Record Warm November!
Record Wet Fall!
November 2006 Climate Summary

Dr. David A. Robinson
New Jersey State Climatologist
Center for Environmental Prediction, Cook College/NJAES, Rutgers University

December 1, 2006
Updated: December 17

Without question, this past November was one of the warmest in New Jersey since statewide records commenced in 1895. A preliminary estimate places this past November's mean temperature at 49.9°F, surpassing the 49.6° of 1975 as NJ's warmest. This is 5.0° above the 1971-2000 normal. Four of the top ten warm Novembers have occurred in the past eight years (1999, 2001, 2003, 2006); the others were in 1902, 1931, 1948, 1975, 1985 and 1994.

Despite this warmth, some stations recorded a record low on the 6th, and a light ice storm affected the higher elevations of northwest NJ on Thanksgiving morning. Record highs were attained at some locations on the afternoons of the 11th and 16th.

November 2006 was the third consecutive wet month in the Garden State and the wettest since 1977. A preliminary estimate of 6.43" makes this the 6th wettest November on record (9.06" in 1972 topped all). Some stream and river flooding occurred following heavy rain on the 8th.

This past November's precipitation was 2.72" above average. Combined with the surpluses of 1.67" in September and 3.02" in October, fall precipitation totaled 18.78". This is the wettest on record, surpassing the previous maximum of 17.84 in 1907. As a result of a record wet October, fall 2005 ranks as third wettest (17.20"). Fall rains brought NJ reservoirs to capacity, when on average they would be at just over 70% full; and of course ground water and stream flow are above seasonal levels.

Despite November's warmth, slightly negative anomalies in September (-0.4°) and October (-0.1°) pulled the seasonal mean closer to normal, making it the 18th warmest fall on record. The mean fall temperature of 56.3° was 1.5° above average. The warmest fall was in 1931 (59.1°) and last year was the second warmest. Seven of the 20 warmest falls have occurred in the last 10 years.

The National Weather Service's winter 2006/2007 (December-February) outlook calls for most of the state to have a slightly greater chance of temperatures being above rather than below average. Their forecast makes no call for what precipitation leanings might be, and NWS forecasters are wise enough not to predict winter snowfall totals.

To determine this winter's outcome, battles will be fought between the tropical influence of what likely will be a mild El Nino event, and middle and high latitude forces (as reflected in the Pacific-North American and North Atlantic Oscillation indices). All influence the position and strength of the subtropical and polar jet streams, thus the frequency of cold and warm incursions into NJ, and the strength and position of precipitation bearing storms.

Past Climate Summaries