While it may have been one of the warmest Novembers on record this year, that is not the only thing that was eye-catching in the month.
Nearly a week of record-setting temperatures at the beginning of November catapulted this month into the record books. The warmest temperature was 77° on November 9. This temperature was also the warmest it has ever been that late in the year.
The extra sunshine also allowed for temperatures to be warmer than normal. If we were locked in clouds, like we typically are in November, average temperatures would have surely been lower. We had the fourth sunniest November with 52% sunshine. We usually average 28% sunshine for the month and in 2019, we saw 18% sunshine.
A sunnier month, of course, meant the month came in drier than normal. We continued the drier than normal stretch, which began back in August, with a precipitation deficit of 1.24" and a 6.4" snowfall deficit.
November was also hit with a very strong windstorm, bringing gusts of 60+ mph to the area. This led to thousands without power along with significant beach erosion and lakeshore flooding.
While lakeshore issues continued, the drier month was key to reducing Lake Michigan water levels along with the seasonal decline. At the beginning of the year, when records continued to be broken, we mentioned that a dry stretch for several months was needed to get things under control. November was another drier than normal month, bringing Lake Michigan's water level a little over half-a-foot below the 1986 record. The water level is still about two-and-a-half feet above normal, but another dry month in the books will continue to help get us back to that number eventually.
December is expected to be another warmer than normal and drier than normal month. This would likely mean less snow than normal heading into 2021 and several days in the 40s, which would be above the normal December high temperatures in the 30s. A few days may also get into the 50s, but anything warmer is highly unlikely.