A lack of precipitation dominated the month of November for Kansas. Statewide average precipitation was just 0.10 inches, which is a 3-way tie for the sixth driest November on record. The driest November on record was in 1989 when the statewide average precipitation was zero, and the greatest amount reported was just 0.01 inches. The Southeast Division had the highest average of 0.37 inches or 14 percent of normal. The Southwest Division ended November as the driest with an average of zero. Thanks to the wet conditions in the Southwest division in September, it is still at 99 percent of normal for the September through November period.
The greatest monthly precipitation total for a National Weather Service (NWS) reporting station was 0.88 inches at Coffeyville Waterworks, Montgomery County. The greatest monthly total for a Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) station was 0.77 inches at Wichita 4.5 ENE, Sedgwick County. The greatest 24-our amounts were: 0.59 inches at Cedarvale 5SSE, Chautauqua County, on Nov. 29 (NWS); 0.64 inches at Beaumont 6.6 SSW, Butler County also on the Nov.29 (CoCoRaHS).
November ended on a warm note, pushing the statewide average to 44.2 degrees F or 1.6 degrees warmer-than-normal. That mark places it on the warm side of the distribution, and in a 7-way tie for the 36th warmest November since 1895. The warmest November on record occurred in 1999 when the statewide average temperature was 50.1 degrees F. There were 137 new record daily highs, one of which tied the monthly record high for the location (87 degrees F reported at Atwood, Rawlins County, on Nov.28). There were also 28 new record daily warm minimum temperatures. None of those set new records for the month.
On the cold side of the scale, there were 6 new record low maximum temperatures and 4 new record low minimum temperatures during November. The warmest reading of the month was 86 degrees F at Salina Airport, Saline County, on the 24th. The coldest temperature for the month was 12 degrees F reported at Burr Oak and Mankato, both in Jewell County, on the 22nd.
Despite the warmth at the end of November, measurable snow was reported in early November. Five locations in north central Kansas set daily records for snowfall. The greatest snowfall report was 2.5 inches at Ellis, Ellis County, on the 1st. This Halloween storm was the only significant snowfall event during November.
Given the dry conditions, there were no severe weather reports for November. Much below-normal precipitation, coupled with warmer-than-normal temperatures resulted in a steep increase in drought conditions. The area of ‘abnormally dry’ to ‘moderate drought’ increased by 33 percent in November. The December outlook calls for drier-than-normal conditions statewide. Given the low amount of moisture historically seen in December, improvement in the current drought status is not likely. With the wet summer and current dryness, increased fire danger is likely. See the accompanying article in this eUpdate, Wildland potential fire outlook for winter 2017, for more information on fire risks.
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library