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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 1998
June Extremes
National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, NC
August 5, 1998

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Top of Page Summary/Highlights

Jan-Jun Global Surface Mean Temp

RECORD HIGH GLOBAL TEMPERATURES CONTINUE IN JUNE OF 1998

  • Near-surface global land and ocean temperatures for the month of June 1998 established an all-time record high. Temperatures averaged more than 1 deg F above the 1880-1997 long-term mean. The high temperatures were particularly evident over the land as temperatures averaged nearly one and three quarters of a degree above the long-term mean, exceeding the old record by several tenths of a degree F.

  • Despite the decrease in Central Pacific Ocean temperatures due to the demise of the recent El Niño and the incipient stages of a La Niña event, global ocean temperatures during June were still at record high levels, one-tenth of a degree warmer than last year at this time, when the El Niño event was rapidly building.

  • June of 1998 continued the unprecedented string of record breaking temperatures. Each month this year has set new all-time record global near-surface temperatures. June of 1998 exceeded the previous record warm June of 1994 by nearly 0.4 degree F.

  • The global land and ocean surface temperatures continue to remain at record high levels through the first half of 1998. Temperatures continue to remain far above both last year's record high levels and all other years. This year's anomaly of 1.3 deg F above the long-term mean (1880-1997) is more than 1.5 times larger than any previous year.

  • Given the high degree of persistence of ocean temperature anomalies, it is quite possible that during July we will experience the warmest monthly temperatures ever observed on the planet for the past 600 years.

  • The record warm conditions were well reflected in the USA the past few months as the May-June mean temperatures were the warmest on record for Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, and well above normal across all of the South and much of the Northeast USA, with only California reflecting much below normal temperatures.

  • Record dry conditions were evident in much of the South with the driest April through June period on record for New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. Both Melbourne, Fl and Orlando, Fl had the driest June on record. The extreme dry conditions developed rapidly on the heels of extremely wet conditions during much of the previous winter. This combined with the record heat lead to the devastating fire season we have just experienced.

    Weekly Crop Moisture Index
  • The ongoing drought and heat wave during June across the southern USA has resulted in a number of new records. This includes:

    • Amarillo, Tx --- 13 days had temperatures over 100F with a probability of recurrence in a stable climate of once in 200 years, bu t with continued increases in greenhouse gases and other radiative important atmospheric constituents the climate is projected to warm. A typical estimate for this region of the world is around 4.5 degrees F by the middle of the next Century. This would change the probability from a 1 in 200 year event to a 1 in 6 year event.

    • Brownsville, Tx --- 17 days had minimum temperatures at or above 80F. This has a probability of recurrence in a stable climate of once in 1000 years. By the middle of the next Century this would be a 1 in three year event presuming greenhouse gases continued to increase at the present rate.

    • Melbourne, Fl --- There were 24 days with temperatures above 95F this past June. This is an unprecedented event with a probability of recurrence of much less than a 1 in 1000 years in a stable climate.

    • Tampa, Fl --- There were 12 days in June that had minimum temperatures equal to or above 80F. This is less than a 1 in 1000 year event in a stable climate, but with continued increases in greenhouse gases and other radiative important atmospheric constituents this becomes a 1 in 10 year event by the middle of the next Century.

  • The dryness in the south has been complimented by unusually wet conditions in the northeast and parts of the midwest. For example:

    • Blue Hill Observatory, Ma --- More than 17 inches of rain fell during June breaking all records for June which date back to 1831.

    • Burlington, Vt --- Over 8.5 inches of rain fell in June, making it the second wettest June on record.

