Not enough rain in November

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The final statistics for revealing what ought to happen in a November El Niño did not happen when it comes to precipitation. Only 1.21″ of rain fell in the eleventh month of the year. That’s just 41% of what should be measured. Rain totals of .01″ or more happened on just six days topped by .46″ on the 9th. It was hoped that November 2023 would rival November 2022 when 4.14″ fell.

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Another drier-than-normal month in Austin

High temperatures ended cooler than normal with an average of 68.3°. There were 18 days that showed below average, including five where the maximum did not get out of the 50s. When combined with the average low of 50.6°, the mean temperature for November wound up to be 59.5°, 1.5° below normal. It’s the first month since April where the mean temperature was lower than the average.

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How do these numbers compare with Austin records? The graphic below indicates that there really was nothing that stands out when looking at our historical numbers:

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Kind of a humdrum month, numbers-wise

We will hope for a wetter December. However, in their update before the start of December, the Climate Prediction Center only gives our area a forecast of near-normal precipitation. That would mean just 2.72″ making December the fifth driest month.

The wettest December day on record was 6.34″ on Dec. 3, 1913, and, yes, it can snow in December. The snowiest December day was on the 21st in 1929, when 4.5″ fell.

What’s interesting to note is that the map below is not what one would expect during an El Niño December. Much of our state is forecast in that Near Normal outlook. The area from Dallas to Houston eastward does have a wetter outlook. We’re even seeing the southeast in a wetter forecast, something not expected during a normal December El Niño.

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Not a typical December El NIño

Even temperatures are not expected to fall in line with a cooler-than-normal forecast which an El Niño is supposed to provide. The CPC says, yes, it will be Warmer Than Normal.

These are the normal numbers in a “typical” December, the second coldest month of the year:

  • 63.9″ Average High
  • 43.4″ Average Low
  • 53.6″ Mean Temperature
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December’s “normal” numbers

Here’s hoping for more rain than forecast and, yes, a little snow.

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