Does a Warm November Mean a Warm Winter?

You don’t need to be a meteorologist to figure out November was much warmer than normal. In fact, many cities and towns logged their warmest November on record.

Hingham

November 2011 was the warmest on record in Hingham, where records date back to 1960. The average high temperature was 58.5, with the average low coming in at 37.9. Combined, that resulted in an average temperature of 48.2. That’s a whopping 5.7 degrees above average! Furthermore, the mercury rose to 60+ on 15 days, or half the month! That’s quite remarkable.

Boston

In Boston, where records go back to 1872, November 2011 came in as the second warmest November ever recorded. The average high was 58.5 and the average low was 42.2. Combined, that resulted in an average temperature of 50.4. Like Hingham, that’s 5.7 degrees above normal!

In addition, Boston logged its all time warmest Autumn (September-November). The average temperature during that time was 58.5, which is 4.0 degrees above average. The old record of 58.3 dated back to 1931.

Blue Hill

Atop Blue Hill in Milton, where weather records go back to 1885, November 2011 was also the warmest recorded. The average maximum temperature was 57.0, the average low was 40.4, and the average temperature was 47.9. That’s a stunning 6.9 degrees above average! This month beat out November 1975 by 0.5 degrees to snatch the record.

As in Boston, this was also Blue Hill’s warmest Fall season on record with an average temperature of 55.1 The old record of 54.8 dates back to 1931.

What it Means for Winter

So, does all this November warmth mean it will be a warm winter? According to data from Blue Hill, the answer is likely yes. When examining the top 20 warmest Novembers on record, and then comparing the following winter months (December-February), one finds that only 2 subsequent winters were colder than average. The remaining 18 winters were near or above average, some by as much as 5-7 degrees. Recall that several weeks ago I also posted about the fact that snowy Octobers typically correlate with below average snowfall winters.

Of course, only time will tell if these correlations prove to be correct.