frost

Frosty fall thistles brave the freezing temperatures at Bennington Lake in mid-November.

Those hoping for a white Christmas may be disappointed this year.

According to the federal Climate Prediction Center, the outlook for December calls for above-normal temperatures and near-normal precipitation.

Based on a 30-year average, the normal rain and snowfall for December is 2.47 inches. Whether that comes as wet weather or snowflakes later this month remains to be seen.

One thing that’s certain is it will be getting colder. Normal daytime highs for Walla Walla are expected to fall from an average of 42 degrees to 38 degrees by New Year’s Eve. Normal nighttime lows are expected to drop from 31 degrees to a frosty 28 degrees.

Looking back at last month, one could say November was like a good martini: cold and dry.

The month brought the first freezes to the Walla Walla Valley, starting Nov. 8, when the low dipped to 29 degrees.

The coldest night came on Nov. 18, when the mercury dropped to 21 degrees. Overall, there were 13 nights with freezing temperatures and another two days when the high stayed below 32 degrees, during a period of freezing fog.

The warmest day was on Nov. 2, when the high hit 67 degrees.

Despite the storms sweeping through during the month, total precipitation was below normal with 1.45 inches falling during the month, a mark 1.42 inches less than normal. The heaviest downpour was on Nov. 23, when 0.52 inches fell, as measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport.

November’s rain brought total precipitation for Walla Walla to 12.97 inches, which is 5.41 inches below average. Since October, the water year precipitation has been 3.38 inches, which is 1.17 inches below normal.

The highest wind gust to shake the remaining leaves off the trees was 39 mph on Nov. 27, as measured at the airport.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

Andy Porter has been with the Union-Bulletin since October 2000. His beats include Walla Walla County, city of College Place, Washington State Penitentiary, agriculture, environment as well as a wide range of general assignment topics.

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