Finger on the Weather

A remarkably warm November bids farewell

Chris Darrow takes advantage of the beautiful weather on Nov. 3 at Central Riverside Park. 2016 saw one of the warmest Novembers in Wichita’s history. (Nov. 3, 2016)
Chris Darrow takes advantage of the beautiful weather on Nov. 3 at Central Riverside Park. 2016 saw one of the warmest Novembers in Wichita’s history. (Nov. 3, 2016) The Wichita Eagle

To say November had a warm personality in the Wichita area might just be an understatement.

In fact, only one November has been warmer in Wichita’s history, according to the National Weather Service.

The average temperature for the month was 53.1 degrees, more than 7 degrees above normal, according to weather service data. An average temperature departure of 3 degrees is considered substantial by meteorologists, so 7 degrees is huge.

Only 1999 had a warmer November in Wichita since records began being kept in 1888, with an average temperature of 53.3 degrees.

“Bottom line: It was certainly warm” in November, National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Caruso said.

Record highs were set on three different days: on Nov. the 1, 15 and 16.

But “the big one” for November novelties, weather service meteorologist Paul Howerton said, was the high of 84 on Nov. 16. The 84 degrees didn’t just set a record for that date – breaking the old mark by 7 degrees – it was the warmest Wichita has ever been that late in the year.

Numerous record highs were set elsewhere in the state, particularly in southwest Kansas.

Wichita’s first freeze came on Nov. 12, which was the eighth-latest first freeze since weather records began being kept in 1888. The temperature has fallen to 32 degrees or lower just eight times during the month, records show.

November wasn’t just unusually warm for Wichita, it was also remarkably dry. Just 0.26 of an inch of rain fell during the month, more than an inch below the monthly average.

But Wichita remains substantially above average for annual rainfall. The total so far in 2016 is 49.94 inches, which is 18.54 inches above normal.

That’s good for third-wettest year in Wichita history, and 2016 is little more than a half-inch below 1951’s total of 50.48 inches.

With just a typical December, Howerton said, 2016 should jump behind only 2008, when 53.82 inches of rain fell. An average of 1.2 inches of rain falls in December in Wichita, records show.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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