After some impressive heat in September and October, Washington’s November frequently teetered on the edge of a winter chill.

The average temperature of 46.1 degrees was 0.4 degrees colder than last year, 3.5 degrees colder than the 30-year average and the coldest November since 1996′s average temperature of 44.1 degrees during the month. It ranked as the 48th-coldest November since records began in 1871.

November produced the coldest average temperature since February and was the first below-normal month (for temperatures) this calendar year. The month even set a few cold records (two each for Baltimore and Dulles).

Precipitation was also well below normal. The total rainfall of 1.37 inches was 1.8 inches less than average and the 31st-driest on record. The dry November boosted the fall (September to November) rainfall deficit to 2.01 inches. Nevertheless, 2019 is still running wetter than normal year-to-date with a surplus of 2.37 inches.

Here we present the extremes during the month, which featured the coldest weather midway through and relatively lackluster precipitation numbers:


No records were set in Washington, but a few for cold were established in Baltimore and at Dulles:

Saturday, Nov. 9:

Baltimore’s low of 24 degrees broke the record of 25 set in 2003, 1976 and 1967.

Wednesday, Nov. 13:

Baltimore’s low of 22 degrees tied the record set in 1911.

Dulles’s low of 19 degrees broke the 1963 record of 21.

Dulles’s high temperature of 37 degrees broke the previous record cold high of 38 from 1996.


The cold November pattern for the eastern parts of North America was driven by two high-pressure centers in the jet stream: one in the Gulf of Alaska and the other toward Greenland. These two features caused the jet stream to dip over the eastern United States, drawing down cold air.


November’s cold keeps 2019 from the top spot among warmest years so far, but it’s still up there in third place. The below normal precipitation outcome keeps this year in the middle of the pack over the past decade.

Here are the latest temperature and precipitation rankings for 2019:

How was our forecast for November?

A month ago, we made the following prediction for November:

We lean toward November running slightly cooler than normal (the 30-year average temperature is 49.6 degrees) with slightly above normal precipitation.

We were correct that the month would be chillier than normal, but we over-predicted rainfall. We give ourselves a grade of C+.