Northeast Weather Summary: November 2019

December 13, 2019 // Article by: Cody Hewitt

In contrast to October, the last month of meteorological fall took a nosedive as the days shortened and temperatures took a dramatic jump downward. Despite it being a colder than usual month, the Northeast generally ended on the drier side with any snowy systems holding off until December.

While the end of October was in the 70s for many, a cold front sent temperatures 10-20 degrees downward. The following week remained tame as several rounds of high pressure kept things on the quiet side with temperatures generally in the 50s and 60s. Then another front brought some rain on the 7th and 8th, followed by the first real blast of cold air, including a bit of snow, by the 12th. A wide area of rain along the I-95 corridor mixed with snow mainly along the coast from southern NJ to Rhode Island and Cape Cod. While it was not much, there were coatings to a few tenths of an inch that managed to stick, thanks to snow falling after sundown.

Following the front, the morning of the 13th proved to be a cold one across the whole area. Records were broken as nearly all the major cities fell into the mid 20s, with even Washington, D.C. plummeting to 26 degrees. That’s pretty cold when you consider the normal lows at the time were in the upper 30s and low 40s! For the following week, temperatures remained as much as 10 to 20 degrees below normal thanks to that regime-changing air mass. While this would “moderate” by the third week, highs only averaged in the 40s and 50s, as daylight waned to only 9 to 10 hours at this point.

The remainder of the month only featured interior wintry mixes across central and northeastern PA through the Catskills in NY and the Berkshires in MA. The only notable event was a rainmaker on the 24th which accounted for the bulk of November’s rainfall. New England had the most rainfall from the storm with 1.00 - 1.50” in total while the rest of the Mid-Atlantic faired drier by a few tenths or less.

The month closed out about 2 to 4 degrees below normal, which was not substantially cold but enough to result in the 8th coolest November for Philadelphia, PA and the 10th coolest for Washington, D.C. Rainfall totals were generally half of the average, but was still enough to keep the area from descending into a drought. Nearly all of the major cities lacked accumulating snowfall, which put the region behind schedule even if monthly normals only are around 1” at most. And of course, just as soon as the calendar turned to December, we would be knee-deep in a major three-day storm.