A Cold November, Fall, and Year
November in the Midwest turned colder following a winter storm that moved through the region on the 10th to the 12th (Figure 1). On the back side of the storm, frigid air dropped into the region bringing record lows to the area mid month. The very cold temperatures remained entrenched, bringing the regionwide temperature for the month (Figure 2) to 31.4°F. That was more than 7°F below normal, the coldest November since 1996 and the 6th coldest on record (period of record is 1895 to 2014). Average temperature for the fall (Figure 3), September to November, was 2.4°F below normal, coldest since 1996 and ranked 17th. Year-to-date, January to November, temperature (Figure 4) was more than 3°F below normal, coldest since 1979 and ranked 5th coldest. Statewide values across the Midwest were below normal in all states and ranked among the coldest 10% of years for November in eight states, for fall in two states, and for year-to-date in eight states.
|Temperatures||November Rank||Fall Rank||Year-to-Date Rank|
Ranking of coldest temperatures for the period 1895 to 2014. Tied ranking marked with *. Bold ranks are among the coldest 10%.
Snow Storms and Lake-effect Snows Hit Midwest
Snow fell across the entire region in November (Figure 5), marking early snowfall in the southern third of the Midwest where the median date of the first snow is in December (Figure 6). In mid November, snow cover extended across more than half the United States, including all the Midwest, the highest US coverage in November in the past 30 years. Totals were above normal for much of the Midwest and well above normal for northern areas on the downwind side of the Great Lakes (Figure 7). Snowfall departures were 10" or more above normal in northeast Ohio, western Lower Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and nearly all of Upper Michigan. Snowfall totals were more than twice normal for about half of the region with totals up to four times normal in Upper Michigan and more than seven times normal in the Ohio River Valley. Stations reporting several feet of November snow were scattered across northern regions with some stations topping 60" in northern Wisconsin and Michigan. Despite snowfall totals well above normal, much of the Midwest was drier than normal for overall precipitation totals (Figure 8). Above normal precipitation totals for November were limited to central Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and much of Michigan while much of the southern half of the region was 1.0" to 2.5" below normal for the month. Fall precipitation was a mixed bag with areas of 2" or more above and below normal interspersed across the region. Northern Michigan was the wettest with up to 8" more than normal for the fall.