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By Bob Valen 

November was drier and cooler

Weather Watcher


The joy of working with computer recording software unsurprisingly leads to a bit of frustration. Here at the home weather station we have a gap of eight days lost – the last eight days of November.

For November reporting purposes, I’ll be using data from another local recorded weather station. Temperature ranges were as follows: the low for the month was 14°F (Nov. 21) and the high was 56 (Nov. 1). The all-time low for November was -10°F in 1985, while the all-time high was 69°F in 1989. November temperatures were below the mean low by 1.5°F and below the mean high by 1.1°F. Precipitation was below the mean (1.24 inches) as well at only 0.81 inches. Looking at past recent weather records shows that we’ve had a mix of snow or not for the month of November.

Yes, the problem with my recorded weather data seems to be mended and we are recording once again – I’m a happy weather hobbyist.

I had a call from a reader asking about the appearance of a strong reflective glare around the sun. The person said it looked like two suns in the sky. This is called parhelion or sun dog. Sundogs generally appear as a colored patch of light to the left or right of the sun.

They are seen around the world during any season. Sundogs are best seen and are most noticeable when the sun is low and it’s cold. If the horizon is flat and clear you will likely see two reflections — one to the left and one to the right. Here’s an explanation of the cause: “Sundogs are commonly made by the refraction of light from plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds or, during very cold weather, these ice crystals are called diamond dust, and drift in the air at low levels. These crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them with a minimum deflection of 22°. If the crystals are randomly oriented, a complete ring around the sun is seen — a halo. But often, as the crystals sink through the air, they become vertically aligned, so sunlight is refracted horizontally — in this case, sundogs are seen.” (Source: Wikipedia)

If you are watching the evening sky, Venus is visible near the horizon to the southwest and very bright. As Venus sets, to the east is Jupiter. These are two planets visible in December — like night lights at the opposite ends of the night sky room. Our full moon occured on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

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