The month of November in the Mile High City can feature plenty of nice, fall days. However it also serves as a transitional month when we can begin to see more of the cold and snow associated with winter months.
Cold fronts begin to dip down from the north more frequently and with greater intensity during November. Snowfall also becomes more common and sometimes heavier. The result is that the month is oftentimes thought of as the start of winter in Colorado.
Looking into the weather history books, we see that November is actually Denver’s second snowiest month, second only to March (April is third). Historically we average 8.7 inches of snow during the month (based on 1981 to 2010 climate normals).
In 1994, November was the snowiest month of that year with 16.9 inches - over 12 inches of which fell within a 12 hour period on the 13th and 14th. In 1991 we saw 29.6 inches of snow (the 2nd snowiest November) and the following year in 1992 we had 20.1 inches of snow (the 8th snowiest November). Those examples though pale in comparison to the snowiest November on record which was in 1946 when a whopping 42.6 inches of snow fell!
It isn't always that snowy though. November 2002 was at the time the 16th month in a row with below normal precipitation and the calendar year of 2002 marked the driest in Denver weather history. This pattern of below normal precipitation continued for 19 months through February 2003. Since 1882, one year (1949) recorded no snow, six more recorded only a trace of snow and four had less than one inch of snow.
Like the precipitation, temperatures can also vary widely during the month. On the first of the month the average high temperature is 59 degrees but that drops to 46 degrees by the 30th. Average low temperatures start out at 31 and drip to a cold 19 degrees by the end of November. The overall average temperature for the month is 38.6 degrees with an average high for the month of 52.3 degrees and an average low of 24.9.
In recent history, November 1999 finished as the second warmest November with an average temperature of 47.1 degrees. But, a year later November 2000 finished as the second coldest November in Denver weather history with an average temperature of 28.9 degrees. The coldest November on record? In 1880 Denver had an icy 22.0 degree average. The warmest occurred in 1949 with an average temperature of 50.9 degrees.
One little known fact… November is the Denver's least sunny month, tying with May with only 64 percent sunshine. September is the sunniest with sunshine 74 percent of the time.
Denver's Coldest Novembers (mean temperatures)
22.0 degrees 1880
28.9 degrees 2000
29.8 degrees 1985
31.6 degrees 1929
32.3 degrees 1952
Denver's Warmest Novembers (mean temperatures)
50.9 degrees 1949
47.1 degrees 1999
46.2 degrees 1914, 1933
45.9 degrees 1927, 1981
45.6 degrees 1901, 1910, 1917
Denver's Snowiest Novembers
42.6 inches 1946
29.6 inches 1991
29.3 inches 1983
23.1 inches 1928, 1929
22.9 inches 1908
Denver's Least Snowiest Novembers
0.0 inches 1949
T inches 1884, 1899, 1901, 1905, 1917, 1939
0.3 inches 1883
0.5 inches 1885
0.8 inches 1900
Outlook for November 2013
Current long range outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center do not point toward any particularly notable pattern for temperatures or precipitation during November. All of Colorado is given equal chances of seeing above, below or equal to normal temperature and precipitation.