    Percent US Severe Drought or Wet
  • Over the past decade the area of the USA experiencing either severe drought or wetness has been greater than any other time this Century. The increase in area affected by these extremes has been significant. For example, during the decade of 1990s 4% more of the USA has experienced severe or extreme moisture surpluses compared to any other decade this Century. This is equivalent to the size of the state of New Mexico. Moreover, when both extreme moisture surpluses and drought are considered together, the 1990s still rank as the most extreme with 2.5% more of the country affected by these extremes, equivalent to the size of the state of South Dakota.
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Top of Page Spring/Summer Extremes

SSMI Derived Surface Temperature Anomalies
Surface Temperature Anomalies June1998
SSMI Derived Products
US Temp and Precip Departures - State Ranks
US Temp and Precip Departures
SSMI Derived Surface Wetness Anomalies
Surface Wetness Anomalies June 1998
SSMI Derived Products

The Spring of 1998 has produced an exceptional pattern of weather extremes in the United States. Partially a result of the dissipating El Niño event, a strong and persistent ridge of high pressure has set up over the southeast and south-central United States resulting in severe drought conditions for the southern and southeastern U.S. Exceptionally wet conditions have prevailed for the northern and northeastern U.S. in part due to an enhancement and northward shifting of the sub-tropical jet stream with wind speeds in the jet core as much as 2 times normal for this time of year. The drought in some parts of the southeastern U.S., such as Florida, developed very quickly when precipitation virtually came to a halt during late March.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (1995) suggests that if we have a noticeable change in the climate due to anthropogenic causes, extreme weather events, particularly heavy precipitation events and drought, would be expected to increase. A recent study* performed at the National Climatic Data Center indicates that heavier precipitation events are increasing in the United States. The figure (below left) shows the percent area of the United States that has experienced extremes of climate (warm and dry or cool and wet) based on the Palmer Drought Index for each decade of the 20th century. It is clear that in the decade of the 1990's a greater area of the United States has experienced a climate extreme than in any other decade of this century.

Percent US Affected by Extreme Precip Percent US Severe Drought or Wet
  • * "Since 1910, precipitation has increased by about 10% across the contiguous United States. The increase in precipitation is reflected primarily in the heavy and extreme daily precipitation events. For example, over half (53%) of the total increase in precipitation is due to positive trends in the upper 10 percentiles of the precipitation distribution. These trends are highly significant, both practically and statistically.
  • "The increase has arisen for two reasons. First, an increase in the frequency of days with precipitation [6 days per 100 years] has occurred for all categories of precipitation amount. Second, for the extremely heavy precipitation events, an increase in the intensity of the events is also significantly contributing (about half) to the precipitation increase. As a result, there is a significant trend in much of the United States of the highest daily year-month precipitation amount, but with no systematic national trend of the median precipitation amount.
  • "These data suggest that the precipitation regimes in the United States are changing disproportionately across the precipitation distribution. The proportion of total precipitation derived from extreme and heavy events is increasing relative to more moderate events. These changes have an impact on the area of the United States affected by a much above-normal (upper 10 percentile) proportion of precipitation derived from very heavy precipitation events, for example, daily precipitation events exceeding 50.8 mm (2.in.)." - Karl, T. R., R. W. Knight, 1998: Secular Trends of Precipitation Amount, Frequency, and Intensity in the United States. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79, 231-241.

Statewide Ranks Temp & Precip for Jan-Jun'98
Statewide Ranks Temp & Precip for Jan-Jun'98

Statewide Ranks Temp & Precip for June'98
Statewide Ranks Temp & Precip for June'98

The NDVI image (center) shows comparisons from last year to this year. Specifically, this image, showing a % change from the '95-'97 median, shows a good deal of vegetation stress in western Texas and parts of Florida. For more on NDVI anomalies, see the NOAA/NESDIS/Office of Research and Applications (ORA) Vegetation and Temperature Condition Index page for monitoring vegetation conditions from NOAA Operational Polar-Orbiting Satellites.

Climate Prediction Center Summary

By the end of June, widespread drought covered the southern part of the United States from eastern New Mexico to Florida. The drought was most severe in Texas and Florida, where it adversely impacted crops, ranges and pastures, and contributed to the burning of nearly one-half million acres of Florida land. This drought resulted from well below-normal rainfall in the southern Plains and Gulf Coast states during April - June 1998, and from much above-normal temperatures across the region during May-June 1998. The April - June 1998 period also featured abnormally wet and stormy conditions across much of the central and northern United States. The surplus rainfall was particularly evident in June, when near-record totals were reported in the Midwest and Northeast.

