By John Simpson

Very warm and dry summed up the month of November for southern Arizona. I only recorded 0.01” of rain (almost nothing), which is well below my 11-year November average of 0.62.” The Tucson airport also recorded 0.01” and it’s 30-year November average is 0.56.” Rainfall throughout the Vail area was pretty consistent with 0 to a few hundredths recorded. Much of the Tucson area recorded similar amounts with higher 0.10” amounts reported in the Catalina Foothills. Some general rainfall statistics you might be interested in are listed below:

During a given calendar year in the Tucson area, about ¼ of the annual rainfall occurs during the first 6 months of the year (Jan-Jun) and ¾ of the annual rainfall occurs during the second ½ of the year (Jul-Dec).
Therefore, the second ½ of a given calendar year yields 3 times the rain as the first ½, much of this due to the Monsoon starting in July, the first month of the second ½ of a calendar year.

Statistically, November is the driest month during the second ½ of the year.

Rainfall for November 2021 in southeast Arizona was not a total loss. Much of Sierra Vista picked up between 0.1 to 0.5,” the heavier amounts being closer to that areas November monthly average.

You may have noticed November was quite warm. I did not use my heater once the entire month. November 2021 was the 2nd warmest November in Tucson since records began in the 1880s. The official reading taken at the airport was 5.5 degrees above average. An incredible 24 days had highs of 80 degrees or better at the airport and the daily average temperature was above average every day in November. In addition, this was only the 4th November on record where no daily low temperature was below 40 degrees.

To sum it up again, November 2021 was very warm. For the Fall 2021 Season (Sep-Nov), it was the 6th warmest and 13th driest in Tucson history. Temperatures were 1.3 degrees above average and rainfall was well below average. 2021 through the month of November is now the 7th warmest year in Tucson since records began. Due to continued La Nina conditions, winter is expected to be above average temperature wise, and below average rainfall wise. At the time of this writing on the first day of winter (December 21), this forecast has so far held up temperature wise, with very warm days occurring in general. However, rainfall has generally been adequate so far for much of the Tucson area in December. For next month, I will report on December 2021 and give a full 2021-year report.

John Simpson has lived in southern Arizona the past 33 years and Vail for 17 of those years. John has a bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Missouri and a mster’s degree in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Arizona. He loves exploring the outdoors with his family and photographing weather and the beauty of southern Arizona.

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