How quickly the seasons go! It seems like we just got settled in to fall, and here we are leaping into the first week of meteorological winter. At the end of our October recap, I made some general predictions for the month of November. I said we'd likely start the month with above average temperatures, with several days in the 60's or even near 70º being possible. That did end up being the case, as we hit 70º on November 5th, with a couple of days topping out in the 60's as well during that first week of November. But hey - that was the easy part. More difficult to predict was my call for an accumulating snow event by the end of the month - which was... not so accurate (though we did have a trace of snow reported on November 22nd).
Precipitation was forecast to be above-average, with near average temperatures for the month. Though we did get off to a rainy and stormy start to the month, November comes to a close 0.62" below average, with a monthly precipitation total of 3.06". Precipitation fell on 11 of 30 days in C-U last month. Temperatures were about what was expected, finishing the month 1.2º above average.
You may remember, October was what I'd call consistently streaky - with three straight weeks of above-average warmth, closed out with a week of colder-than-average temperatures. We also saw rain fall on ten consecutive days in mid-October. November was a little more difficult to get settled into - though we did ease into the month pretty steady on the warm and gloomy side. Along with temperatures at times hitting the 60's and 70's, we saw rain or fog reported in Champaign-Urbana on six of the first seven days to start the month. We even found ourselves under a Tornado Watch on November 5th, though much of the severe weather stayed off to our south that afternoon.
Following a spring-like start, the bottom fell out for a moment with 11 of the next 12 days having either colder-than-average, or average temperatures. Then, we hopped on the "It's fall in Central Illinois" roller-coaster. After a high temperature of 61º on the 18th, we fell to a high of just 36º the next day. We then bounced around between experiencing highs in the 50's and 30's for several days before ending the month on another warm note - with 8 consecutive days above average - the warmest of which had us nearly 20º above average on November 28th.
Where are we headed for December? And the million dollar question: will we have a white Christmas in Champaign-Urbana? For now, long-range forecasts for the month of December in our area call for below-average temperatures, and near average precipitation. We've started the month a bit warm - heck, as I'm writing this it's a blustery 60-degrees out there in early December. That's all about to change however, as colder, more typical winter weather arrives this week, and looks to lock itself into our region at least into mid-December.
But snow - what about snow? That's a little less certain. While the general weather pattern does pivot toward a more wintry setup with colder air frequently plunging out of Canada and into the Midwest, there really isn't a lot out there to hang your hat on as far as concrete evidence of a looming winter storm in our area. Rather than a pattern that is obviously conducive to big snow storms, I see us setup to see a few quick moving weather systems that could bring smaller doses of snow - you know, those cold and windy days that spit snowflakes in your face while you walk across the parking lot.
Ultimately, while the overall pattern would favor us at least seeing one or two storm systems bringing snowflakes to the area over the next several weeks, I can't tell you with any certainty when, or if we'll need to break out the shovels. So, will we have a snowy holiday in Champaign-Urbana? We're in good position with the weather pattern as a whole - but as far as being able to tell you with any confidence that I see specific snow makers looming in our near-term future that would provide snow the lasts into the holidays, I'm afraid I don't see it - yet!