April - June 1998 was the driest such period in 104 years of record in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico, the seventh driest such period in Arkansas, and the eighth driest in Oklahoma. Similarly, May-June 1998 was the warmest such period in 104 years of record in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

"In Florida, the drought intensified during June in response to record heat and near-record dryness. These conditions, combined with excess ground cover resulting from abundant January - March rainfall, contributed to numerous uncontrolled wildfires during June and early July." - Climate Prediction Center (CPC), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), NOAA

"Atmospheric Circulation: The abnormal temperature and rainfall patterns observed across North America during April - June were essentially manifestations of a persistent atmospheric circulation pattern. Primary features of this pattern included: 1) a pronounced amplification of the subtropical ridge and high-pressure zone across the eastern North Pacific, Mexico and the south-central United States; 2) increased jet stream winds [1.5 - 2 times normal] and increased storminess across the central and northern United States; 3) a strong low-pressure area over the western United States, which acted as a continued source region for the storms; and 4) above-normal pressure and weaker-than-normal jet stream winds across Canada which helped to concentrate the jet stream and storminess over the central United States.

"The interaction of two primary factors contributed to the persistence and amplitude of the above circulation pattern, and to the details of the atmospheric flow which ultimately helped to determine the precise regions of hot, cold, wet and dry. These are 1) the 1997/98 El Niño, and 2) internal atmospheric dynamics which contributed to large-scale changes in the atmospheric circulation across the North Pacific and North America.

"Despite the decay of the El Niño in late May in the east-central tropical Pacific, abnormally warm ocean waters and enhanced tropical rainfall over the eastern tropical Pacific during June contributed to a continuation of the strong subtropical high-pressure zone across the southern United States. Thus, El Niño's impact on the atmospheric circulation had not yet dissipated by late June.


Climate Diagnostics Center Summary

9806TENATSFCDUS.GIF
June 01-10
9806TENBTSFCDUS.GIF
June 11-20
9806TENCTSFCDUS.GIF
June 21-30

During June 1998, warm anomalies during the first ten days of June 1998 along the Gulf coast spread northward across portions of the Central Plains and Ohio Valley as upper level high pressure built north and west from the Gulf coast. During the last anomaly period (June 21-30) warmest departures had shifted northward across the Southern Plains into the interior Southeast.

Sfc Temp Departures Jun
Surface Temp Departures - June,1998
Rel.Hum. Departures Jun
Relative Humidity Deps - June, 1998

These analyses by NOAA 's Climate Diagnostics Center (CDC), are provided by the Western Regional Climate Center, and indicate how the surface temperature and relative humidity values for June 1st-25th depart from a 12 year mean.


Temperature/Precipitation Records

The early summer season of 1998 drought and heat in the southern US and rainfall in the northeastern US set records at many locations or established records that were the second in ranking. Some notable (preliminary) examples for June 1998 are:

Mean Temperatures and Other Temperature Extremes

Daytona Beach, FL 84.5	new record for any month
Melbourne, FL	  85.1	new record for any month
Tampa, FL         85.6	new record for any month - (record begins 1825)
St Petersburg,FL  85.4	new record for any month
Miami, FL         85.4	new June record; ties all-time record
Orlando, FL       85.0	new June record
Tallahassee, FL	  85.3	new June record
Brownsville, TX	  87.3	new June record, 17 days with min temp,
                        >=80 breaks 1880 record
Midland, TX       85.6	2nd warmest June
Corpus Christi,TX 85.8	ties record June, 106 max temp is all-time record
New Orleans, LA	  83.7	2nd warmest June
Charleston, SC	  83.1	2nd warmest June (warmest was 1828)
Columbia, SC	  82.3	2nd warmest June
Amarillo,TX       ----- 13 days>=100 is new June record;
                        108 max temp ties all time record
San Antonio, TX	  -----	106 max temp is new June record
Dodge City, KS    -----	110 max temp is new all-time record

