Twin Cities likely to see largest November temperature swing in more than 40 years

Early November warmth is nothing new. A mid- to late-November chill is also nothing new. But getting both of them in the same year? Far. Less. Common. Just a little over two weeks after we experienced the second-warmest November day on record, temperatures could get very close to dropping below zero in what could be the largest swing in temperatures during the month since the 1970s.

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The Twin Cities experienced mid-70s in the first couple of days of the month leading to daily and almost monthly record highs. But now an unseasonably cold air mass is pushing into the Upper Midwest that is likely to push temperatures into the single digits over the weekend. That could lead to a 70-degree-plus spread over the month which would be the largest swing in temperatures since 1977, when they swung 77 degrees over the month from a low of 16-below zero to a high of 61 degrees.

The month of November is certainly known for large temperature shifts. The last of our fall months is often competing with March to claim the top spot every year for having the largest spread of temperatures. Both months have average highs that change roughly 20 degrees during the month as we either dive into or out of the Arctic air. But because it's right on the cusp of our winter pattern, both very mild and very cold temperatures can occur depending on what's happening across the Northern Hemisphere. In most cases, we get either one or the other, but rarely do we get both. 

This year though, we are experiencing both ... and this is one of the reasons why the cold feels more shocking this year. Our bodies acclimated to the relatively pleasant 60s and 70s that we had been experiencing for months. But when temperatures suddenly tumble, it takes time to acclimate and leaves us feeling extra chilled. Kind of what happened last week...

While this could be the largest swing in temperatures during the month in decades, we'll be nowhere close to breaking the monthly record. The largest on our list dates mostly back to the 1800s when it was fairly "routine" for temperatures to get well below zero and into the 60s and 70s during the month. 

The record highest monthly spread in temperature was 91 degrees set back in 1887:

A looking at the largest November temperature swings on record for the Twin Cities.

Regardless of just how cold our temperatures get, the combo of the much colder air and the wind will push wind chills below zero for the first time this season. This means it could FEEL close to 90 degrees colder than it did to start the month. Stay warm!