Record and near-record readings from coast to coast
November 2016’s average temperature across the U.S. was 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, making it the second-warmest on record, behind 1999. According to the latest monthly update from the National Centers for Environmental Information, November is warming at a rate of 6.6 degrees Fahrenheit per century. Only January has been warming faster, at a rate of 10.5 degrees Fahrenheit per century.
Idaho, North Dakota and Washington were record warm in November. Every state in the Lower 48 experienced an average temperature that above average. North Dakota’s average temperature was 12.8 degrees above normal, nearly 2 degrees above the previous record set in 1999. In the West, 15 states reported their second or third warmest November reading on record.
November was also drier than average, with some locations in the Southeast reporting no rain at all for 50 days in a row. Florida was record dry, and the overall drought footprint expanded to cover 31.5 percent of the lower 48 states.
For the fall season (September-November), The contiguous U.S. average temperature was 57.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 4.1 degrees above the 20th century average, making it the warmest autumn period on record for the second consecutive year. The previous record from 2015 was 56.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Across the contiguous 48 U.S., eight states were record warm (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas and Wisconsin). An additional 27 states had an average autumn temperature that was either second or third warmest on record. The warmest readings were reported across the northern tier states, including Minnesota, at 6.5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, Wisconsin 6.1 degrees above, Iowa, 5.9 degrees above ,and Michigan, at 5.7 degrees above. Both minimum and maximum temperatures were the warmest on record for the season.
The year to-date is the second-warmest on record for the U.S., just 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit behind 2012. Louisiana is the only state didn’t record a top-five temperature record for the period. Seven states (Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia) observed their warmest such period on record.
The average temperature across Alaska was 6.2 degrees above normal, resulting in a record warm year-to-date. Three out of the past four years have been record warm for Alaska.