Total Precipitation and Other Precipitation Extremes

               Total Precipitation	% of normal
Daytona Beach, FL   .83		        14      2nd driest June
Melbourne, FL       .16		         3  	driest June
Orlando, FL        1.58		        22      driest June
Blue Hill, MA     17.32		       505      wettest June (2nd wettest month)
Burlington, VT     8.66                250      2nd wettest June
Indianapolis, IN  10.26		       294      2nd wettest June
Corpus Christi, TX ---- April-June total precip of .31 broke old
                        record of 1.23"

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Top of Page Rainfall, Flooding

"Persistent heavy rains and frequent severe thunderstorms affected much of the northern half of the country during June. Rainfall totals of 5 inches to locally 22 inches were observed across most of the central and northeastern states, with totals exceeding 200% of normal across the Ohio Valley, New England and the upper Mississippi Valley.



June 1998 was the 2nd wettest June on record for this midwest region. The wettest June occurred in 1928.

"Although wetness was especially notable during June, parts of the Midwest have experienced above-normal rainfall since April, and surplus moisture dates back to late 1997 in portions of the Northeast. During April - June 1998, total rainfall reached 18 to 27 inches in most of the primary cities in the Ohio Valley, Tennessee Valley, central Appalachians and lower Northeast. The rains frequently fell from strong to severe thunderstorms, especially during May and June, thus leading to abnormally frequent episodes of tornadoes, hail, damaging winds and flash floods. According to preliminary data from the National Storm Prediction Center (SPC site), 372 tornadoes were recorded during June over the nation as a whole, which is nearly 200 more than average.




June 1998 was the 3rd wettest June on record for this northeast region. The wettest on record was 1922. The 2nd wettest June was 1972.

How bad is it?

"Numerous new rainfall records were established during June across the northern half of the country, with record amounts reported in Paducah, Kentucky (10.98 inches), Nashville, Tennessee (11.95 inches), and Elkins, West Virginia (10.05 inches). Statewide, June 1998 was the second wettest June in 104 years in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and the third wettest June in Iowa and Maine. For the April-June period as a whole, rainfall totals were the highest in the historical record dating back to 1895 in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the third highest in Tennessee, and the fourth highest in Iowa. As a result of several months of generally above-normal rainfall, combined with localized extremely heavy downpours, rivers in 17 states were near or above flood stage as of 6 July.

Unseasonably wet conditions also set records in the West during April-June 1998, with California, Idaho, and Nevada recording one of the wettest April-June periods in the past 104 years. Since this is typically a dry time of the year, surplus precipitation west of the Rockies does not normally pose a problem. However, this year's unseasonably wet and cool conditions have retarded the typical seasonal snowmelt at some higher elevations across the West, most notably in the Sierra Nevada range where an exceptional late-season snowpack has increased the potential for flooding.

Short-term outlook:

The latest temperature and precipitation forecast is avalible at the NWS site.

Seasonal outlook:

"The official Climate Prediction Center monthly outlook for July indicates above-normal rainfall and cooler than normal temperatures in the northern Plains and upper Midwest, and near-normal rainfall and temperatures across the eastern and northeastern states.

"The outlook for July-September indicates an increased likelihood of above-normal rainfall from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic region, and cooler than normal temperatures in the central Plains. The extended seasonal outlook for the 1998/99 winter season indicates the increased likelihood of drier-than-normal conditions in the mid-Atlantic states and near-normal precipitation in the Midwest."-Climate Prediction Center (CPC), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), NOAA


Some Links of Interest...

