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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Climate of 1998

March Climate Perspectives:
Record Warmth Continues Globally;
Wetter but Cooler-than-Normal in US

Climate Perspectives Branch, Global Climate Lab
National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, NC
April 15, 1998

US Climate Perspective: January - March Precipitation Anomalies

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Jan-Mar Precip Anomalies for US
Based on preliminary data, January-March 1998 ranked as the wettest such year-to-date in the 104-year national record, with an area-averaged precipitation of 8.95 inches. This is a departure of 2.43 inches from the 1961-1990 normal of 6.52 inches. The second wettest Jan-Mar: 1979 with 8.41 inches.

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US Climate Perspective: March Precipitation Anomalies

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March Precipitation Anomalies for US
March 1998 ranked as the 15th wettest March in the 104-year national record, with an area-averaged precipitation of 2.94 inches, based on preliminary data. This is a departure of 0.47 inches from the 1961-1990 normal of 2.47 inches. The wettest March on record occured in 1973 with 3.89 inches. The second wettest March was in 1983 with 3.54 inches.

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US Climate Perspective: January-March Temperature Anomalies

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Jan-Mar Temperature Anomalies for US
Based on preliminary data, January through March of 1998 ranked as the sixth warmest such year-to-date in the 104-year national record, with an area-averaged temperature of 39.00 degrees F. This is a departure of 3.46 degrees F from the long-term mean.
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US Climate Perspective: March Temperature Anomalies

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March Temperature Anomalies for US
Based on preliminary data, March 1998 ranked as the 48th coolest March in the 104-year national record, with the area-averaged temperature of 42.0 degrees F. This is a departure of -0.39 degrees F from the 1961-1990 normal of 42.39 degrees F. The warmest March on record was in 1910 with an area-averaged temperature of 50.2 degrees F. The second warmest were March, 1921 and March, 1946 with 47.6 degrees F.
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Global Climate Perspective: Jan-Mar Temperature Anomalies

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Jan-Mar Temperature Anomalies for the Globe
Based on land-surface temperature observations going back to 1880, the global area-averaged mean temperature for January-March 1998 is the warmest on record. This period for 1998 is indeed slightly warmer than the previous record high in 1990. But the global area-averaged January-March 1998 temperature is definitely much warmer than that of earlier decades. Early indications suggest that when ocean data are included, the January-March 1998 period was also the warmest for both land and ocean. See below.

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Global Climate Perspective: March Temperature Anomalies

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March Temperature Anomalies for the Globe
The global mean temperature anomaly for March 1998 is the second warmest on record at 0.79 degrees C above the 1961-1990 mean. 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.

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Jan-Mar (1982-1998) Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

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Jan-Mar Land and Seas Surface Temp Anomalies for the Globe

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March (1982-1998) Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

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March Land and Seas Surface Temp Anomalies for the Globe

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These results, partially driven by the powerful El Nino conditions, follow the record warmth of 1997 and near-record conditions (0.77 degrees C above normal) for January 1998 and record-breaking 1.38 degrees C above normal for February.


For further information on the climate of 1997 and 1998, contact:
    Mike Crowe
    NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
    151 Patton Avenue
    Asheville, NC 28801-5001
    fax: 704-271-4328
    email: michael.crowe@noaa.gov

for further information on GHCN, contact:

    Thomas Peterson
    NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
    151 Patton Avenue
    Asheville, NC 28801-5001
    fax: 704-271-4328
    email: thomas.c.peterson@noaa.gov

for further information on Historical Climate Perspectives of the US, contact:

    William Brown
    NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
    151 Patton Avenue
    Asheville, NC 28801-5001
    fax: 704-271-4328
    email: william.brown@noaa.gov

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