Tornadoes and a Bit of Northeast Snow in November 2021

December 8, 2021 // Article by: Cody Hewitt

Even though it felt warmer at times, November’s temperatures were near to slightly below average overall, with even a bit of snow. Other than one severe weather outbreak near mid-month, the pattern stayed relatively mundane outside of that, and even turned drier as cooler weather gradually arrived.

The first week was rather chilly thanks to a series of cold fronts, sending temperatures down into the 30s and 40s at night. However, little precipitation was around even with the frontal passages, as high pressure stayed more dominant than not. A complex rainmaker then swung through on the 12th into the 13th, which turned out to be the wettest day of November. Upwards of 0.50-1.00” fell mainly in New England and again across Maryland and Delaware. No other events would come close to this in terms of amounts. With that said, the sharp clash of air masses did allow for an outbreak of severe weather, particularly of tornadoes. In an already record-setting year for the Northeast, 11 tornadoes were confirmed, 6 of which were on Long Island alone! Nearly all were EF-0’s, but still enough to result in tree, home, and commercial damage. The remainder touched down in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

A brief cool down then occurred into mid-month and some lake effect snow flurries did reach the northwest elevations of the region. These brought the first light accumulations of the month. The 18th then saw a very noticeable surge of warmth as highs broke the 70 degree mark (with some records) in many places; Scranton, PA hit 70 degrees with Poughkeepsie, NY just a degree behind, while Philadelphia reached 73 degrees. A cold front eventually shoved all the warm air out, replacing it with a largely seasonal air mass through the end of the month.

The second half of the month did see flakes finally break through all the way to the coast. On the 26th-27th a disturbance across central New England dropped a few inches, although this was mainly in the higher elevations along the Berkshires to the hills of Vermont and New Hampshire. The region then saw a more widespread event on the 28th. Mostly, a few tenths worth of snow fell across the interior, but brief dustings did fall closer to the I-95 corridor. Beyond that, only occasional lake effect snow showers fell across the interior Northeast. However, nighttime lows were quite winter-like falling into the 30s and locally a few 20s.

In the end, the month was near normal or even up to 1-2 degrees below normal despite mid-month warmth. Some major cities along the coast received a few traces of snowfall. Yet, looking at the big picture, most do not receive much more than several tenths of snow on average. Precipitation-wise, much of the Northeast only saw a third of what they normally receive, as most recorded around 0.50-1.50” of monthly rainfall.