Real-Time Water Data, Interactive Map of Stream Flow Data
Flood Fatalities/Impacts for 1997-1998 from the NWS
Historic Flood Losses 1903-1997
The Weather Channel
FEMA`s Flood Page
NWS Hydrological Center Homepage
NWS Hydrological Center: river condition graphic
Hydrological Services Division: flash flood guidance

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Top of Page Spring/Summer Drought, Fires

Including special section on Florida Fires and Drought

"Below-normal rainfall covered the southern part of the United States from eastern New Mexico to Florida during April - June. April-June 1998 was the driest such period in 104 years of record-keeping in New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, and among the 10 driest in Oklahoma and Arkansas. During the period, many locations across Florida and Louisiana received less than half of normal rainfall (generally under 6 inches) and broad sections of Texas and New Mexico received less than 25% of normal rainfall (1 - 4 inches). This dryness was a dramatic change from the surplus rainfall observed in much of these areas from late 1997 through March 1998.





"The April - June 1998 dryness was accompanied by above-normal surface temperatures since early May, which exacerbated drought conditions considerably. Much of Texas and parts of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama reached or exceeded 95°F on more than 50% of the days during May - June, with temperatures averaging 4°- 6°F above normal across most of the region. In Florida, the heat became particularly intense by early June, when temperatures routinely exceeded 95°F and new daily record high temperatures became commonplace. Overall during 1998, Florida recorded its warmest May and June periods on record dating back to 1895. Other states which also recorded their warmest May-June period on record with temperatures averaging 3.5°- 4.5°F above normal included Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Each of these states also recorded significantly below-normal rainfall during the period.




How bad is it?

"Numerous temperature records were tied or broken across Texas and Florida during May - June 1998. For example, daily high temperatures in Amarillo, Texas reached 100°F on thirteen days during June, and averaged at least 100°F for eight consecutive days between 22 - 29 June, thus tying a record set in 1924. Amarillo also tied its all-time high temperature record of 108°F on 27 June. In Brownsville, June 1998 was the warmest June in their historical record dating back to 1880. During this month the city recorded a record 17 days in which minimum temperatures failed to drop below 80°F. Midland, Texas reported a record 14 consecutive days from 16 - 29 June with high temperatures reaching 100°F, thus breaking the previous record of 13 consecutive days observed in both 1964 and 1981.

"In Florida, numerous temperature records were also broken during June 1998. For example, daily high temperatures at Melbourne either tied or broke records 22 times during the month, and record daily highs at Daytona Beach and Orlando were tied or broken 14 times and 13 times, respectively. Daytona Beach, Melbourne, Orlando, and Miami each recorded their hottest June on record, while Tampa recorded its hottest June in over 100 years. Elsewhere, the extreme heat also affected Kansas during 23-29 June, when Wichita recorded seven consecutive days of 100°F temperatures.

"With respect to the region's dry spell, rainfall in Midland, Texas during January-June totalled only 1.48 inches, their second driest such period on record. Farther east, April - June rainfall at Corpus Christi (0.31 inches) was the lowest in the historical record. This rainfall deficiency has led to widespread moderate to severe drought from eastern New Mexico eastward to Florida, as indicated by both the short-term drought Crop Moisture index and the long-term Palmer Drought Index.

  • The NDVI image shows comparisons from last year to this year. For more on NDVI anomalies, see see the NOAA/NESDIS/Office of Research and Applications (ORA) Vegetation and Temperature Condition Index page for monitoring vegetation conditions from NOAA Operational Polar-Orbiting Satellites.

Agricultural and livestock impacts

"The heat and dryness impacted crops and pastures in Texas and Florida, and some negative impacts were also felt in parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

"The Texas Agricultural Statistics Service (TASS) indicated that non-irrigated crops in Texas such as cotton and soybeans were severely short of moisture. Livestock were generally in fair condition with the help of supplemental feeding, but 66% of range and pasture were in poor to very poor conditions. Irrigation kept corn fields in good condition in the Plains of Texas, but much of the crop in other areas was in very poor condition. Statewide, 41% of the Texas corn crop was in poor to very poor condition. Also, 43% of the state's sorghum crop and 40% of the cotton crop was rated in poor to very poor condition.

