November ends about as it should
November departed overnight, its meteorological numbers settling into the record books very close to the long-term averages for BWI. The only category that departed a bit from the 30-year norm was rainfall, which fell about a half-inch short.
First, the temperatures. Lots of us may remember November 2008 as being unusually cold. That's mostly because the last half of the month fell persistently below the averages. From the 17th to the 29th, only one day saw above-average temperatures. The coldest (and clearest) was the 22nd, when the mercury at BWI-Marshall struggled to reach 36 degrees, and sank to 24 degrees, for an average of 30, which was 14 degrees below normal for the date.
The cold days allowed the region its first snowflakes of the season (above). We saw traces at BWI on the 18th, 21st and 25th. That gave us an average of, well, a trace for the month. The average for November at BWI is 0.6-inch.
The cold weather also cost us a little bit extra on our heating bills, with the number of heating degree-days (a measure of heating demand) about 2 percent above the average for November.
The cold spell was offset, however, by the warm start we saw. The first week of November saw highs in the 60s and 70s, with lows only in the high 40s and 50s. The 6th and 7th averaged 14 degrees above the long-term averages for the dates.
On balance, BWI averaged 45.4 degrees for the month, just a tenth of a degree below the long-term average.
As for precipitation, most of it fell as rain from the 12th through the 15th, with a total of 1.56 inches over those four days. The rest of the month generated barely an inch more. The month's total of 2.61 is 0.51 below the average for a November at BWI.
Only one day in November (the 22nd) was rated as "clear" by the weather service. Nine were cloudy, the rest partly cloudy.
Anybody else out there with a barometer notice how low it fell yesterday? Ours here at The Sun sank to 29.31 inches around 11 p.m. last night before it turned around. It's climbed only to 29.57 as I write.
We can thank the intense low-pressure center now over the Great Lakes, headed toward Quebec. That storm system is influencing conditions throughout the eastern half of the country, dumping snow on Chicago, rain here and up the coast, and forcing NASA to land the shuttle Endeavour in California because of bad weather at Cape Canaveral.