[Flooding in Bellingham, WA during the middle of November. From the City of Bellingham via Storyful]
November also brought the official close of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, which was the third most-active on record according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
Here are more highlights from NOAA’s latest monthly U.S. climate report:
Climate by the numbers
The average November temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 45.2 degrees F (3.5 degrees above the 20th-century average), which placed the month at the seventh-warmest November in the 127-year record. Temperatures were above average from the West Coast to the Great Lakes and into New England as well as across portions of the Deep South.
Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah had their second-warmest November on record, with Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming ranking among their warmest five Novembers. Three additional states in the West and High Plains ranking among their warmest five Novembers. Temperatures were near to below average across much of the eastern third of the contiguous U.S.
Below-average precipitation dominated much of the contiguous United States. The nation’s average precipitation was 1.28 inches (0.95 of an inch below average), ranking as the eighth-driest November on record. Alabama and North Carolina saw their fifth-driest Novembers.
Precipitation was above average across portions of the Northwest, northern Plains, Florida and south Texas. Click here for a recap of the flooding in the Pacific Northwest.
Other notable climate events in November
- Drought covered more than half the U.S.: According to the November 30 U.S. Drought Monitor report, approximately 53.4% of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, up 5.6% from the beginning of November. Drought conditions expanded or intensified across portions of the Carolinas and Virginia, the southern Plains, along the front range of the Rockies and across portions of Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
- A very busy hurricane season came to an end: The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season officially ended on November 30 and produced 21 named tropical systems, the third most-active season on record behind 2020 and 2005. In all, there were 7 hurricanes and 4 major (Category 3 or higher) hurricanes in 2021. The average number of hurricanes and major hurricanes is 7 and 3, respectively.
Edited for WeatherNation by Mace Michaels