"Setting: unseasonably high temperatures during the day plus record-setting high temperatures at night (lows of 81 degrees F have set new records in State). The timing of the drought conditions has exacerbated losses to agriculture (in addition to a grasshopper infestation which will only add to the projected economic losses.)

"Additional Impacts: High nighttime temperatures affect animals and poultry

  • there has been a major poultry die-off
  • forage acreage on ranches and rangelands has decreased rangeland production
  • cattle herds are being culled (hay is non-existent and what can be bought is too expensive) because most livestock depends on the summer grass that is dying because of the drought or being eaten by grasshoppers (there are 5 million head of cattle in Texas)

"Current Weather Pattern and Outlook: There is a large high pressure system over Texas that prevents any moisture from storms in the Gulf to reach the drought-stricken areas. Continued dry weather in West Texas could have a disastrous effect on the cotton crop which is hanging on by a thread. If there is no rain by next week, there could be a real problem." - Dr. Cliff Hoelscher, Texas A&M

"In Georgia, approximately 58% of the corn crop was in poor to very poor condition at the end of June. Corn in many non-irrigated fields has already been damaged beyond repair.

Fires

"The June - early July 1998 wildfires in Florida have become almost infamous. According to Florida's Emergency Operations Center (EOC site) all 67 Florida counties have been affected by fires. As of 5 July, 483,000 acres and 356 structures had been consumed by fires, resulting in an estimated $276 million in damages. Over 100,000 people had been ordered to leave their dwellings by early July, including the entire population of Flagler County. Also, long stretches of Interstate-95 and other roads were closed because of dense smoke and sharply reduced visibility. Fortunately, increased rainfall and humidity over the 4 July weekend allowed firefighters to make progress toward controlling several large wildfires. Additional control over the fires, particularly those in Flagler county, came on 6-7 July as widespread rainfall covered central Florida.

"In Texas, the Texas Emergency Response Division reported that wildfires during May-June 1998 had burned 143,000 acres. Elsewhere, by early July, large fires in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona had been contained, but new fires were reported in Utah.

Short-term and intermediate-term outlook:

The latest temperature and precipitation forecast is avalible at the NWS site.

Seasonal outlook:

"Long-range outlooks issued at the Climate Prediction Center suggest a continuation during July of warmer and drier than normal conditions across Texas, and a continuation of warmer than normal conditions in Florida and portions of the southeast. The seasonal outlook for July-September also indicates warmer than normal conditions across the Southwest, Texas and southern Florida.

"The latest long-range seasonal outlook issued by the Climate Prediction Center suggests drier-than-normal conditions for the Southwest from September 1998 through May 1999. The outlook also suggests the likelihood that these drier-than-normal conditions will expand eastward during the 1998/99 winter season to encompass Texas, the Gulf Coast, Florida and the Southeast. This outlook indicates the potential for serious long-term drought in these states if summertime rainfall remains deficient." -Special Climate Summary - Climate Prediction Center (CPC), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), NOAA


See also...

Southeast regional Climate Center
The Texas Drought 1998
Texas Water Development Board
USGS - Oklahoma District
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service State Offices
Crop Weather and Information
Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin
National Drought Mitigation Center
CPC Weekly/Monthly Analyses

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Top of Page Florida Fires and Drought

Over Florida, the unusually wet mild winter promoted abundant growth in the under brush. This weather was immediately followed by a severe drought these last two months (May and June), which rapidly dried out the dense under brush. This combination, wet and mild in the winter, dry and hot in the summer, provided abundant fuel to the wild fires pervasive over Florida.

Fires began burning out of control in Florida on Memorial Day weekend, and have now scorched over 485,000 acres, with more than half being commercial timberland. Most of the fires have been in an area bounded by Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, and Orlando. The timber losses amount to approximately $300 million, and at least 324 homes have been damaged or destroyed. Firefighting costs now total over $100 million and climbing. Over 120,000 residents were forced to evacuate for a day or more, including all of Flagler County. Fortunately, no fire-related deaths have been reported.

