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November Almanac

“November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year.” Louisa May Alcott

November is the transition month to winter across much of the country, and Alabama is no exception. The days are approaching their shortest of the year, and the heat budget is becoming increasingly negative, so average temperatures are dropping.

The storm track is becoming more active and precipitation totals are increasing. There is a secondary severe weather season in November in Alabama that in some recent years has been busier than the spring primary season. In 2002, an unusually strong outbreak on November 10th produced a series of ten tornadoes across North Alabama that killed 12. Two of the tornadoes were rated F3.

According to the long term averages from 1981-2010, 4.85 inches of rain falls in the month. The most ever observed is 15.25 inches in 1948. It generally rains on 9.1 days. Thunderstorms are observed on average on 1.9 November days. On average, there is no snow. The most snow ever observed in November was 1.4 inches in 1950.

At the start of the month, the average high is 69 degrees. It will fall to 60 degrees by month’s end. The normal monthly high is 64.0F. In November 1931, the normal high was 72.4F, the warmest November on record. It has been as warm as 85F, in 1998, 2000 and 2003.

Average lows start off at 46 degrees, and fall to 38 by month’s end. The average low is 41.8F. The coldest average low was in the cold winter of 1976-77, when the November average low was 33.8F. In the eleventh month, it has been as cold as 5F, back on November 25, 1950. The next coldest reading was 8 degrees higher…on November 24, 1970.

The sky is cloudy 33 percent of the time. The sky is clear 31 percent of the time. Only October averages more clear sky time in the Magic City. Dense fog is observed on one day in the month on average.

Photograph by Kathy Bell, owner of kbella photography.