Dry November for Detroit, snowless winter ahead?

(WXYZ) - In the 7 First Alert Weather Center we are always looking over climate data looking for patterns: daily, weekly, monthly, even trends stretching over decades. Last month was noticeably dry, even for November. Comparing to November 2011 ever saw lower rain totals (.72" this year vs. a record 6" last year), lower snow totals too (.4" vs. .6").

This is part of a larger pattern of dry and warm weather nationwide. According to the National Climatic Data Center, the average national November temperature was 44.1 degrees, 2.1 degrees above the average for all of the 20th century.

In terms of precipitation, the national November average was 1.19 inches, a stunning .93" below the long-term average - making for the 8th driest on record.

2012 is on track to set the record as the warmest ever in the lower 48 states. According to the NOAA State of the Climate, the 48 contiguous was 57.1 degrees, 3.3 degrees above the average for all of the 20th century. This is a full degree about the previous record for this period (1934). The 11 month period was the 12th driest on record.

The primary drivers for our long term pattern are global features such as El Nino, La Nina, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation. A strong move positively or negatively would signal a greater departure from our average climate conditions in the Great Lakes. But these factors all trend to neutral or near neutral. That would argue for a more typical winter for Metro Detroit and the Great Lakes.

This may be hard for some to fathom given the overall lack of snow and cold in December! But remember, there is a lot of winter left to go and our snow season last through March and into April.

Sources
NOAA State of the Climate November 2012
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/

November 2012 Monthly Climate Summary

November 30th Climate Summary

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