Second Driest November On Record Rekindles Regional Drought Concerns

According to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in North Webster, Indiana (KIWX), November 2012 was characterized by well below normal precipitation, with Fort Wayne recording its second driest November on record. Despite several short warm spells during the month, temperatures were below normal for the fourth month in a row.

“Cool Canadian high pressure remained largely in control outside of a few fast-moving ‘clipper’ systems that brought warmer temperatures and little to no rainfall to the area,” said the KIWX report. “This allowed for drought conditions across the area to rocket back to d1 or moderate drought levels, with below normal rainfall, stream flows and water levels.”

Total precipitation for the month at Fort Wayne was a scant 0.60 inches, which is 2.49 inches below normal. This is the second driest November on record, ranking only behind 1917, which saw 0.23 inches of precipitation. Measurable precipitation fell on just three out of the 30 days of November at Fort Wayne International Airport, with 0.53 inches falling on November 12. With only three days of measurable precipitation, November of 2012 ties the record for least number of days in any month with measurable precipitation. Measurable snow fell on two days in November, bringing the monthly total to 0.5 inches. This is 1.3 inches below normal.

The STRO1 gauge monitoring the Tiffin River at Stryker is using its numbers to tell the tale of the drought. Although the river has risen back to 2.59 feet as of December 7, it had dropped down to as little as 2.45 feet from November 30 through December 2. The flow rate during that period was an anemic 0.0505 kcfs. At the time of this writing, the flow rates stands at 0.575 kcfs. What do these numbers indicate? Consider this…the Tiffin River at Stryker begins to top its banks at 11 feet. The ‘action’ stage when flooding is anticipated is nine feet, with a flow rate of 0.8 kcfs. As you can see, the levels and the flow rates are lower than a Black Friday sale price.

The average monthly temperature of 39.6 degrees was 1.8 degrees below normal, but a warm spell with temperatures in the 60s from November 9 through 12 helped increase the monthly average. The warmest temperature of the month was on the tenth when the high temperature reached 69 degrees. The lowest temperature of the month was 21 degrees on November 5 and 14.

So, we have just gone through a bone-dry month with continued colder than normal temperatures. You all know what that means…the global warming hand wringers are out in force, and the United Nations is beating the loudest drum. Having informed that United States that it is ‘growing tired’ of waiting for our enactment of the industry-crippling legislation that they have sponsored to stave off the doomsday predictions of manmade global warming, the UN is taking action against its own membership that disagrees with what it calls objective science.

A former advisor to Margaret Thatcher in England, Lord Monckton was ejected from the UN Climate Conference for pointing out that the English Meteorological Office published a piece that said that global temperatures have not risen since 1997. Not only was he ejected, his UN diplomatic credentials were revoked, and there was an outcry to have him deported. So much for debate and civil discourse…accept global warming or be cast out!

Phil Jones is a global warming advocate, and a climatologist from the University of East Anglia. You may remember him as one of the scientists whose e-mail accounts were hacked, and embarrassing e-mails from his account about covering up the fraud of global warming were published. When confronted about the natural cycles of the sun and the oceans as unaccounted for sources of climate change in his computer models, his response was a stunning, “We don’t fully understand how to input things like changes in the oceans, and because we don’t fully understand it you could say that natural variability is now working to suppress the warming. We don’t know what natural variability is doing.” Great science! When the facts say you are wrong…plead ignorance, blame global warming on global warming, and then continue to warn of the perils of global warming. Sarcasm aside, if one does not know how to account for natural variants, how would one know whether or not a natural variant is underway? Somebody pass the aspirin.

Looking ahead to the all-important end-of-the-month prognostications pointing to potential preferential precipitation (a.k.a. are we having a White Christmas or not); the Climate Prediction Center is sending mixed signals. On the plus side, the CPC has our area in a 33-percentile bracket for above normal precipitation. Considering what we have seen lately, that would be good news all the way around. The not-so-great news is that it needs to be cold enough to fall as snow, and the CPC has us in a 33-percentile bracket for above normal temperatures. A look at the calendar says we’ll find out in a couple weeks.

Of course if you are looking at a Mayan calendar, the world will have ended four days prior to Christmas, rendering the entire question as moot. I guess that’s one way of not having to shovel out your driveway.

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