Looking back at November and Autumn

Cool was the theme for Autumn and November with dryness persisting over SEMO/SW IL. KC and STL were just near enough heavy October rains to finish the Fall season wetter than average–although September and November were dry.


No surprise to anyone November was a cold month.  St. Louis and Kansas City were 6.1 degrees below average. Temperatures ranged from 6 to 69 in KC and 14 to 73 in STL. Taking a look at North America, the blue and green tones show the cold was widespread with only Alaska, Yukon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and parts of SW Oregon warmer than average.


In the northern Hemisphere, North America, central Asia and northern Siberia were cold, while the Far East and Europe enjoyed a mild month.


The sustained cold did not set in until around the 10th, when the first Arctic surge dropped south.  That front can easily be seen in this surface map from early afternoon on November 10th.


The coldest morning would be a week later on the 18th when early morning temperatures looked like this:


As in 2013, the pattern flip was assisted by a Super Typhoon re-curving into the Pacific. Here’s an image of Nuri (20W) near peak intensity. Maximum sustained winds were 155 kts (182 mph).


Nuri became a record setting mid latitude storm system which pumped warm air into the Arctic, that pushed cold air south into the U.S.  (This image shows ex-Nuri at it’s peak as an “extratropical” storm system.



November was a dry month. Rains were a 1/2-1″ or less in E KS/W & NW MO and 3″ or less in the remainder of MO and S IL.  All areas finished below average thanks to the cold weather pattern. Rainfall was 25 to 50% of average n E KS/W MO and 50-75% of average in E MO & S IL. Abnormal dryness, as defined by the U.S. Drought monitor, had not yet returned to the region, but may do so in the next few weeks.  These next three maps show the total observed precipitation, the difference from average and the percent of average (click to make the images more readable).

2014-11-30-2300-NOVPCPTTL 2014-11-30-2301-NOVPCPDEP 2014-11-30-2302-NOVPCPPCT

Lets take a closer in look at the district for November.  These are total observed precipitation maps:

The first map is for the KC/Topeka area.  Pale yellow tones show 1″ of rain, while dark to light blue show 1/2 to .90″ of rainfall. Most of the KC Metro had only .60″ to .90″ of moisture for the month.  Topeka averaged about the same.  Areas further west had even less..some spots only 0.10″ to 0.30″ all month. Southeast of KC where the oranges and reds (indicating 2″+) those areas had much more moisture.


For SEMO/SW IL/STL, the area fared better, but remember, AVERAGE November rains are much higher here..so even these totals 2-4″ were below average.



No big snow events were recorded in November, but the STL area was the clear winner with the snows that did fall:

The St. Louis area had 4 days with a trace of snow, 1 day with .7″ of snow and 2 days with 1-2″ of snow. These combined totals brought 3.8″ in the snowfall bucket for November, above the long term average. Kansas City had 5 days with snow, all of .3″ or less and finished with just 1/2″ in the snowfall bucket for November, below the long term average.

Autumn (September-October-November):

Autumn was cool and wet for some and cool and dry for others. Overall temperatures were nearly 2 degrees below average.  KC was 2.1 degrees below average and STL was 1.9 degrees below average.

Lets take a look at how the U.S, North America and the northern hemisphere fared in Autumn.  This next series of maps show the temperature departure (or difference) from the long term average (which is considered to be a rolling 30-year period – now and until 2021, the UN World Meteorological Organization uses 1981-2010). Remember these are in degrees C so the numbers appear smaller than if the charts used degrees F.

The US:


Most of the U.S. east of the continental divide was below average and our area was near the coolest part of the country.  The west was warm.

North America:


Much of Canada/Mexico was also cooler. Far NW Canada and Alaska was warmer than average.

The northern hemisphere:


A wide view shows cold weather over much of eastern Europe, Siberia and central Asia — while the Far East, central and western Europe were mild.  The coldest spot was in Siberia, mostly due to the early development of a snow pack.

Rainfall varied.  The two “official” reporting stations both observed above average rainfall including +2.29″ in KC and + 1.37″ in STL.

In stark contrast, much of SEMO/SW IL had only 50-75% of average rain, with the same for areas just south of KC and over into eastern KS. This is evident on the maps shown below.  The gold tones on the maps indicate areas below average. This clearly indicates that both reporting stations were JUST on the southern edge of the above average rain are over MO/IL along and north of I-70.

. 2014-11-30-2305-AUTPCPPCT 2014-11-30-2304-AUTPCPDEP

A majority of the seasons rain fell in two separate heavy rain events in October. The graphic below shows October 1-3 with the hot pink and purple tones 5″+, the orange tones 3-5″ and the green and yellow tones 1-2″. Much of SEMO/SW IL missed these widespread rains, with very localized heavier totals.


Another major rain event happened October 9/10 taking a slightly more southward track, but again missing much of SEMO/SW IL.  The heaviest totals fell in the SW MO Ozarks, with a secondary band from NE KS through KCI and Columbia to WSW of STL.


This map shows the total observed rain for Autumn over the region.


This map shows Autumn rain over the entire central U.S.


Taking a closer-in look at the area (click the maps to make them more readable) In these maps, the tan equals 16″, light brown 14″, medium brown 12″, dark brown tones equal 10″, deep red 8″, the next lighter shade red 6″.

In the Kansas City/Topeka areas (first map) a majority of the KC Metro is deep red (8″) with dark (10″) and medium brown (12″) just north of downtown. That small speck of medium brown is very near the Kansas City INTL airport, the official reporting station for the city.  The Topeka area is in the 5″ range, and blends toward some very dry three month totals to the south and west.


In the STL/SEMO/SW IL area the immediate STL area is around 10″ with 12-14″ totals north through west of the city.  For SEMO/SW IL the area is depicted in 8-10″ totals, with most of the heaviest totals down over the SEMO Ozarks.  Even though these totals are just a little bit lower than STL, AVERAGE rainfall is higher here than in KC/STL so that means the same amount of rain is LOWER than average here.





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