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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 1998
Annual Review:
Global Precipitation

National Climatic Data Center

January 12,1999

Mean Annual Global Land Surface Precipitation Anomalies
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    The mean global precipitation anomaly for land areas in 1998 was 27.9 mm (1.1 in) above the 1900 - 1997 average. Considerable differences were evident in precipitation departures across latitude bands. Much of the Northern Hemisphere received above average precipitation, while land areas in the Southern Hemisphere were, on average, drier than the 1900 - 1997 mean.

Mean Annual Global Land Surface Precipitation Anomalies by Latitude
Band
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Record precipitation occurred in both the 85N - 55N and the 55N - 30N latitude bands. Precipitation over land areas between 30N and 55N averaged 3.1 inches (79.2 mm) above normal. This anomaly was more than 26 mm above the previous record set in 1979.

Precipitation also averaged above normal in the Northern Hemisphere high latitudes (55N-85N). Precipitation was 2.3 inches (58.7 mm) above the 1900 - 1997 average in this latitude band. This exceeded the previous record set in 1990 by 5 mm.

Precipitation in the 30N - 10N latitude band was also above the long term mean (1.8 inches,45.1 mm), but was much lower than the previous record anomaly of 3.9 inches (99.1 mm) recorded in 1956.

While precipitation amounts in high and mid-latitude land areas increased to record levels, the trend of much below normal precipitation continued in equatorial regions. Precipitation in the equatorial zone (10S - 10N) averaged 7.18 inches (182.4 mm) below the long-term mean.

Below average precipitation was also recorded throughout many land areas of the Southern Hemisphere. Precipitation was 1.1 inches (28.4 mm) below the 1900 - 1997 average in the Southern Hemisphere (figure not shown). The drier than average conditions south of 10N were in contrast to the very wet conditions in the mid and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and resulted in a globally averaged precipitation anomaly that was near the long term mean.

For further information, contact:

    Mike Changery
    NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
    151 Patton Avenue
    Asheville, NC 28801-5001
    fax: 828-271-4328
-or-
    David Easterling
    NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
    151 Patton Avenue
    Asheville, NC 28801-5001
    fax: 828-271-4328
    email: David.Easterling@noaa.gov
-or-
    Rob Quayle
    NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
    151 Patton Avenue
    Asheville, NC 28801-5001
    fax: 828-271-4328

NCDC / Climate Resources / Climate of 1998 / Annual / Global Precip / Search / Help

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