U.S. has Warmest Jan.-March on record
ENN World Wire News, April 19, 2000
The United States this year had its warmest-ever January-to-March period since authorities began keeping records 106 years ago, government scientists said Tuesday. The latest data also showed temperatures from June 1999 to March 2000 were the warmest on record, increasing the likelihood of more severe weather in the future, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "Our climate is warming at a faster rate than ever before recorded," said NOAA Administrator James Baker. "Small changes in global temperatures can lead to more extreme weather events, including droughts, floods and hurricanes," he warned. NOAA's findings coincided with a draft report just released by the world's leading climate researchers, who concluded that greenhouse gases caused by human activity have resulted in global warming. U.S. temperatures from January to March averaged 41.7 degrees Fahrenheit, 1 degree warmer than the previous record set in 1990, NOAA said. During the period, every state in the continental United States was warmer than its long-term average. During the three-month period, drought hit the Midwest and Mississippi Valley in particular, the agency said. NOAA's latest spring and summer forecast shows that most of the United States will have warmer-than-normal temperatures, with some Midwest and Great Plains states continuing to have drier-than-normal conditions.
July Temperatures Cooler in Much of U.S., NOAA Reports,
But Hot Temperatures and Drought Persist in the South and West;
January Through July Warmest on Record
NOAA News Release, August 17, 2000
The average July 2000 surface temperature in the United States was above normal but far from a record, according to statistics calculated by NOAA's scientists working from the world's largest statistical weather database at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The average July temperature based on preliminary reports was 74.78 F, which is 0.47 F warmer than the 106-year average, making it the 38th warmest July since records began in 1895. Conditions were generally cooler and wetter than normal in the Northeast and Midwest regions, while warmer and drier than normal conditions continued to prevail across many states in the Deep South and western U.S. Pennsylvania and West Virginia experienced their coolest July on record and seven other Eastern states were much cooler than normal.
It was the 7th warmest July on record for Utah and warmer than normal in 15 other states. Although heavy precipitation fell in portions of the Northeast and Great Plains in July, below normal rains and hot conditions exacerbated drought conditions in portions of the West, South and Southeast. Thirty-one percent of the U.S. experienced severe to extreme drought conditions including portions of Texas where July 2000 was the driest July in the 106-year period of record. The above normal temperatures in combination with below-normal precipitation in southern and western states have intensified drought conditions and led to the worst wildfire season in 50 years for many western states. Nevada and Arizona experienced their second driest July and six other states (Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Utah) received much below average precipitation.
Although the average July temperature was far from record-breaking in the U.S., the abnormally warm conditions observed earlier this year made the January-July 2000 average temperature (54.85 F) the warmest such seven-month period on record. Every state in the contiguous U.S., except South Carolina, Maine, and Vermont was warmer than normal. Above average temperatures have been most persistent in the western half of the U.S. This was the warmest January-July on record for New Mexico, Texas and Utah. It was the second warmest for Colorado, Nevada, and Wyoming. Fifteen states throughout the South and West were much drier than normal including Florida which experienced it's second driest year-to-date period. Conversely, wetter than normal conditions prevailed in 17 states, primarily in the Northeast and Midwest. For the nation, January - July 2000 was the 32nd driest such period since 1895.
Average global surface temperatures were also warmer than normal in July 2000. The global land and ocean temperature was +0.59 F (+0.33 C) above the 1880-1999 long-term mean, the 7th warmest July on record and 0.65 F (0.36 C) cooler than the record set in 1998. Land surface temperatures were +0.88 F (+0.49 C) above average while the global sea surface temperature was +0.47 F (+0.26 C) warmer than the long-term mean. The average land and ocean temperature anomaly for the year-to-date period was +0.74 F (+0.41 C), the fourth warmest January-July period on record. Temperatures in the lower half of the atmosphere (lowest 8 km or 26,200 feet of the atmosphere) were colder than the 20 year (1979-1998) average. Satellite data provided by scientists at NASA and the Global Hydrology and Climate Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville indicate that the average temperature in the lower half of the atmosphere was -0.16 F (-0.09 C) below average in July. The average January through July temperature was also -0.16 F below average, the 9th coolest such period since 1979.