A Tale of Two Regions: November 2016

Posted: December 5, 2016, 6:48 am by spatrick


Route 17 in Bergen County, New Jersey November 20, 2016


Depending on where you live in the Northeast, you saw two different types of weather in November. Down in the mid - Atlantic, the weather pattern stayed rather mild and typical while areas from northern New Jersey thru New England experienced the first accumulating snow event of the season (some receiving significant amounts) along with worsening drought conditions that expanded into Connecticut and New York. Let's review the highlights of November 2016 throughout the I - 95 corridor.

The first half of the month experienced a mild and fairly quiet stretch through most of the Northeast. After setting and tying record highs in the 70s and low 80s on November 3rd at Reagan Airport in D.C, Atlantic City, NJ and Islip, NY, daily high temperatures stayed in the 50s and 60s thru the middle of the month. Despite warm daytime temperatures, clear and calm nights did promote some chilly overnight lows with temperatures dipping into the 20s for the first time of the season from the 12th to 14th in New Jersey and parts of Eastern Pennsylvania. While the majority of the period was dry, a coastal low ushered in a 1 – 3 inch soaking rain event on the 15th to northern and eastern New Jersey and New England. Given the severity of the ongoing drought, the rain was much appreciated and put a sight dent in the deficit. However, Mother Nature brought a significant pattern change to the Northeast by the 19th.


After a very warm and breezy day with highs soaring into the 70s on the 19th, a very potent cold front ushered in evening rain and thunderstorms. Very cold air followed right on its tail and rain quickly turned wintry mixing with sleet before changing over to periods of moderate to heavy snow overnight. While snow only fell for a few hours, the cold air and heavy snow intensity gave the elevations of Northeast Pennsylvania, North Jersey and the Hudson Valley upwards of 5.0 - 7.5 inches of snow! This same system roared through New England, giving folks there a couple of inches of the white stuff as well. Directly behind the system, lake-effect snow showers plagued the region all the way through the early morning of the 22nd. The three-day total in the elevations of eastern New York State, Northwest Connecticut, and the Berkshires reached up to 10-20 inches!




Drought conditions as of November 29th, 2016 across the Northeast; parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut are still in a D3 (Extreme Drought).


A cool shot on the 23rd gave Philadelphia and D.C its first freeze of the season before milder air returned for the Thanksgiving holiday. Mother Nature remained on the quiet side for the final week of the month which only exasperated the ongoing extreme drought in New England that had expanded in parts of the Hudson Valley and Connecticut. Luckily, the Northeast received a second soaking rain for the final two days of the month with amounts totaling 1.5 - 3 inches. The rain replenished reservoirs that had reached dangerously low levels. However, it wasn't enough to wipe out drought conditions and as of November 29th, much of Massachusetts and northern Connecticut remained in the U.S Drought monitor's extreme drought classification. In fact, nearly 40% of New Jersey (mainly north and west of I - 95) and parts of Eastern Pennsylvania remain in a severe drought. Only the Delmarva, coastal Virginia, and extreme southern New Jersey regions have been spared.




Liquid precipitation and snowfall for the month of November at select airports across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, as well as their monthly 30 year averages.





Temperature summary for November at select airports across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic; overall, many areas came out near to slightly above average.


Will December bring the Northeast its first widespread accumulating snow event or will the pattern stay quiet and dry? See WeatherWorks’ December outlook video!



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