Climate Monitoring / Climate of 1999 / Help


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 1999 - August
U.S. Regional and Statewide Analyses

Includes Year-To-Date Summary

National Climatic Data Center, 15 September 1999

Standard Regions for Temperature and Precipitation
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Through climate analysis, National Climatic Data Center scientists have identified nine climatically consistent regions within the contiguous United States which are useful for putting current climate anomalies into an historical perspective.

Additional information about current climate anomalies can be found at the respective Web Pages of the Southern Regional Climate Center, Western Regional Climate Center, Midwest Regional Climate Center, Southeast Regional Climate Center, High Plains Regional Climate Center, and the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

Current and historical drought information can be found at the Web Page for the National Drought Mitigation Center. The Center monitors current droughts both in the United States and worldwide.

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Table 1 shows precipitation and temperature ranks for each of the 9 regions and the nation for August 1999, the two-month period of July-August 1999, the six months of March-August 1999, and the past 12 months, September 1998-August 1999.

              PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE RANKS, BASED
              ON THE PERIOD 1895-1999.  1 = DRIEST/COLDEST,
              105 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR AUGUST 1999,
              105 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR JUL-AUG 1999,
              105 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR MAR-AUG 1999,
              104 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR SEP 1998-AUG 1999.               

                         AUG    JUL-AUG    MAR-AUG   SEP 1998-
     REGION              1999     1999       1999    AUG 1999
     ------              ----  ---------  ---------  ---------

               PRECIPITATION:

    NORTHEAST             16        8          5          6
    EAST NORTH CENTRAL    41       86         99         99
    CENTRAL                2        2         11         24
 
    SOUTHEAST             12        6          7         21
    WEST NORTH CENTRAL    68       47         84         96
    SOUTH                  5        3         54         77
 
    SOUTHWEST             72       87         98         82
    NORTHWEST             76       58         25         95
    WEST                  64       67         40         47
 
    NATIONAL               5        2         34         65
 
               TEMPERATURE:

    NORTHEAST             53       84         95        100
    EAST NORTH CENTRAL    37       73         96        101
    CENTRAL               40       81         65        100
 
    SOUTHEAST            101       99         60        100
    WEST NORTH CENTRAL    83       73         74        102
    SOUTH                 92       87         74        102
 
    SOUTHWEST             51       48         69        100
    NORTHWEST             83       55         30         76
    WEST                  45       41         33         45
 
    NATIONAL              83       88         79        103

It should be emphasized that all of the temperature and precipitation ranks in Tables 1 through 5 are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final data are processed.

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Table 2 shows historical extremes for August, the 1961-1990 normal, and the August 1999 value for each of the 9 regions and the contiguous U.S. for precipitation and temperature.

                              PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
                            DRIEST     WETTEST   NORMAL  1999
        REGION            VALUE YEAR VALUE YEAR   PCPN   PCPN
        ------            ---------- ----------  ------ ------
 
       NORTHEAST           1.78 1957  8.01 1955   3.87   2.83
       EAST NORTH CENTRAL  1.35 1930  6.27 1980   3.73   3.16
       CENTRAL             1.55 1953  6.30 1915   3.71   1.84
 
       SOUTHEAST           2.71 1930  9.78 1901   5.19   3.50
       WEST NORTH CENTRAL  0.77 1967  3.03 1968   1.71   1.85
       SOUTH               1.22 1943  6.06 1915   2.98   1.46
 
       SOUTHWEST           0.56 1962  3.25 1963   1.96   2.23
       NORTHWEST           0.10 1967  2.98 1968   0.96   0.92
       WEST                0.00 1911  2.01 1983   0.50   0.32

       NATIONAL            1.76 1929  3.55 1977   2.66   1.94*
 
                           * PRELIMINARY VALUE, CONFIDENCE
                             INTERVAL + OR - 0.16 INCHES
 
                              TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)
                            COLDEST    WARMEST   NORMAL  1999
        REGION            VALUE YEAR VALUE YEAR   TEMP   TEMP
        ------            ---------- ----------  ------ ------
 
       NORTHEAST           62.9 1903  71.9 1937   67.4   67.5
       EAST NORTH CENTRAL  63.0 1915  74.6 1947   67.6   67.0
       CENTRAL             68.9 1915  79.8 1936   73.4   73.6
 
       SOUTHEAST           75.8 1967  81.3 1900   78.0   80.3
       WEST NORTH CENTRAL  63.0 1911  73.0 1983   67.4   69.0
       SOUTH               76.2 1992  84.5 1943   80.2   83.1

       SOUTHWEST           68.1 1968  74.6 1994   71.3   71.4
       NORTHWEST           59.2 1899  69.4 1967   65.2   66.6
       WEST                67.2 1899  75.7 1958   72.4   72.1

       NATIONAL            70.0 1927  75.4 1983   72.3   73.4*
 
                           * PRELIMINARY VALUE, CONFIDENCE
                             INTERVAL + OR - 0.2 DEG. F.

