Native Plants, Habitat Restoration, and Other Science Snippets from Athens, Georgia

Tuesday: 10 December 2013

The Month of November  -  @ 08:15:08
It's The Month of November, Number 94 in a series. For us in northeast Georgia, cooler temperatures and continued drier weather (until the end of the month) continued for the second month in a row.

Here are the usual temperature anomalies products, at the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. Displayed is the high and low temperature anomalies.

Click on the image for the high and low anomaly graphic on a new page:

Much of the US was cooler than average, but except for the center of the country the cooler temperatures switched from west to east. Most of the western US was warmer than normal with the Nortwest Pacific maintaining a somewhat cooler than normal monthly pattern. The eastern half of the country began a cool period, except for Florida.

Again, and for at least the fourth month in a row, the high and low anomalies graphic (click on above figure) shows that nights were at least less cool than the days were cooler. This effect was pronounced for most of the country.

We find the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center's precipitation plots here.

There was some switching in rain patterns, too. The midwestern states, with normal to way above normal last month, dried quite a bit in November. Arizona and the north and western parts of New Mexica, New England got some relief from dry weather by a more normal rainfall during November. However, the southeast continued its dry weather, in large part, as did the Pacific Northwest, much of California except in the extreme south, California, and north Texas.

For the Athens, GA area:

Below is my usual daily rain/temperature plot visualizing the changes in temperatures and precipitation. The spiky lines are temperatures recorded roughly ten times a day, and the lighter blue columns are Wolfskin rainfall measurements.

The black line is the normal average daily temperature, and you can see that we're distinctly on our downward fall toward autumn.

The Athens area mean temperature during November was 5 degF below the average 55.3F. We had two cold night events each lasting a couple of days - we broke the Nov 13 1911 record of 24F when temperatures dropped to 23F. This was repeated the next night, breaking the 1969 record of 25 F. During the 3-5 days surrounding these cold events, daytime temperatures were also quite low.

The rainfall that began in June and continued through August finally came to an end in September, and this dry period continued in November. The official Athens rainfall in November was 2.42 inches, below the 3.82 inches average. It wouldn't have even been that were it not for the near 1.5 inches rain on November 26.

We only had 2 days more than 1 standard deviation above normal highs (average is 5.2 days), but we had 9 nights with temperatures more than 1 standard deviation below normal lows (average 5.1 nights). The number of events outside normality underscores the cooler temperatures the overall average reflects.

The monthly histogram below shows the breakdown of high and low temperature range counts from November 1948 on. The error bars are just plus/minus one standard deviation, which I arbitrarily set as the limits outside of which are "significantly" anomalous.

The high temperature events fall within the error bars (except, perhaps, for the <50 degF days). The nighttime events do show a significant reduction in the number of nights with temperatures above 50F. The number of

And so that does bring us to the rain for our area: in short, not much. The figure below shows the Athens precipitation data which are official for our area. As usual the green line shows our actual rainfall, the red shows the average accumulation expected. The black dots are rainfall over the last 22 years, and the river of peach shows the standard deviation.

We actually flirted a bit with remaining under the river of peach for much of the month, signifying dry weather. But in the last week, we had a good rain that brought us well up into the normal distribution, though still under the average.

So a transition to cooler than average for us, with continued dry weather.

Prognosticator stuff:

What is the prognosticator telling us? For us here in the southeast, it has been accurate over the last five months for temperature and precipitation.

For us in northeast Georgia it will be warmer and drier for the next three months (DJF). At this writing we've had rain every day since Dec 1, but sometime in the next couple of weeks that's going to change to drier over through February. The rain we've been getting has been nicely consistent with last month's forecast.

As of 9 December(yes, I'm late this month), it tells us in the Southeast that we can expect a couple of weeks of warmer temperatures. This has been brought down from a longer period of warm temperatures made last month. Then in late December onward we'll have equal chances of normal temperatures. The picture is quite different elsewhere, so be sure to take a look if you're not close by us.

ENSO stuff:

The folks at CPC have a version of PDF or HTML that is much different from their previous presentations, but at least it's there and the link isn't broken.

As of 9 December, ENSO neutral conditions continue, and are expected to remain neutral, now into the Northern Hemisphere summer. We've remained ENSO neutral now for 19 months. The last time we had such a lengthy period without an El Niño or La Niña was before 2000.

NOAA's Monthly State of the Climate product for October is available. New England states with top 10 dry Octobers, major rain events in the southeast and in Texas, early blizzard in South Dakota and Wyoming, and a rare October tornado in Nebraska top the October list of events.

And last year's annual report for 2012 regionally, nationally, and globally is also available.

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