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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 1998
Annual Review:
Global Regional and Seasonal Topics

National Climatic Data Center

January 12,1999

Global Mean Temperature Anomalies
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During the first half of 1998, northern Argentina and the surrounding countries were dominated by maritime air. This flow brought excessive cloud cover, rainfall and cool temperatures to the area. North and south of this region it was drier than normal. South America
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equatorial east Africa
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During the first half of the year, equatorial East Africa received an unusual flow of maritime air off the Indian Ocean. This weather pattern produced widespread cloud cover and unusually cool surface temperatures for the region.

Northern Asia received cooler than usual temperatures and an early snow cover in September and October 1998, due to the circulation pattern around the Northern Hemisphere which supported a flow of cold air from the polar region. This circulation is thought to be associated with natural variability, and not attributed to the current La Niña conditions.

Eurasia Snow Cover Anomalies - October 1998
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Eurasia Snow Cover Anomalies - November 1998
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Global Snow Cover Anomalies - October-December 1998
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The severe cold snowy conditions spread south and westward during the month of November. It was unusually cold throughout Europe and northern Africa. The snow covered most of Europe at this time, including the Mediterranean nations, which is a rare event, particularly in November.

In the United States, snow cover occurred later than usual over the eastern half of the country, as the region experienced extremely warm temperatures during autumn. However, during the last weeks of the year, frigid arctic air moved into the region, accompanied by extensive snow cover. By the year's end, the snow cover extended into the Ohio Valley and the Central Appalachian mountains.


During much of 1998, sections of northern Argentina, Uruguay, and southeastern Brazil received above normal rainfall. South American Wetness Anomalies
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Excessive rainfall in central China caused widespread flooding, particularly along the Yangtze River. The flooding reached a maximum in late summer and cause extensive damage and loss of life.

South Asia Wetness Anomalies
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In Indonesia, severe drought conditions continued through early 1998, typical of El Niño conditions.

Above normal rainfall over parts of India and Bangladesh early in 1998 was followed by a late start to the summer monsoon. By late summer, seasonal monsoon rainfall was augmented by a tropical storm in the Bay of Bengal. Flooding occurred along the Ganges River and the lowland areas of Bangladesh.

Dry conditions characterized the watersheds of the Indus and Mekong Rivers.


Although rainfall began later than normal in parts of the African Sahel, widepread above normal rainfall late in the season characterized much of the region. African Sahel Wetness Anomalies
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References:

Basist, A., N.C. Grody, T.C. Peterson and C.N. Williams, 1998: Using the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager to Monitor Land Surface Temperatures, Wetness, and Snow Cover. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 37, 888-911.


For further information, contact:

-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
    email: rquayle@ncdc.noaa.gov

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


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