National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


An anomalously strong ridge for November was centered over the Eastern US from November 6th through the 12th resulting in numerous record highs being broken across the region on November 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th. In total, 217 record highs were either tied or broke over this five day period in the Eastern US. Norfolk reached a high temperature of 85 degrees on November 11th which not only beat the previous record of 80 degrees for that day but is also the unofficial latest 85 degree of the year, beating the old record of 85 degrees on November 6th, 2003.

High pressure moved offshore on November 9th towards Bermuda and became nearly stationary just to the northeast of the archipelago from November 10th through the 13th. The large, roughly 1025mb high resulted in synoptic-scale anticyclonic flow over the Western Atlantic which funneled deep tropical moisture, originating from the Caribbean, into the local area ahead of an approaching cold front.

This tropical moisture resulted in precipitable water (PWAT) values up to and exceeding 2.0 inches in spots. In fact, the Wallops Island 00z sounding on November 12th showed a PWAT of 2.11 inches, which is the unofficial highest PWAT value not only the 12th, but for the entire month of November as well. It would also be the first time a PWAT of above 2.0 inches was observed in November at this location. As this moisture was funneled into the region, a curved jet streak to the west resulted in favorable diffluence aloft and large-scale forcing for ascent.

The result of these ingredients was a two-day heavy rainfall event of 2-5 inches with two bullseye swaths of 4-6 inches including localized totals in excess of 8 inches (one in the northwest piedmont and one in the southeast). The heavy rain led to widespread flooding with many road closures as well as rivers hitting moderate flood stage at the following locations: the James River at Cartersville (crest of 24.12ft), the Appomattox River at Farmville (crest of 23.3ft),  the James River at Richmond-Westham (crest of 18.33ft), and the Cashie River near Windsor (crest of 11.33ft).

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