WEATHER NEWS: November weather outlook for Washington, D.C.: Warm and dry


After the first-cooler-than normal October since 2015 and chilliest since 2006, Washingtonians are about to see the weather script flipped. November, we anticipate, will be notably warmer than normal.

For the month ahead, we project an average temperature of 51 to 55 degrees, or 1 to 5 degrees above the norm (49.9 degrees). Like October, which was nearly an inch drier than normal, we lean toward November being on the dry side, with just 2 to 2.5 inches of rain compared with the norm of 2.91 inches. We don’t foresee any snowfall, even though November is the first month of the cold season that averages a measurable amount: 0.1 inches.

The anticipated warmth and lack of precipitation should make for plenty of mild, dry days at a time of year that is notorious for being damp and blustery. The first week of the month, in particular, looks magnificent.

The warmer pattern should dominate for much of the first half of November. Though we need to monitor a cold front late next week, which could briefly cool things down, expect many days with highs in the 70s ahead.

Computer models are in excellent agreement on the prevailing warmth during the first half of the month:

The models also lean toward generally dry conditions to complement the warmth:

Though the month might start off rather tranquil, La Niña conditions in the Pacific can sometimes result in volatile weather in the East at this time of year. We will need to watch the development of a cold air mass in western Canada that could affect the Lower 48 by the middle of the month. Long-range forecast models for the second half of November still lean warm, but not as strongly as the first half in the East:

While November promises to be on the warm side, October was Washington’s first cooler-than-normal month since June. The average high of 58.2 degrees was 2.6 degrees cooler than normal. The month ranked as the 67th coolest October since the late 1800s, tying 1908 and 1935. Although this October was cool relative to the most recent 30-year average, it would have been a pretty typical month a century ago.

The 2.78 inches of rain was more than September and August, but it fell short of normal by 0.88 inches to mark the driest October since 2017 and the 79th driest on record. You can see which days were warmer and cooler than normal and wet and dry, in the calendar graphic below — which also labels the extremes:

Only one day of record-setting weather occurred. As the rainy remnants of Hurricane Ian transited the region Oct. 4, high temperatures were held in the mid-50s, the coolest on record for the date in Washington and at Dulles International Airport.

A month ago, we predicted the first cooler- and wetter-than-normal October in 11 years. Our prediction for the temperatures (zero to 3 degrees cooler than normal) was spot on, but our forecast for somewhat above-normal rainfall failed. We’d give our prediction a grade of B minus.

2022 is now 75 percent complete and, assisted by the cool and dry October, it continues to pace cooler and drier than last year but very close to normal.

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