Normal & Percent of Normal Precip for Jul'97-Jun'98
Recent Abnormal Weather
SSM/I Derived Mean Temperature Anomaly for June 1998
Increases in Variability and Extremes
Temperature Anomaly for June 1998
Surface Moisture Extremely Dry as of June20

See also...

National Wildland Fire Issues
National Interagency Fire Center
U.S. Geological Survey
NWS Southern Region Fire Information Page
Florida Department of Forestry
Florida Fire Management Information System
FEMA Page (many stories and links)
Melbourne NWS Office

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Top of Page Record Global Temperatures


Top of Page June 1998 was the warmest June on record.

The global mean temperature for June 1998 continued this year's record breaking trend with the highest temperature anomaly since reliable records began in 1880. This conclusion was based on separately examining land data using the Global Historical Climatology Network; ocean data using the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) - Reynolds Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) blended with the NOAA Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (COADS) and the United Kingdom Meteorological Office Historical SST analysis; and a global surface temperature index that combines the ocean and land data. The final anomaly may change due to inclusion of new areas of the world not currently represented. Each of the anomaly time series is based on its respective 1880-1998 mean.

Though the recent El Niño has ended, El Niño's higher than average Sea Surface Temperatures over a large area of the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean during the past year put extra warmth into the global climate system, which likely contributed to the recent global record high temperatures.

Preliminary Data Stations for GHCN Jun 1998
Preliminary Data GHCN June 1998
Global Temperature Anomalies June 1998
GHCN Global Temperature Anomalies June 1998
SSMI Derived Temperature Anomalies June 1998
SSMI Derived Temperature Anomalies June 1998
More Global Daily Graphs...

For more information, refer to ...
Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN)
...the land data anomalies...
...the ocean data anomalies...
...the land and ocean data combined into an anomaly index ...
...all in degrees C with respect to long-term (1880-1998) mean.


Top of Page The period January - June 1998 was the warmest Jan-Jun of the century.

The period January-June 1998 was the warmest since reliable records began in 1880, according to the National Climatic Data Center. This conclusion was based on separately examining land data using the Global Historical Climatology Network; ocean data using the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) - Reynolds Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) blended with the NOAA Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (COADS) and the United Kingdom Meteorological Office Historical SST analysis; and a global surface temperature index that combines the ocean and land data. The final anomaly may change due to inclusion of new areas of the world not currently represented. Each of the anomaly time series is based on its respective 1880-1998 mean.

Preliminary Data Stations for GHCN Jun 1998
Temperature Anomalies, Jan-June 1998
Global Temperature Anomalies June 1998
Global Temperature Anomalies Jan-June 1998
SSMI Temp Anom Jan-June 1998
SSMI Derived Temperature Anomalies Jan-June 1998

For more information, refer to ...
Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN)
...the land data anomalies...
...the ocean data anomalies...
...the land and ocean data combined into an anomaly index ...
...all in degrees C with respect to long-term (1880-1998) mean.


Top of Page Each month, January through June, 1998 has broken the previous record.

Average Global Temperature 1998 vs. Previous Record

During the past few decades, global temperatures have persistently broken previous record highs every few years, but never to the extent observed in 1998. Each month this year has set a new all-time record high global temperature. This is unprecedented and is not likely to occur in a stationary climate. New analyses of tree-rings, historical records, and other proxy measurements indicate that these temperatures are warmer than the planet has experienced for at least the last 600 years (Michael Mann, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; the work was presented in the journal "Nature" in April 1998).

See Also...


As data are being received, scientists at The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center are automatically updating the Global Historical Climatology Network data base to maintain a global climate perspective in near real-time.

for further information on GHCN, contact:

Thomas Peterson
NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
fax: 828-271-4328
email: thomas.c.peterson@noaa.gov

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