November Warm Again

November marks the end of the Northern Hemisphere fall (Southern Hemisphere spring). And, just like the rest of the seasons this year, the September-November period was dominated by above-average temperatures across much of Earth.

The most anomalously warmer-than-average location during this past fall was across northern Russia, as temperatures were over 9 degrees F (5 degrees C) above average. But the heat was truly worldwide. South America, Oceania AND Europe all observed their warmest September-November on record. This past fall also saw Europe break the 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) temperature anomaly barrier for the season for the first time as the continent recorded temperatures 2.24 degrees C (4.03 degrees F) above average.

Down under, Australia helped to pace Oceania’s record-setting season as it also observed its warmest spring on record. Driving that record were particularly warm minimum temperatures that broke the previous record by 0.81 degrees F.

Year-to-date temperatures (January-November) fell just barely below the previous record set in 2016 with anomalies 1.8 degrees F (1.0 degree C) above average. And, like this past November, the year-to-date heat has been led by large above-average temperature anomalies (over 9 degrees F, or 5 degrees C) across northern Russia.

Regionally, while South America, Oceania and the Caribbean have all just experienced their second-warmest January-November on record, Europe and Asia one-upped them with their hottest on record. In fact, this was the first time that the January-November period was over 2.0 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) above average for both continents (Europe and Asia).

More details on the NOAA report are available at this link:….

In addition, November saw the north-central U.S. work deeper into drought conditions. From Sioux City, Iowa, north, precipitation from mid-November through mid-December was mainly 75% below normal, and in the central two-thirds of South Dakota, precipitation was more than 90% below normal. This dry pattern is in sharp contrast to a year ago, when the entire north-central U.S. had soil moisture profiles so full that the entire region was one big spring of running water. This dryness already has much of the grain market anticipating a dry start to the 2021 spring crop season west of the Mississippi. And, given the presence of a moderate La Nina in the Pacific Ocean, the prospect of moisture to ease this dryness is low ahead of the 2021 spring.

The combination of world heat and regional drought means that the November climate report gives plenty of reason for caution as 2020 winds down.

Bryce Anderson can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @BAndersonDTN

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