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December 6, 2013

November rain was below average in Salem

This year, November was a relatively quiet month until the 27th, just before Thanksgiving Day. The storm of the month that day gave us very heavy rain accompanied by damaging winds. Over an inch and a half of rain was measured in Salem. However, our monthly rainfall was considerably below average with a total of 2.71 inches. A few flakes of snow were seen gently falling twice during the month. 
Overall, our late fall temperatures were just a little below average. Our high was a pleasant 70 degrees, and the lowest temperature was a chilling 17. The winds during the period of very low temperatures were strong and blustery from the northwest with gusts to 48 mph in Salem that resulted in wind-chill temperatures in the single numbers.
Now winter is upon us. On the 21st, the winter solstice will arrive at 12:11 p.m. On this day, we will have the fewest hours of daylight for the year. With much less sunshine, we will certainly feel the wintry chills. At the beginning of the month, our daytime high temperatures will climb into the mid-40s and drop into the low 30s by dawn. Toward the month’s end, highs will run in the mid- to upper 30s and plummet to the chilling lower 20s or upper teens by sunrise.
To the far north over Canada and Alaska, there are now very few daylight hours, and the air covering these regions is very cold and very dry. In contrast, we find the still warm, moisture-laden air masses dominating our southeastern states. The warm and cold air masses will be on the move, and when they meet, our storms will develop, sometimes explosively.
According to records for the past 34 years, we experienced our highest December temperature of 78 degrees in 1998. On the other hand, our lowest reading was 11 degrees below zero in 1980.

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