Low temperatures, moisture levels featured in November

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By Scot Johnson

The first week of November was unseasonably warm, with daily averages around 50 degrees in Los Alamos.
But a strong cold front from the west on Nov. 9 caused temperatures to plummet into winter.
Temperatures slowly climbed to the norm around Nov. 20, but quickly dropped again for Thanksgiving.
Overall, Los Alamos was a degree colder than normal and White Rock was two degrees colder. A few dustings of snow were all the precipitation to be seen in Los Alamos during November.
In some ways, November resembled spring, when low-pressure systems and cold fronts pass and bring strong winds, which also occurs when the jet stream is howling directly above.
We had our share of atmospheric dynamics during November, but when there is little moisture going with it, there is little rain and such storms are simply “wind-bags.”
Blame La Niña. The cold waters in the top few hundred meters of the eastern tropical Pacific cause atmospheric moisture to go north, as if the Pacific Northwest did not have overcast skies already.
The correlation between La Niña and our weather is far from perfect. Nonetheless, the phrase “La Niña” offers a quick and satisfactory response when someone asks why we haven’t had any real snow yet.

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