(Record?) Dry November

My coworkers always poke fun at me for being the go to “weather historian”. If there’s a Connecticut weather record I can probably tell you the year, date, location and other random details about that record. If there’s an upcoming weather anniversary I’ve probably already found video of it and come up with a way to cajole my producer into giving me extra time to geek out about weather history. It’s a bit of an issue.

Similarly, if we’re on pace to break any type of record chances are I’m not only excited about it but I’ve seen it coming for days.

Tonight I got an email from Rachel Frank at WTIC who is one of my best friends from college. I was flabbergasted with our email exchange.  I missed a weather record we have a shot of breaking!!!!!!

The biggest take away from all this is that yes we truly are weather dorks. There’s no denying that. The second take away is that we may actually beat that record! It’s unclear how wet (or white or icy) next Tuesday/Wednesday’s storm will be so it’s possible we’ll see the driest November on record. There’s a very good chance we’ll be in the top 10.

So in order to out-do Rachel with her dry November stat I figured I’d look at the seasonal snowfall following a top-10 dry November.

Here is the seasonal snowfall that followed the top 10 driest Novembers:

1976 – 49.4″
2001 – 17.1″
1933 – 65.8
1922 – 69.8″
1907 – 40.6″
1931 – 17.3″
1936 – 14.7″
1946 – 33.9″
1917 – 44.6″
1939 – 41.5″

There are a few things to note here. One, Hartford’s climate data was recorded downtown from 1904-1953 and then at BDL after that. The average snow downtown from 1904-1953 was 40.3″ while the average snow between 1954-2011 at BDL was 50.4″. This excludes 3 years of missing data in the late 90s.

There are a number of clunkers in that list. The snowfall during the 2001-2002, 1931-1932, and 1936-1937 seasons were horrific. Some of the least snowy seasons on record! That said, 1933-1934 makes up for it with a huge February blizzard. Of the 10 driest Novembers:

  • 4 winters featured near normal snowfall
  • 4 winters featured below normal snowfall
  • 3 winters featured above normal snowfall

There’s not much correlation between a dry November and seasonal snowfall but it was fun to look anyway. Thanks for the heads up Rach – now let’s try to break some snowfall records before our ski trip in December!


3 thoughts on “(Record?) Dry November

  1. The timing of this info is interesting. I was weeding some tree roots yesterday and today (got them from the Arbor Day Fdn in the spring) and was surprised, but pleased to see that the ground under the mulch seemed damp. I guess the mulch really helps. Or perhaps someone else has been watering.
    Also, what a difference between snow amounts nowadays and in the earliest years. I moved to Connecticut in 1977 and even then native Connecticans would say that winters used to be much colder and the snow amounts greater.

  2. You are both wrong about the driest November in Hartford. It was .46″ at Brainard Field. The .51″ was in Windsor Locks. Also precipitation was recorded in Hartford at several locations from 1846 to 1853, 1886 to 1899 (Trinity College), 1884 to 1891 (Ellsworth et al), 1897 to 1904 (Boardman), 1898 to1902 (Moore) and 1900 to 1904 (City Hall). None of these Novembers recorded less than .46″.

    • When was the 0.46″ at Brainard? The “Hartford Area” first order climate data was kept in Hartford (including a period of time in E. Hartford) until 1953 and then it was switched to BDL. While all the coop obs you mention are “official” from the NCDC… the first order climate records/obs only go back to 1904 and were moved in the 50s from around Hartford to BDL.

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