The crisp, clear days of autumn are giving way to chillier temperatures and darker skies across much of the United States in November, when much cooler weather starts to pour into most of the United States this month. Daylight saving time ends on November 6 this year, and, as days "fall back" they get shorter and darker as the month progresses. Sunny fall days are replaced by rain in the vast majority of the country, and those in northern and mountainous destinations like Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Sierra Nevada in California might even see snow.
The unpredictable weather can make it a tricky time for travel weather-wise.
If you are looking to squeeze in a trip before winter really gets going, aim for the start of the month when temperatures are more mild, storms are less likely and the holiday masses aren't around. Thanksgiving is on November 24 this year, and airlines and other travel outlets tend to jack up their prices and get rid of deals to take advantage of the holiday season. If you can, travel to wherever you are headed for the holiday as early as possible to avoid the crowds of people traveling at the last minute. Or travel on the holiday itself, as the airport will be a ghost town.
Watch out for Hurricane Season
Hurricane season comes to an end for the Eastern Pacific states on November 30. As the country transitions into winter weather, storms are not unheard of, but definitely less likely to make landfall. In general, there is more potential for hurricanes to form in the Atlantic Ocean to make landfall in the coastal states, from Florida to Maine, as well as along the Gulf Coast states, such as Texas and Louisiana.
If you are a hardy beachgoer and ready to hit the sand even as it gets colder, be conscious of local weather warnings and prepared for fewer sunny days.
Trip Ideas to Take Advantage of November Weather
If you didn’t get a chance to see any fall foliage, early November is your last chance. Head to more southern destinations like Charleston, South Carolina where colors linger longer than up north thanks to the warmer climate.
Another great spot is the Napa Valley, because tourists who went for the harvest season will have left, but the stunning yellow and orange vine leaves remain and reach their peak. If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit later in the month, New York City decks itself out right around Thanksgiving, and the lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree is not to be missed. Temperatures in the city will be brisk in the mid-50s, but tend to remain well above freezing and are do-able if you're prepared with a coat and scarf.
At a glance: average monthly temperatures for the top 10 tourist destinations in the United States (High / Low):
- New York City: 54°F / 42°F (12°C / 5°C)
- Los Angeles: 73°F / 52°F (23°C / 11°C)
- Chicago: 48°F / 32°F (9°C / 0°C)
- Washington, DC: 58°F / 41°F (14°C / 5°C)
- Las Vegas: 66°F / 47°F (19°C / 8°C)
- San Francisco: 63°F / 50°F (17°C / 10°C)
- Hawaii: 84°F / 70°F (30°C / 21°C)
- Grand Canyon: 52°F / 27°F (11°C / -2°C)
- Florida: 78°F / 59°F (26°C / 15°C)*
- New Orleans: 72°F / 54°F (22°C / 12°C)
*average temp given for Orlando, Florida (see Florida link below for average November temperatures for cities throughout Florida)
Helpful November Weather Links for Top Tourist Destinations
- New York City Weather and Event Guide for November
- Los Angeles Weather and Climate Information for November
- November in Chicago
- November in Washington, DC
- November in Las Vegas
- San Francisco Weather and Climate Information
- How's the Weather in Hawaii?
- Grand Canyon Climate Information
- Florida Weather in November
- November in New Orleans