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November 2010 Weather Extremes Summary

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

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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24. AndreaDoria
7:01 AM GMT on January 06, 2011
Thank you for posting all of the above information. I live in the PNW but want to re-locate to Norway for cultural and political reasons. Based on global climate change projections and now record lows, I should probably shed my webbed feet and start a regimen of antifreeze. Anyhow, thanks for taking the time to share this information.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
23. robsobs
3:20 AM GMT on December 21, 2010

Greatly enjoy your blog, and Extreme Weather book. A couple of new record reports for you.

A retrogressing low from the Atlantic brought some record breaking mild temperatures over the eastern Canadian Arctic over the weekend. Baker Lake and Rankin Inlet in Nunavut both hit all time December highs on Saturday Dec 18th. Both communities rose above the freezing mark for the first time on record in December. Baker Lake hit +1.1C on the 18th, eclipsing the previous monthly high of -1.1C on Dec 25 1999 (records go back to 1946). Rankin Inlet hit +0.9C, eclipsing the previous December high of -2.0C on Dec 17 2002 (records go back to 1981).
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
22. blairtrewin
10:23 AM GMT on December 17, 2010
An interesting rain event in Western Australia in the last day or two. Carnarvon, on the coast about 900km north of Perth, got 207.8 mm in the 24 hours to 9 today as a result of a tropical low.

This is not something which normally happens at this time of year to put it mildly - the monthly average for this site for December (66 years of data) is 1.8 mm, so they got almost twice as much rain today as they have in about 2000 previous December days put together! (and of the 118 mm in the past Decembers combined, 77 of that fell on one day in 1995 - before this event the second-wettest December day on record was 5.4 mm).

A shorter-period site a few kilometres inland got 253 mm.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
20. BriarCraft
6:28 PM GMT on December 11, 2010
Great blog! I love to follow weather extremes locally (and we've had our share of them in western Washington in recent years). Now I can enjoy reading about weather extremes all over the world. FASCINATING. THANK YOU, weatherhistorian!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
19. offshoretrust
10:51 PM GMT on December 09, 2010
Great information!
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16. blairtrewin
5:04 AM GMT on December 08, 2010
Lake Eyre didn't fill completely this year, but it looks like it's reached its highest level since 1990. Inflows from the major feeder channels have dropped and the lake level is now falling (there has been heavy rain in the last two days in South Australia, but too far south to have much effect on the lake).

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as the Lake Eyre Yacht Club (http://www.lakeeyreyc.com/) and their website is a good source of info on the lake's state.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
14. Christopher C. Burt , Weather Historian
4:26 AM GMT on December 08, 2010
Blair, can you can confirm this?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
13. Christopher C. Burt , Weather Historian
4:25 AM GMT on December 08, 2010
Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
Lake Eyre in Australia is filling up!

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. Christopher C. Burt , Weather Historian
2:06 AM GMT on December 08, 2010
Quoting MichaelSTL:
I have always wondered, what is the most consecutive days above or
below average that any station has ever recorded? I realize that this
depends on the base period used, so this isn't really a valid
question*. One reason why I ask is because this station has recorded
virtually an entire year of above average temperatures, relative to, I
think, 1971-2000 (it goes beyond the last year, interrupted by just one
day that was barely below average last December):

From the CPC's global temperature monitoring page (Indonesia)

some fixed temperature is a better way, such as days above 90 degrees
or below 32 but this itself is dependent on climate.

This is a very interesting question and, contrary to what you say, is a valid one. The issue of homegenization of temperature records is one of the most vexing issues for climatologists. Urbanization surrounding data sites, such as in Kuala Lumpur, have been seen in Bangkok and many other weather stations around the world. This issue is above my pay grade I'm afraid, but the NCDC and WMO have apparently been making an effort to reconcile this very issue.
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6. ncgnto25
2:16 PM GMT on December 07, 2010
Very interesting read. It should also be noted that the southern Rockies-especially New Mexico have received very little snow due to La Nina and we are in the midst of an extremely warm December. I put up Christmas lights Saturday, December 4 without a shirt on and got a bit of a sunburn at 62 degrees. Very unusual for Albuquerque and the pattern is forecast to continue for the entire 10 day period.
Thanks for this article, I will look forward to it each month.
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5. HurricaneKatrina
5:00 PM GMT on December 06, 2010
Does anyone know about the current status of the gulf stream? 2 years in a row.
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4. bell32ndst
3:58 PM GMT on December 06, 2010
Thanks for an interesting read.

Was there anything out of the norm in Africa?
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2. AlaskaBound23
3:51 PM GMT on December 04, 2010
A lot of Europe's cold weather is due to the Greenland blocking High. How much longer will that last for?
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1. nocaneindy
3:30 AM GMT on December 04, 2010
Great read! I didn't know that Siberia gets about as cold in its winter as Antarctica is "hot" in the summer. I like cold, but I'd hate to visit either in their respective winters...
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Weather Extremes

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.