November Brings a Glimpse of Winter for the Midwest

December 13, 2022 // Article by: Shawn McGarrity


Despite Chicagoland getting its first real hint of winter, November proved to be warmer than normal for many in northern IL. The average high temperature was 51.7°F (normal 48.4°F), the average low 35.1°F (normal 34.1°F), and the overall average temperature was 43.4°F (normal 41.3°F). The month also trended drier than normal, falling short of both rainfall and snowfall totals for November. During the month, 0.86 inches of rain fell (down from the normal 2.42 inches) along with 1.1 inches of snow at O’Hare (below the normal 1.8 inches).

The mild November can be attributed to the long stretch of unseasonably warm temperatures the city saw at the beginning of the month, when highs reached into the low 70s on several occasions during the first week. A drier pattern was in place to start off November before showers and storms passed through the vicinity both the 4th and 5th. Storms on the 5th even kicked up some severe weather, with strong winds and even an EF-0 tornado being reported near Big Rock.

There was a short break from the unseasonably warm temperatures, but the warmth returned for the second week, with the warmest day of the month (the 10th) breaking the record high for that date at O’Hare, whose 76°F high beat out the previous record from 2020 by one degree.

The warmth did not last, for a passing cold front on the 12th brought temperatures down to the 30s along with some snow showers to the region, producing a coating of snow in some areas. Another system on the 15th brought the first notable snowfall for the season, producing an inch at O’Hare and upwards of 2 inches in places throughout the greater metropolitan area. Wintry weather lingered for several days thereafter, with snow showers continuing to bring a coating of snow each day through the 19th.

Observed snowfall from November 15th. Courtesy NWS Chicago.

Once the persistent snow showers let up, temperatures began to warm up to the 50s for several days through the Thanksgiving holiday. Other than a few rain showers on the 24th, the weather trended dry before a system on the 27th produced a quarter-inch of rain, the wettest day of the month. Generally warm temperatures came to an end on the 30th, with a cooler airmass bringing temperatures back down to the 30s. 


Periods of unseasonably warm temperatures helped November finish warmer than normal overall. The average high temperature was 53.8°F (normal 51.8°F), the average low 35.0°F (normal 34.9°F) , and the overall average temperature was 44.4°F (normal 43.3°F). In terms of precipitation, the month fell short of the typical rainfall for this time of year, measuring 1.42 inches (down from the normal 3.45 inches). Alternatively, snowfall was above normal, with 2.8 inches falling in the city (above the typical 0.8 inch).

November started off dry for the first third of the month, with the only rainfall being some showers passing through the city on the 5th. Otherwise, dry conditions coupled with unseasonably warm temperatures made the month’s start feel less like mid-autumn and more like spring. Highs on the 4th were the warmest of the month, reaching 76°F.

A major shift happened from the 10th to 12th, where highs plummeted from the 70s down to the 30s in the span of only two days. A passing system brought notable snow on the 12th, with the city measuring 2.7 inches and breaking the record for that particular day, which was 0.8 inches set in 1991. Temperatures remained cold in the days following the main snow event, with persistent snow showers through the 19th.

24hr Totals for November 12th Snowfall. Courtesy NWS Indianapolis.

Warmer temperatures returned for the final third of the month, returning to the 50s and largely holding dry into the Thanksgiving holiday. A steady rain event on the 27th brought much needed rain, with 0.97 inches of rain falling during that 24-hour period (more than 50% more than the previous month’s rainfall combined). Temperatures remained mild into the month’s end, with a return to quiet weather. 


November trended warmer than normal for both the Columbus and Cincinnati areas. Average high temperatures for Columbus and Cincinnati were 54.6°F and 54.9°F (normal 52.3°F and 53.8°F), the average low temperatures were 36.0°F and 36.2°F (normally 35°F and 35.1°F), and the overall average temperatures were 45.3°F and 45.5°F (normally 43.6°F and 44.4F). In terms of precipitation, rainfall totals fell short of normal for the month in both cities, measuring 2.34 and 2.39 inches in Columbus and Cincinnati respectively, down from the normal 2.79 and 3.23 inches normally seen. On the other hand, snowfall varied throughout the state, with Columbus falling short for the month (measuring only 0.3 of the 1.2 inches normally seen), whereas Cincinnati saw more snow than normal (1.6 inches compared to the typical 0.8 inches). 

Like much of the Midwest, the start of the month was defined by unseasonably warm temperatures with highs in the 60s, reaching the 70s on a few occasions. The 5th was the warmest day, with Columbus and Cincinnati reaching 77°F and 75°F respectively. Other than minimal shower activity on the 5th, the first week of the month proved to be dry. 

Cooler and wetter conditions returned on the 11th as a system brought with it the wettest day of the month, with 1.14 and 0.88 inches of rain being reported in Columbus and Cincinnati each. During this time, temperatures fell from the mild 60s that had been consistent for the first part of the month down to the 40s and later 30s in the days following the rain event. Snow on the 12th brought decent totals, favoring areas to the south, with Cincinnati measuring 1.2 inches of snow. Persistent snow showers lingered behind the main system for days, continuing to bring scattered coatings of snow for a week.

A change in the pattern on the 20th saw a return to warmer temperatures, with highs returning to the 50s and 60s. Things generally remained dry during this period, with only a few rain showers on Thanksgiving, before a system brought steady rain on the 27th. Mild temperatures continued into the end of the month with largely dry conditions. Some showers and storms on the evening of the 29th brought some severe weather, however, with strong winds and small hail being reported.