Warm Weather Continues into November
The fall season for the Midwest has been a warm one so far, and October finished up to be well above normal for the region. The pattern that kept the first part of the season mild proved to have lasting strength into the home stretch. Along with remaining warm, the pattern was dry as well. Let’s review.
The first two days certainly gave the region a head start on the plus-side, as a surge of warmth followed a warm front on the 1st. The numbers for the 1st and 2nd were impressive for November as a result, even to the point of record-breaking for many. Cincinnati proved to be the warmest, with a high of 82 degrees, shattering the record of 80 degrees in 1982. Meanwhile, Dayton and Columbus tied old records on these dates, with Indianapolis also tying its record of 78 from 1961. Since Chicago and Rockford sat right along the main cold front, they were not quite able to break temperature records, but they still managed to soar to 10-20 degrees above average for highs on both days.
This mild pattern had some staying power, as just about each day through the first half of November observed max temperatures that tipped the plus side of average for the big cities across the Corn Belt states. In fact, November acted similarly to October in that approximately the first 18 or 19 days were exceptionally mild before taking a plunge at the end. This end to the warm pattern was courtesy of a potent storm system which dragged a well-structured cold front through the area on the 18th. Not only did this system lead to the region's cooldown, it also produced strong thunderstorms and gusty winds. Gusts in some instances reached 60 – 70 mph and were enough to cause damage in places from Interstate 70 on north in Indiana.
— Jonathan Marker (@WX_Marker) November 18, 2016
In the wake of this cold front, the colder temperatures blasted into the region. Highs in some instances fell up to 30 degrees or more, such as in Rockford, IL where the high was 68°F on the 18th, but only reached 38°F on the 19th. Some of the Illinois first snowflakes of the season even left some grassy coatings in the northwest suburbs of Chicagoland as the cold air was ushered in. The decrease in these readings turned out to be just as dramatic in Indianapolis, which plummeted from a balmy maximum of 75°F on the 18th dropped to 43°F on the 19th. Similar cooldowns were felt across Ohio as well, from the 19th into the 20th. High temperatures stayed mainly seasonable in the 40s and 50s through the Thanksgiving holiday before another round of mild weather rounded out the month.
— Robert Tornabene (@RobertTornabene) November 19, 2016
The month of November was enough to put 2016’s meteorological fall (which runs from September 1st thru November 30th) in the books as one of the warmest on record across the major cities of the Midwest. If average highs for the three month period in the upper 60s and approaching 70 sound warm for the fall, it is because they certainly were. Cincinnati’s impressive average high of 71.1 degrees ranked as 2nd warmest on record, with Dayton (OH), Columbus (OH), Indianapolis (IN) and Rockford (IL) also finishing in the number two position. Chicago’s O’Hare airport rounded out to 66.3 degrees which was 3rd highest.
With November's quick start, this Meteorological Fall finished as one of the warmest on record across the Midwest
Along with being a mild month, it was a dry one as well. Across the Midwest, the dominate ridging pattern that brought the mild air also blocked the region off of significant weather events, especially during that first half of November. Ohio suffered the driest conditions, falling well below the 50% mark of the typical average for the state. This was especially true for Columbus, which only collected a mere 0.66” of rain for the month. This was enough to send the state into an abnormally dry to moderate drought to cap off the month according to the United States Drought Monitor.