October is going to go down as a “Tale of Two Halves” if I may pun Charles Dickens’ work of a “Tale of Two Cities”. Outside of the very cool first couple of days at the beginning of the month the weather turned sunny and very dry, a call that was made here in mid September for the first half of this month. Many places did not see any rain for the first 12 days of October and temperatures averaged above normal through that time period. Things started changing on the 13th when a storm came through giving the area rainfall and dropping temperatures back to average. This snap back set the stage for a very deep low to crawl its way through the region October 16th through 21st. Most areas received over 2″ of rain and temperatures fell to below normal. Reports of even a few ice pellets, sleet, snow pellets and grains were seen across the Dayton area with the cold air rushing in as the low departed. Today and tomorrow another storm will be affecting us with more rainfall and a fall in temperatures before another disturbance, weaker of course, zips through here Saturday. So the area experienced both ends of the spectrum for the 10th month of the year.
On a records fact, Cleveland, Ohio has set their yearly rainfall record already in 2011, Cincinnati will likely break their record by tomorrow, and Dayton is closing in on theirs. When you take into account that April and May were downright water-logged, add a very wet September to the mix it was easy to see the trend was in the favor for a very wet year. Then with the likelihood of an above normal October in terms of rainfall, records certainly were meant to be broken in 2011.
So what does November have in store for the general Ohio Valley? For the first half of the month, I see a yo-yo pattern with frequent storms. Temperatures out ahead of the front spike to above normal, only to fall to below normal after frontal passage. This will allow the rainfall to keep adding to records. Cincinnati could be over 60″ of rainfall for the year by the middle of November, if not sooner, and Dayton should eclipse 50″ during this time frame, as well.
The second half of the month continues to look more and more interesting for the prospects of snow. I believe snow threats increase significantly past November 15th and I believe an accumulating snowfall will occur in this period. It is way too far out to predict amounts but some murmuring of 1950 have come to the forefront. If you do not remember November 25-27, 1950, I will briefly fill you in.
A surface low pressure got organized and deepened rapidly in western North Carolina. The low proceeded to move north and northwest into the Virginia’s and western Pennsylvania into northeastern Ohio. In the warm side of the storm, destructive winds over 80 miles per hour, with gusts over 100 miles, occurred. Severely cold temperatures and strong winds occurred on the back side with many states recording all time record lows for November. States like Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky dropped into the single digits, a few places even below 0 degrees thanks to that storm.
Snowfall was also historic in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Pickens, West Virginia received 57 inches while Pittsburgh picked up 30.5″ of snow. Back in Ohio, Steubenville collected 44″ of the white stuff while Dayton received around a foot. When you add the winds to the scenario, you had a raging Blizzard across the Buckeye state. If you are highly interesting in Ohio State or Michigan football, take a look at some of the documents, because that game was dubbed the “Snow Bowl” in a game where Michigan won 9-3.
Now before you start declaring “Armageddon”, this is not what I am forecasting. The above was to highlight the potential weather we are in and what could happen. Over the last several weeks we have had storms intensify and slow down over this part of the country. All our 2-3″ rain storms over the couple of month, if it were snow, could be just like the 1950 Great Appalachian Storm. I definitely will be watching though to see if a solution like that comes around this winter season.
As far as specifics for November, I am going with temperatures averaging 1-2 degrees below average. Average highs starts in the upper 50s to low 60s and then cool steadily into the middle 40s to near 50 by month’s end. As far as rainfall, the general average is just under 3.50″ of rain, but given the pattern I believe rainfall will average above normal as well. A lot is going to depend on what side of the storm we end up during the second half of the month. With the way the storms have been deepening across the eastern sections of the United States, wind could be a problem from time to time. If cold air locks in place, rainfall totals could be a bit less but snowfall could be much higher. With that being said, this year does look conducive for an accumulating snow. How much and when? Well, keep checking back for future updates and I will let you know!
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By Weather Specialist Josh Ketchen