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By Bob Valen 

November leaves a touch of snow

Weather Watcher


Our snowfall certainly wasn’t anything to get too thrilled about. Over a two-day period, the Dec. 10-11, we got 1.9 inches of snowfall here at the home weather station. That’s slightly more than the November mean of 1.4 inches. Mean precipitation for November is 1.25 inches, while we recorded a meager half inch here at home.

For the year, we are well above our average precipitation of 10.50 inches, currently at 13.56 inches here at home.

We had a November mean temperature at 40.9°F, below the November mean of 43.6°F. The recorded low temperature was 21.5°F. Record low was a minus 10°F back in 1985. The November average is 31.5°F.

As I write this month’s column there is snow on the ground. I measured six tenths of an inch today. It’ll stick around, with our expected cool temperatures. Our new dog has a thing for snow; nose to the ground he roots right on through the snow. Mean snowfall for December is 4.7 inches, so we need more snowfall to at least hit the mean. December is a bit wetter than November with mean precipitation at 1.41 inches.

The National Climate Prediction Center (CPC) says of the three-month period of December, January and February for Washington state: “temperature and precipitation both have similar outlooks: there are equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal temperature and precipitation for the whole state. This appears to be one of those times for which seasonal anomalies are less predictable.”

For four and a half years I’ve been an active volunteer observer with Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). This organization operates out of Colorado State University. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are major sponsors of CoCoRaHS. In their mission statement it says, “By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications.”

The data are used by a lot of different entities and has a growing importance. I’d like to encourage readers of this column to sign up as volunteers. There is a one-time cost to purchase the rain gauge. If you’re interested, visit the website at

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