November usually ushers in chilly winter weather, but the beginning of the month has been unusually toasty for a large part of the U.S., with numerous spots recording record daily highs, as well as all-time highs for the month.

The bout of warm fall weather comes courtesy of a high pressure system that is sending temperatures more than 20˚F above normal in some places, and will continue to keep them elevated through Election Day.

As the atmosphere continues to heat up because of the accumulation of greenhouse gases, it becomes more likely that heat records will be set when the weather turns unusually balmy.


While the highest temperatures have been in the South, some of the largest departures have been in the Northern Plains, where temperatures have reached into the 70s, instead of staying in the 30s or 40s, said Greg Carbin, a branch chief of the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.

Those areas will likely continue to see the bulk of the warmth into next week, he said, though the heat doesn’t look to be as record-setting.

Here’s a look at a few of the records set this week:


  • Atlanta – 86˚F (beating the previous record of 85˚F in 1961)
  • Augusta, Ga. – 89˚F (tying the record set in 1961)
  • Amarillo, Texas – 87˚F (beating 86˚F in 2001)
  • Nashville, Tenn. – 85˚F (tying 1950)
  • Pensacola, Fla. – 89˚F (beating 87˚F in 1950)

All-time highs for any day in November:

  • Huntsville, Ala.  – 88˚F on Nov. 1 (beating 84˚F)
  • Austin, Texas – 91˚F on Nov. 1 (tying 2006, 1951 and 1947)
  • Chattanooga, Tenn. – 86˚F on Nov. 1
  • Cincinnati, Ohio – 82˚F on Nov. 1
  • Milwaukee, Wis. – 77˚F on Nov. 2 (tying 1938, 1944 and 1950)

Records for specific November dates:

  • Augusta, Ga. – 87˚F on Nov. 3 (beating 86˚F in 1974)
  • Bowling Green, Ky. – 87˚F (beating 83˚F in 2000 and 1971)
  • Cleveland – 78˚F on Nov. 2 (beating 77˚F in 2003 and 1938)
  • Corpus Christi, Texas – 91˚F on Nov. 1 (beating 90˚F in 2010)
  • Shreveport, La. – 87˚F on Nov. 2 (beating 86˚F in 1936)

The warm start to November follows what was a record- or near record-hot October for many spots, as well as what has been the second hottest year on record for the continental U.S. through September.


But more than daytime record heat, record hot nighttime lows have been driving the year’s average temperature upward. Temperature records have shown that these surging overnight temperatures have extended the time between the last frost of spring and the first frost of winter.

Several temperature gauges around Minneapolis had yet to see their first sub-32˚F reading through Thursday; the average date of the first freeze is Oct. 10.

Temperatures that set new heat records are becoming increasingly likely as the world warms, because the baseline temperatures that heat waves act on is already higher. On the opposite end of the scale, record cold becomes less likely.

This has become particularly apparent at the global level, where 2016 is set to become the third record hot year in a row, while the last record cold year was in 1911.