Weather 2000 - Title Graphic

The following is an excerpt of research conducted by Jeffrey D. Schultz, Chief Climatologist at Weather 2000. This case study was originally compiled in 1995, and has been updated each year. For additional information visit our research page.


Does a warm November foretell a warm Winter?

November average temperatures (departures from normal) for Washington, DC National Airport (DCA) are compared to Winter average temperatures (departures from normal). Climatological Winter is defined as December/January/February, normal is the 1981-2010 average, above normal is any positive anomaly, below normal is any negative anomaly, and exactly normal is no anomaly, ie 0.0 degrees.


Average Temperatures and Departures for DCA over 69 years (Degrees Fahrenheit)
SeasonNovemberDeparture DEC-FEBDeparture
1948-4951.41.9 42.23.8
1949-5048.1-1.4 42.84.4
1950-5147.9-1.6 37.8-0.6
1951-5244.1-5.4 40.92.5
1952-5348.2-1.3 40.72.3
1953-5448.1-1.4 40.11.7
1954-5545.2-4.3 36.8-1.6
1955-5645.5-4.0 36.4-2.0
1956-5746.1-3.4 39.51.1
1957-5849.50.0 35.7-2.7
1958-5949.80.3 35.6-2.8
1959-6046.8-2.7 39.51.1
1960-6148.4-1.1 33.0-5.4
1961-6250.20.7 35.1-3.3
1962-6344.8-4.7 31.9-6.5
1963-6449.80.3 34.7-3.7
1964-6551.01.5 36.7-1.7
1965-6649.50.0 36.7-1.7
1966-6749.50.0 37.5-0.9
1967-6845.0-4.5 35.2-3.2
1968-6950.00.5 35.9-2.5
1969-7047.2-2.3 34.4-4.0
1970-7149.3-0.2 36.7-1.7
1971-7248.1-1.4 40.11.7
1972-7346.7-2.8 39.41.0
1973-7451.62.1 41.32.9
1974-7550.81.3 41.53.1
1975-7654.44.9 40.42.0
1976-7743.0-6.5 33.2-5.2
1977-7851.82.3 33.9-4.5
1978-7952.22.7 35.5-2.9
1979-8054.44.9 39.00.6
1980-8148.5-1.0 38.80.4
1981-8251.31.8 34.9-3.5
1982-8351.82.3 40.82.4
1983-8450.30.8 37.3-1.1
1984-8546.0-3.5 38.0-0.4
1985-8654.34.8 35.7-2.7
1986-8746.5-3.0 37.1-1.3
1987-8849.80.3 36.6-1.8
1988-8949.90.4 38.80.4
1989-9047.9-1.6 38.90.5
1990-9152.02.5 42.03.6
1991-9248.8-0.7 40.62.2
1992-9348.8-0.7 37.9-0.5
1993-9448.8-0.7 34.4-4.0
1994-9553.33.8 39.30.9
1995-9643.1-6.4 35.2-3.2
1996-9744.1-5.4 41.53.1
1997-9846.2-3.3 42.54.1
1998-9950.30.8 41.12.7
1999-0053.13.6 40.01.6
2000-0146.6-2.9 36.1-2.3
2001-0254.85.3 43.24.8
2002-0347.1-2.4 34.0-4.4
2003-0453.13.6 35.9-2.5
2004-0551.01.5 38.50.1
2005-0650.20.7 39.30.9
2006-0750.71.2 38.60.2
2007-0849.80.3 40.92.5
2008-0946.6-2.9 37.2-1.2
2009-1052.22.6 35.8-2.6
2010-1150.50.9 36.6-1.7
2011-1252.42.8 43.35.0
2012-1346.6-3.0 41.33.0
2013-1446.6-3.0 37.4-0.9
2014-1548.0-1.6 36.5-1.8
2015-1653.74.1 42.03.7
2016-1752.52.9 43.95.6
Normal November is 49.6 - Normal DJF is 38.3


Analysis of above table

Number of times out of 69 years that:
ConditionNumber of TimesPercentage
A cold Nov is followed by a cold Winter2231.9%
A warm Nov is followed by a warm Winter1927.5%
A cold Nov is followed by a warm Winter1420.3%
A warm Nov is followed by a cold Winter1420.3%
Note: cold = below normal and warm = above normal


Thus, in the above analysis, we see that 59.4% of the time, a warm November is followed by a warm winter or a cold November is followed by a cold winter, while 40.6% of the time, warmth is followed by cold (or vice versa).


The following graph shows the departures from normal for November and Winter average temperatures, plotted against each other. The numbers were sorted in ascending order of November departures, to see if there was any type of grouping or correlation. The correlation coefficient is 0.2620, which is not statistically significant enough to use as a forecasting tool.

Does a warm November foretell a warm winter?

The answer clearly appears to be no. While long range winter temperatures can be predicted using a variety of forecasting methods, they can not be predicted strictly using the preceding November as a forecasting tool, and doing so has no scientific basis. * -








* - In the event that this research shall be proven to be inaccurate and that this inaccuracy shall have been caused by the act or default of the author or Weather 2000, Inc., then the liability of the author or Weather 2000, Inc., shall be none. Under no circumstances shall the author or Weather 2000, Inc., be liable to compensate or indemnify any party, for or in respect of, any consequential loss or damage sustained by any such party as a result of the inaccuracy of this research.