The Norman Transcript

Opinion

December 4, 2013

November brings early taste of winter

NORMAN — November is considered a fall month climatologically, but it certainly did its best to look like a winter month during 2013. Emphatically cooler than normal, thanks mostly to a frigid outburst by Mother Nature during its final 10 days, November was punctuated by an early cool-season snowstorm that dumped more than a foot of snow across southwestern Oklahoma.

According to data from the Oklahoma Mesonet, the statewide average temperature for the month ended 1.8 degrees below normal at 46.5 degrees, the 33rd coolest November since records began in 1895.

November was the eighth month during 2013 to finish with below-normal temperatures. Prior to that, 28 out of the 34 months between April 2010 and January 2013 had been warmer than normal.

The January-November statewide average of 61.1 degrees is the 40th coolest such period on record at half a degree below normal, standing in stark contrast to last year’s mark of 65 degrees over the same period.

The fall season itself, however, was actually 0.2 degrees above normal and ranked as the 59th warmest on record. The lowest temperature recorded by the Mesonet was 9 degrees from Alva on the ninth, and the highest temperature of 85 degrees occurred at Altus on the 16th.

Moisture was plentiful in a few select areas but scarce for most. The statewide average precipitation total as measured by the Mesonet came in at 1.64 inches, more than an inch below normal, to rank as the 47th driest November on record.

The most notable exception was drought-parched southwestern Oklahoma, a result of their late-month wintry blast, although far southeastern Oklahoma saw some hefty precipitation totals as well.

Other than those lucky few, the rest of the state saw deficits of one to three inches. Far northwestern Oklahoma was particularly dry with less than 20 percent of normal November rainfall. Fall was also dry with a statewide average of 7.22 inches, 2.8 inches below normal, to rank as the 45th driest on record. The Mesonet station at Idabel led the state with 6.52 inches, while Freedom recorded a meager 0.18 inches.

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