Isobar looks at November weather 2012.12.12

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

When George Isobar makes his annual graph next month showing the month-by-month precipitation, he knows what it's going to look like: Below average almost throughout the year.

November is likely going to take the prize as the lightest month of all.

"I knew there wasn't a lot of rain falling last month," he said, "but I was really surprised when I totaled it up and got just 85 hundredths of an inch."

Isobar, who maintains Morenci area climate information for the National Weather Service, said there was one month like that last year and that one was even stranger yet: only .65 and in June.

"Over the last 30-odd years, we've averaged around three inches of precipitation in November," he said. "This year was the second lowest we had over that time period. It's certainly a long way from the record-setting November just a year ago when 7.75 inches fell."

Only 0.83 of an inch was measured in 1976 and 0.85 in 1980.

About three-fourths of the rain fell during a storm on Nov. 12. There were only two other days where there was much of anything.

"We did have our first snow last month, if you can call it that," Isobar said. "There was a brief period of snow pellets that fell on the afternoon of Nov. 12, and some actual flakes Nov. 23 and 24, but nothing measurable. Winter isn't here yet."

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows the Morenci-Fayette area remaining in the category of "unusually dry" at the end of November, with an area of "moderate drought" starting not too far to the west and stretching beyond Chicago.

At the end of October, a third of the country was classified in "severe to extreme drought" and half of the country fell into the "moderate to extreme drought" category.

Cooler than average

Isobar recorded three days in the 60-degree range, with a high of 68° Nov. 11, and 10 days in the 50s. There were only four days where the temperature never climbed out of the 30s.

A low of 20° was recorded Nov. 6 and again on Nov. 13.

"There were plenty of chilly mornings with 17 of them in the 20s and eight of them in the low 20s," said Isobar.

November started off on the chilly side with nine days in a row colder than average. For the month, the departure from normal came in at 2.4° below.

It wasn’t the greatest month for wind turbines, Isobar noted, with an average wind speed of 5.8 miles an hour.

DECEMBER—Snowbirds have flocked into the Observer office to change their newspaper delivery to Florida and Arizona, but maybe they flew away too soon.

"They've missed some really nice weather," Isobar said, "but I don't expect it to last. We generally have some snow on the ground sometime during the month.”

There’s the rare year like 1998 when only a tenth of an inch fell all month, but the average is around eight inches for December.

“Our record snowfall for December occurred 11 years ago when 28.3 inches fell,” Isobar said. “We’ve got a long way to go to get anywhere near that mark. We’ll soon be half way through the month with barely a trace.”

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016