Even though Hurricane Sandy helped create a wet start to the month for several states, November 2012 went into the record books as the second-driest November since 1895 in the Northeast region, according to data from Cornell's Northeast Regional Climate Center. With an average of 1.04 inches of precipitation, the region received only 27 percent of its normal level.
The driest November was in 1917, when the Northeast received only 0.88 inches of precipitation.
All states in the region were drier than average. Departures ranged from 16 percent of normal in Connecticut, their second-driest November, to 37 percent of normal in New Jersey, their 11th driest. Of the remaining states, New Hampshire, Vermont and West Virginia had their second-driest November; Delaware, Maine, Maryland and New York had their third driest. Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts also ranked in the top 10 driest Novembers.
Overall for autumn, the Northeast was slightly drier than average, with 11.36 inches of precipitation (98 percent of normal). The region was split down the middle, with half of the states drier and half the states wetter than normal. Connecticut took the title of driest state with only 78 percent of normal, while Delaware led the wet states with 120 percent of normal.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor, issued Nov. 27, indicated abnormal dryness continued in upstate New York while a new area of abnormal dryness popped up near the Vermont-New Hampshire border and in central-southern West Virginia.
In addition to being dry, the Northeast was cooler than normal for November, in spite of a brief mid-month warm-up. With an average temperature of 37.2 degrees, it was 2.5 degrees cooler than normal and was the coolest November since 1997.
All states reported below-average temperatures for the first time since October 2009. West Virginia and Maine were the coolest at 4.1 degrees below average. Departures for the rest of the states ranged from 4 degrees below normal in New Jersey to 0.9 degrees below normal in Vermont.
Autumn's overall average temperature of 50 degrees was average for November in the Northeast. West Virginia was the coolest at 1.6 degrees below average for the season. Of the warm states, Vermont was the warmest at 1.1 degrees above average.
For more information, including precipitation and temperature tables and maps, see: http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu/impacts/Impacts_11-12.html.