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Why November’s weather was most unusual


El Paso’s weather in 2019 will mostly be remembered for heat because it was the seventh-hottest year in more than 130 years of records. But one oddity went almost unnoticed.

El Paso had 1.73 inches of rain in November, three times more than normal for the month. That is our fourth-wettest November on record, behind 1906, 1905 and 2004. 

But here’s the unusual part. November will be the wettest month of the year in El Paso. That’s never happened in records going back to the 1880s.

Our wettest months each year usually come in July, August or September, when monsoonal flows push moisture in the Chihuahuan Desert. 

But one truth of living in the desert is that sometimes, weather gets weird. El Paso’s driest month, on average, is April. But in 1931, more than 2 inches of rain fell in April, making it that year’s wettest month.

The only months that haven’t been the wettest in a given year in El Paso are January and March.

For the year in 2019, El Paso received just over 8 inches of rain, under our historical average of 8.7 inches.

Robert Moore

Robert Moore is the founder and CEO of El Paso Matters. He has been a journalist in the Texas Borderlands since 1986. His work has received a number of top journalism honors including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, Pulitzer Prize finalist and the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award. Moore’s work has appeared in the Washington Post, Texas Monthly, ProPublica, National Public Radio, The Guardian and other publications. He has been featured as an expert on border issues by CNN, MSNBC, BBC, CBC and PBS.

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