LONG BEACH — This November was one of the driest on record in Western Washington and Northwest Oregon.
Only 2.2 inches of rain were recorded at the Astoria-Warrenton Regional Airport, the official National Weather Service station closest to the peninsula. That made it the fifth-driest November since 1890, with 1976 still holding the record of 1.45 inches.
The average for the month is 11.15 inches.
Much of the Pacific Northwest, including all of Pacific County, received less than 25% of normal November precipitation.
“November was an extraordinarily dry and sunny month over Washington state,” University of Washington meteorologist Cliff Mass said Dec. 2. Seattle had only 1.71 inches of rain — only 26% of the normal total of 6.57 inches.
As in 1976, a ridge of high pressure has dominated recent weather patterns on the West Coast, bringing clearer and cooler conditions.
Looking ahead through Dec. 11, even though there is considerable rain in the local forecast, conditions are expected to remain drier than usual — 1.5 to 2 inches below what they would normally be at the mouth of the Columbia River during the first third of December.
“Is this the new normal expected under global warming? Probably not,” Mass said. “In fact, our climate models suggest the opposite: warmer and wetter conditions in November for our region as the planet warms.”