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October was cold and wet, but November was the opposite with dry and mild conditions throughout, save for two minor storms. Mean temperatures in Los Alamos were nearly five degrees above normal and the precipitation total at month’s end was merely one quarter of an inch, about one fifth of what we expect in November in Los Alamos.
Following two weeks of very mild temperatures and clear skies, November’s first storm arrived on the thirteenth. A low pressure system carried a cold front and some moisture from west to east across northern New Mexico. But as is often the case with winter storms from the northwest, we were not left with significant precipitation. The big winter storms usually come from the west or southwest where the warmer, moister air sees lower terrain until it reaches our higher elevations and is forced to unload.
High pressure followed the mid-month storm, bringing stability and clear skies but also cool air from the north. Temperatures steadily dropped from the 13th through the 15th. From there, temperatures rebounded to above normal until the second and last storm which arrived the weekend after Thanksgiving. As before, a glazing of snow and overcast skies were all that we had to show for it.
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