NOAA's National Climatic Data Center today released its analysis showing that November 2008 was warmer than the long-term average across the United States. The monthly average of 44.5°F was 2.0°F above the 20th Century average. For the year so far, the January to November average temperature of 54.9°F was 0.3°F above the 20th Century average. Temperature highlights for November from NOAA:
- November temperatures were cooler than average across the Southeast and Central regions, and much warmer than average in the Southwest, Northwest and West regions.
- The West region had its fourth warmest November on record. This contrasted with the Southeast, which was much below normal.
- Persistent above-average temperatures for the last six months have resulted in a record warm June-November period for the West region. California set a record for its warmest June-November, while both Nevada and Utah had their fifth warmest June-November period.
- Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index, the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand was 0.6 percent below average in November.
Precipitation averaged 1.93" for the month across the U.S. This was about 10% below the 100-year average. Precipitation highlights:
- The United States measured above-normal precipitation across the northern Great Plains from eastern Montana to western Minnesota. However, November was drier than normal across much of the South and Central regions.
- Precipitation across most of the Midwest was only 50-75 percent of normal and some areas from southern Missouri through central Illinois received less than 50 percent of normal precipitation.
- The January-November period has been persistently wet across much of the country from the central Plains to the Northeast. The 11-month period was the wettest on record for New Hampshire and Massachusetts, second wettest for Missouri, third wettest for Vermont and Illinois, and fifth wettest for Maine and Iowa.
- At the end of November, 22 percent of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought, about the same as October. Meanwhile, extreme-to-exceptional drought conditions continued in the western Carolinas, northeast Georgia, eastern Tennessee, southern Texas, and Hawaii.
- About 26 percent of the contiguous United States was in moderately-to-extremely wet conditions at the end of November, according to the Palmer Index. This was a decrease of about three percent compared to October.