm (3.48”) at Holne, Devon on November 24-25. A peak wind gust of 86 mph was measured at Capel Curig, Gwynedd on November 22nd. The warmest temperature reported from the U.K. during the month was 16.4°C (61.5°F) at Kew Gardens, London on November 13th and the coldest -7.3°C (18.9°F) at Braemer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on November 29th.Monthly precipitation averaged 200% of normal over portions of southern England thanks to the powerful storms that swept across this region on November 20-26.
Map from U.K. Met Office.
Heavy rains of over 5” (125 mm) in as many hours resulted in flash flooding in the Spanish city of Malaga on the Costa del Sol and also in many localities across Italy. After three days of torrential rain Venice reported its 6th highest flood level since record keeping began in 1872. Nine inches (228 mm) of rain in 24 hours was reported in Tuscany November 11-12.Flooding on Venice’s San Marco Plaza reached its 6th greatest depth on record following flooding rains November 10-13.
Photographer not identified.AFRICA
The warmest temperature reported in the world and the southern hemisphere during the month of November was 46.5°C (115.7°F) at Vioolsdrif, South Africa on Nov. 28th. The warmest temperature reported in the northern hemisphere was 44.0°C (111.2°F) at Matam, Senegal on November 8th.ASIA
Super Typhoon Bopha became the most southerly typhoon (or 2nd such depending on sources) on record when it reached typhoon status on November 30th at 3.8°N latitude. The storm went on to devastate Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines in early December killing perhaps over 1,000 people. The storm will be covered in my December global extremes summary next January. A photograph of Typhoon Bopha taken from the International Space Station on December 1st prior to the storm’s landfall on Mindanao Island.
Photographer not identified.AUSTRALIA
The past was the 4th warmest November on record for Australia. An intense heat wave affected the southeastern third of the country on November 24-30th with several locations recording their warmest November temperature on record in New South Wales and Victoria. The 45.8°C (114.4°F) at Ouyen on November 29th was the warmest November temperature ever measured in the state of Victoria. (The warmest temperature reported in Australia during November was 46.4°C/115.5°F at Roebourne, Western Australia on November 15th, not a result of the heat wave). The peak observed temperature during the heat wave was 46.2°C (115.2°F) at Pooncarie Mail Agency, New South Wales on November 29th. There were some remarkable warm minimums also noted: the low temperature for Oodnadatta, South Australia on November 29th was a very warm 32.3°C (90.1°F). The coldest temperature reported in the country during the month was -5.2°C (22.6°F) at Mount Baw Baw, Victoria on November 1st. P
Precipitation was variable around the country and overall quite close to average. The greatest calendar day rainfall measurement was the 159.8 mm (6.28”) at Coffs Harbour, New South Wales on November 18th.The average maximum temperature during November reached all-time record levels over a wide area of the state of South Australia during November (top map). Precipitation varied widely across the country with some portions of southern Western Australia seeing record maximum amounts (bottom map).
Maps courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.NEW ZEALAND
November was an unremarkable month weather-wise in New Zealand (the deadly tornado outbreak occurred on December 6th). The warmest temperature reported in New Zealand during the month was 30.1°C (86.2°F) at Blenheim, South Island on November 25th and the coldest -5.1°C (22.8°F) at Waiouru, North Island on November 7th. The greatest calendar day rainfall was 137 mm (5.39”) at Milford Sound, South Island on November 1st.ANTARCTICA
The coldest temperature in the southern hemisphere and the world during November was -60.5°C (-76.9°F) recorded at Concordia station on November 2nd.KUDOS
Thanks to Maximiliano Herrera for global temperature extremes data and Jeremy Budd and NIWA for New Zealand data.