November is about to come to an end, and despite a significant cool down the last week, the record-setting temperatures from earlier in the month will keep November’s averages well above normal.
One reason for the unusual warmth has been, until recently, the unusual amount of dry, sunny days. November is typically one of our stormier months. Some of the more historical storms to impact the Ohio Valley have occurred in November. Some may remember the “White Hurricane” of 1913, the “Edmond Fitzgerald” storm in 1975 or even the Veterans Day Tornado Outbreak of 2002. If you are a University of Michigan or Ohio State University fan, you’ve likely seen video of the blizzard in 1950 that became part of the “Snow Bowl” that year.
But this November has been relatively quiet – that is - until the last 24 hours. In fact, after seeing a complete removal of drought conditions across Ohio late in the summer, November has seen a return to abnormally dry conditions. While the growing season has ended, the dry weather has led to an increased number of wildfires. This has been very evident in areas to our south where wildfires had been rapidly spreading across Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and the Carolinas. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows parts of southern Ohio have seen drought conditions return. Thankfully, many of these areas are now receiving beneficial rainfall, but we’ll have to wait and see if it is enough to dramatically decrease the fire threat.
Now as we head into December, we can expect colder and perhaps snowier weather to arrive. The latest long-range outlook does show a significantly colder pattern developing around the middle of the month. Some forecast models have even been hinting at some accumulating snow around that time, but at the moment, it is too early to tell if that will pan out. It does, however, appear that we are moving into a more active weather pattern as we head into the new month.
The Climate Prediction Center’s latest 8 to 14-day precipitation outlook suggests near or higher than normal probabilities of receiving above average precipitation over the next 2 weeks. If the stormier pattern can last through the rest of the month, then chances of a white Christmas could be on the rise. Stay tuned!
Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.