The first half of November 2013 was relatively quiet, except for a few storm systems that dumped 1-2 feet of snow at the highest elevations of the northern Rocky Mountains. The second half of the month was exactly the opposite starting with a record-breaking tornado outbreak on November 17, with 136 tornadoes reported from northern Michigan to southern Tennessee. As of November 29, 74 of these tornado reports have been confirmed by the National Weather Service, including 14 EF0, 28 EF1, 23 EF2, 7 EF3, and 2 EF4 tornadoes; most of which were in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky, with at least six severe weather-related fatalities.
Reed Timmer and the Dominator team chased one of the EF4 tornadoes in Washington County, IL, and deployed a camera probe in the path, but the large, fast-moving tornado dissipated within a mile from the deployment location. Below is a picture of the tornado as it was weakening at the end of its 34.5 mile long path through Tazewell and Washington Counties, causing extensive damage and fatalities/injuries in communities from Pekin through New Minden.
Other significant tornadoes on the November 17, 2013 outbreak include an EF3 that crossed I-57 just 3 miles north of Tuscola, IL and on the ground for 28.7 miles; an EF3 in Vermillion County, IL; and a half-mile wide monster EF3 tornado in Paducah, KY that caused 3 fatalities and 13 injuries in a mobile home park. For those interested in helping out with the recovery effort from this devastating severe weather outbreak, Storm Assist at http://stormassist.org and Habitat for Humanity at http://habitat.org are a few organizations we recommend.
After the November 17 outbreak, winter arrived finally but with a vengeance from the central/southern Rocky Mountains through the southern Great Plains to the Great Lakes Region, as cold Arctic Air barreled south from Canada during the last 7-10 days of the month. A massive winter storm slammed much of New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma on November 22-24, with an unprecedented 12-13 inches of snow reported in parts of the eastern TX Panhandle to southwest OK; with ice accumulation from freezing rain and sleet reported in cities like Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, TX and Oklahoma City, OK. The storm continued east through November 25-27, with tornadoes reported in the FL Panhandle and coastal NC and several inches of snow from eastern OH through western NY. The cold air flowing over the relative warm waters of the Great Lakes in late November also set stage for prolific lake effect snow totals in the favored northwesterly flow snow belts. Places like the Upper Peninsula of MI, southwest Lower MI/northwest IN, northwest PA-western NY, and southwest Ontario saw up to 2 feet of total snow accumulation where the heaviest snow squalls persisted.