Here’s how November sized up:
Average high temp for the month was 77 degrees
Normal is 72, deviation + 4.8?
Warmest day: 91, Nov. 20
Average low temp: 50.5
Normal is 48.8, deviation + 1.7
The coldest night was 45, Nov. 24
November 2002 rainfall totaled 1.55 inches
Slightly above the November normal of 1.18 inches
November was actually the wettest month of 2002, and it was the
second warmest month of the year.
No two days were alike. There was a whole smorgasbord of stuff.
From summer-like days and nights, 40 mph Santa Anas with rain and 70
degrees at 11 p.m. Thanksgiving night kind of stuff.
The average ocean temperature was 62 degrees, exactly the norm for
the 11th month.
The waves kept marching in -- with several quite steep (308-312?)
northwest wrappers well received by our queen of the coast, Rinconada
Although we haven’t seen a tropical storm in our half of the ocean
since Halloween, the 2002 Eastern Pacific hurricane season didn’t
officially end until Nov. 30.
That means hurricanes are now strictly prohibited from forming in
that region of the ocean until next May 15, 2003.
So what kind of season did we just have?
On paper, 2002 actually looks like a below-average year with
sub-par counts for storms and hurricanes. But where it really matters
-- wave wise -- 2002 would have to be a very good year indeed, with
the emphasis on quality, not quantity.
There were 12 named systems this year, down from the
climatological average of 16. Six of those turned into hurricanes
(the average is nine). Of those six hurricanes, five developed into
majors, (Category 4 or 5) which is one more than normal. Three of the
majors, Elida, Fausto and Herman, made it into the Hurricane Hall of
Fame by reaching Category 5 force, and we got waves from all three!
December sees rainy season really crank up with an average of
about 2.5 inches.
* DENNIS McTIGHE is a Laguna Beach resident. He earned a
bachelor’s in earth sciences from UC San Diego and was a U.S. Air
Force weatherman at Hickman AFB, Hawaii.