The month of November seems determined to provide the Omaha area with mild, dry weather.
On Thursday, federal climate scientists said the odds favor warmer and drier than normal weather in Nebraska and Iowa into early December.
In the near term, Omaha’s forecast through Thanksgiving calls for highs to range generally from the mid-50s to the upper 40s. The normal high for this time of year in Omaha is in the mid-40s, dropping to about 40 degrees by the end of the month.
The dry, warm fall weather has been good news for farmers completing their harvests as well as golfers, bicyclists and just about anyone with cabin fever.
Drought conditions have improved slightly over the past few weeks. Thanks to recent rains, the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area is considered in moderate drought by the U.S. Drought Monitor. At the end of October, the region was considered in severe drought.
Through the end of October, this year was ranked 13th driest year out of 126 for Nebraska, according to figures released Thursday. Iowa is trending toward its 25th driest year.
So far this month, Omaha has set or matched two daily records for high temperatures.
In Omaha, Thursday’s high reached 73, matching the record set in 2007, according to the National Weather Service. On November 3, Omaha’s high hit 81, beating the previous record for that date of 79 in 2018.
This month’s warmth has been a notable contrast to the chilly end of October. Omaha set a daily record for low temperature on October 26, when the mercury bottomed out at 20, one degree lower than the previous record. An unusual late-October snowfall occurred the day before.
Iowa experienced its sixth coolest October on record and Nebraska its 15th coolest, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.
Federal climate scientists said the chilly October in the central U.S. stood in stark contrast to the rest of the globe. It was the planet’s fourth warmest October on record. They said the year is likely to end among Earth’s top three warmest on record.
It’s not unusual for the weather to vary widely at this time of year. Natalie Umphlett, regional climatologist with the High Plains Regional Climate Center, pointed to 2009, when Omaha had its third coolest October followed by its seventh warmest November.