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November 2010
North Country Monthly Climate Summary

TEMPERATURE SUMMARY...

Although monthly temperatures ended up close to normal, November actually saw several periods of above and below normal daily temperatures. The month started out on the cool side as an upper trough pivoted over the North Country, and average temperatures ran some 5 to 10 degrees below normal. Warmer weather moved in by the second week of November, with highs reaching well into the 50s and even 60s in some locations. After several mild days, a more volatile pattern emerged, with a series of low frontal systems passing through the region every few days. Temperatures varied greatly during the past 10 days of the month, ranging from highs in the mid 50s to highs in the lower 30s. The coldest readings came late in the month, particularly early on the 25th, when many locations bottomed out in the mid to upper teens.

TEMPERATURE STATISTICS ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER...

  Burlington Montpelier Massena Saint Johnsbury
Avg. Temp 37.7 34.6 36.5 35.5
Departure +0.5 -0.2 +1.0 0.0
Highest 63 on 14th 59 on 13th 61 on 23rd 58 on 13th
Lowest 18 on 25th 13 on 28th 15 on 25th 16 on 25th

Below are daily temperature graphs for the month of November for Burlington, Montpelier, Massena, and Saint Johnsbury.

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PRECIPITATION SUMMARY...

The month of November was a bit drier than normal in most spots. The highest rainfall and snowfall totals were in the northern Green Mountains, while the lowest amounts fell across the Saint Lawrence River valley of New York. The month started out with a dry spell as high pressure crested over the region. Then low pressure brought widespread rain on the 4th and 5th, with a little snow on the backside. Another low pressure system that backed through the Gulf of Maine and over Cape Cod spread a wintry mix of rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain over the region on the 8th. High pressure and dry weather returned through the middle part of the month. Then yet another low pressure moved up west of the Saint Lawrence River, ushering in mild air and producing a widespread inch or more of rainfall on the 16th and 17th. Snow showers on the back of the low were light, with accumulations 2 inches or less, and pretty much confined to northern and eastern Vermont. A cold front passed through Vermont and northern New York late on the 23rd, resulting in widespread light rain and some mountain snows. Thereafter, periods of light rain and snow showers occurred over the region, but no significant storm systems were seen until December. The biggest story for November was the lack of snow. A majority of the low pressure systems that brought precipitation to the North Country stayed to our west, resulting in milder temperatures and more rain than snow. Burlington finished the month with only 0.3 inches of snow, nearly 7 inches below normal. Monthly snowfall totals were generally 6 inches or less, even across the higher terrain of the Green Mountains and Adirondacks.

PRECIPITATION STATISTICS ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER...

  Burlington Montpelier Massena Saint Johnsbury
Monthly Total " 3.10 2.76 2.09 1.03
Departure +0.04 -0.28 -0.94 -0.27
Greatest 24hr 0.80 on 4th-5th 0.91 on 4th-5th 1.07 on 16th-17th 1.03 on 4th-5th
SNOW/SLEET
Monthly Total " 0.3 1.2
Greatest 24hr 0.3 on 27th 0.5 on 19th


BURLINGTON FORECAST AREA ACCUMULATED MONTHLY PRECIPITATION (IN INCHES) FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER

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BURLINGTON FORECAST AREA ACCUMULATED MONTHLY SNOWFALL (IN INCHES) FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER

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MONTHLY WEATHER PATTERNS AND GLOBAL CLIMATE DRIVERS...

The main 500 mb weather pattern over the North Country consisted of an abnormally weak trough of low pressure over the northern half of the contiguous United States. However, the month started out with a very deep trough over the eastern third of the country, while strong ridging dominated the west. This resulted in cooler-than-normal temperatures and periods of rain and snow showers until the trough finally moved to the east. Once the trough departed, it was followed by weak ridging, keeping much of the region dry through the middle part of the month. By the 3rd week, the 500 mb ridge had also shifted east, placing New England in southwest flow aloft. The influx of warmer air allowed temperatures to rise into the 50s, until a cold front passed through and returned temperatures into the 20s and 30s, and overnight lows in the teens. At the very end of November, the pattern shifted again, with strong ridging returning to the eastern portion of the United States. Temperatures slowly rose, returning to seasonal normal by the 30th. The weather was mainly dry, though an approaching upper trough brought rain to the area late on the 30th. The 500 MB weather pattern over the North Country was dominated by low pressure. Averaged over the entire month, an anomalously strong trough lay across the Northeast United States into the Canadian Maritimes, while ridging stretched over the upper Plains and the northern Rocky Mountains. At the beginning of November, an abnormally strong ridge stretched across the central section of the United States, with a trough over the eastern third of the country. This was the pattern through mid-November, with the trough stregthening over time. By the third week in the month, the trough over the Northeast had slid eastward, and was replaced by weak ridging, allowing temperatures to rise slightly and the showery weather to turn dry. However, another strong trough quickly followed to close the month, resulting in another cool down and another round of rain and snow showers by Halloween.

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The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting temperatures to be nearly normal through December, while precipitation will be above normal.

La Nina continued across the equatorial Pacific Ocean through November, with sea surface temperatures running 1 to 2 degrees Celsius cooler than normal. This pattern is expected to continue through winter and into spring 2011. Some models indicate that La Nina will strengthen and peak during the winter months, then begin to subside by spring. Through February, the expected impacts from La Nina generally include above average rainfall in the Pacific Northwest, the northern Rockies, and the Ohio Valley, while drier than normal conditions will occur over the south central and southeastern states. Portions of the West Coast, the northern Rockies, and the upper Midwest will tend to be cooler than normal under La Nina, while much of the southern and central U.S. will be warmer than normal.

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER NOVEMBER 2010 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK...

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CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER NOVEMBER 2010 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

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Figure 1: Burlington Monthly Temperature Trend
Figure 2: Montpelier Monthly Temperature Trend
Figure 3: Massena Monthly Temperature Trend
Figure 4: Saint Johnsbury Temperature Trend
Figure 5: Monthly Precipitation Map
Figure 6: Monthly Snowfall Map
Figure 7: 500MB Geopotential Height Anomalies
Figure 8: Climate Prediction Center Precipitation Outlook
Figure 9: Climate Prediction Center Temperature Outlook