A Novembrrr to Remember

November 2013 will wrap up on an unseasonably cold note Saturday, well below average for a 'typical' November.
November 2013 will wrap up on an unseasonably cold note Saturday, well below average for a 'typical' November.

I use the term 'typical' very loosely though as the weather can be everything but 'average, typical, or normal.'  For climate purposes, we use a 30-year period from the previous (3) full decades when assessing temperatures.  So for 2013 we use the years 1981-2010.

November 2013 has ended on a considerably cold note compared to 'average' temperatures.  Multiple arctic blasts have dropped temperatures ten to twenty degrees below typical lows and highs. For Burlington it marks a significant colder than average month:

Burlington 2013
January +3.1F
February +2.4F
March +1.8F
April 0.0F
May +4.4F
June +0.6F
July +3.2F
August +0.6F
September -0.3F
October +3.6F
November* -1.8F
*Data through Thanksgiving, Nov. 28*

November will end more than two degrees colder than average in the Burlington area, making it (by far) the coldest temperature to average month this year. In fact since March 2011 this will only be the fourth month out of thirty-three that *was not* warmer than average. Certainly since this warm streak began in 2011, this November will show the greatest undercut of temps.

Is this a sign of change heading toward winter? Well let's look at this together. You can see in the data above that temps started off 2013 very warm but have really trimmed back in the second half of the year. Sure there were a couple +3F to average months, but more slim differences and negatives fill the final push of 2013. So in that regard it may appear that we're on a larger-scale cool down. However the Climate Prediction Center's three month outlook for December, January, and February continues to show a slighter higher chance of having warmer than average temperatures: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/lead01/off01_temp.gif

Oscillation forecasts for the next two weeks (through almost mid December) show a roughly neutral position, if not slightly positive. For us that would translate to fairly average temperatures or a slightly higher chance of warmer air. You can read more about teleconnections here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/teleconnections.shtml

-Meteorologist Steve Glazier
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