“Every reporting point was less precipitation than usual — especially the further northwest and west the you get in the state,” Hillaker says. “Some areas, especially in northwestern Iowa didn’t have any rain whatsoever. Places like Holstein in Ida County, Washtaw in Cherokee County were a whopping zero for the monthly total.”
Hillaker says it was only the eighth November in 131 years of records where the state averaged just a trace of snow. “Maquoketa had actually the most snow measured during the month — just three-tenths of an inch was all. Certainly most areas didn’t have any accumulation at all,” according to Hillaker. “The statewide average was just a trace of snow and typically we’d get three to four inches of snow during the month of November.” November of 2012 and 2009 were the most recent years where there was just a trace of snow recorded statewide.
He says drier and warmer conditions were part of the reason for the lack of snow. “Especially the second half of the month being unusually warm were it really wasn’t cold enough for snow very often and the second half of the month was very very dry. We really didn’t have much of any precipitation after the 18th — so quite a dry finish to what was a pretty dry month anyway,” Hillaker says.
Hillaker says it was one of the driest months in a decade. “Overall a state average of .43 of an inch of moisture for the month, which is about 20 percent of what is usual. And actually the driest of any calendar month going back to November of 2007,” Hillaker says. Last November was the second warmest on record, but and he things started out cold before finishing off with record warmth.
“Statewide average being 36.2 degrees, or just four-tenths of a degree colder than normal,” Hillaker says. “So in other words, the colder first half just barely canceling out the warmer second half of the month. So, things were backwards there as you usually expect the beginning of month to be warmer than the end. But this year is the other way around.”
Hillaker says one day stood out for its warmth. It was the day after Thanksgiving on the 24th, where most of the state set daily record highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Iowa City had the warmest temperature of 74 degrees. Hillaker says you probably are noticing your heating bills for the month were up quite a bit from last year as the temperatures returned to normal after the record warm month last year