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Table 3 shows statistics for selected river basins: Precipitation rankings are for the hydrologic year-to-date, October 1998-August 1999, where 1 = driest, and 104 = wettest, based on the period 1895 to 1999. Also shown is the areal percent of the basin experiencing severe or extreme long-term (Palmer) drought, and areal percent of the basin experiencing severe or extreme long-term (Palmer) wet conditions, as of August 1999.

                                        PRECIPITATION  % AREA  % AREA
          RIVER BASIN                       RANK        DRY     WET
          -----------                   -------------  ------  ------

          MISSOURI BASIN                    101          0.8%   41.5%
          PACIFIC NORTHWEST BASIN            95          0.0%   14.9%
          CALIFORNIA RIVER BASIN             43         37.6%    6.7%
  
          GREAT BASIN                        67          0.0%   20.5%
          UPPER COLORADO BASIN               72          0.0%    0.0%
          LOWER COLORADO BASIN               56         10.4%    0.0%
          RIO GRANDE BASIN                   73          0.0%    3.9%
  
          ARKANSAS-WHITE-RED BASIN          100          0.0%   54.6%
          TEXAS GULF COAST BASIN             70          0.0%    0.0%
          SOURIS-RED-RAINY BASIN            104          0.0%  100.0%
          UPPER MISSISSIPPI BASIN            95          0.0%   16.0%
  
          LOWER MISSISSIPPI BASIN            40          7.7%    0.0%
          GREAT LAKES BASIN                  55          0.0%    0.0%
          OHIO RIVER BASIN                   18         56.0%    0.0%
          TENNESSEE RIVER BASIN              47          0.0%    0.0%
  
          NEW ENGLAND BASIN                  19         18.6%    0.0%
          MID-ATLANTIC BASIN                  3         89.1%    0.0%
          SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF BASIN          12         26.1%    0.0%


The river basin regions are defined by the U.S. Water Resources Council.

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Table 4 shows precipitation and temperature ranks for each of the 9 regions and the nation for the year-to-date, January-August 1999, based on the period 1895-1999. 1 = DRIEST/COLDEST, 105 = WETTEST/HOTTEST.

        REGION                PRECIPITATION  TEMPERATURE
        ------                -------------  -----------
 
       NORTHEAST                   21             94
       EAST NORTH CENTRAL         103            100
       CENTRAL                     31             86
 
       SOUTHEAST                   16             79
       WEST NORTH CENTRAL          84             93
       SOUTH                       51             96
 
       SOUTHWEST                   82             96
       NORTHWEST                   82             63
       WEST                        53             51
 
       NATIONAL                    49             99

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Table 5 shows historical extremes for January-August, the 1961-1990 normal, and the January-August 1999 value for each of the 9 regions and the contiguous U.S. for precipitation and temperature.

                             PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
                            DRIEST     WETTEST   NORMAL  1999
        REGION            VALUE YEAR VALUE YEAR   PCPN   PCPN
        ------            ---------- ----------  ------ ------
 
       NORTHEAST          20.70 1965 34.09 1996  27.36  24.85
       EAST NORTH CENTRAL 13.69 1910 27.88 1993  21.10  25.40
       CENTRAL            20.02 1936 39.24 1950  29.41  27.78
 
       SOUTHEAST          26.29 1954 45.20 1991  36.37  30.57
       WEST NORTH CENTRAL  7.90 1934 18.62 1993  12.83  14.26
       SOUTH              16.93 1954 32.33 1905  24.04  24.16
 
       SOUTHWEST           6.30 1924 14.48 1941   9.20  10.55
       NORTHWEST           9.14 1924 21.79 1983  16.31  17.96
       WEST                4.76 1924 20.96 1998  10.33  10.24
 
       NATIONAL           15.92 1934 23.34 1979  20.05  20.10

                              TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)
                            COLDEST    WARMEST   NORMAL  1999
        REGION            VALUE YEAR VALUE YEAR   TEMP   TEMP
        ------            ---------- ----------  ------ ------
 
       NORTHEAST           44.9 1907  50.9 1998   47.4   49.4
       EAST NORTH CENTRAL  41.3 1912  50.5 1987   45.5   47.9
       CENTRAL             51.9 1978  59.2 1921   55.0   56.8

       SOUTHEAST           61.8 1940  66.4 1990   63.7   65.2
       WEST NORTH CENTRAL  41.2 1950  50.0 1934   45.8   47.7
       SOUTH               61.6 1979  66.8 1911   63.9   66.1
 
       SOUTHWEST           50.2 1917  57.3 1934   53.8   55.3
       NORTHWEST           45.3 1955  53.0 1934   48.6   48.6
       WEST                54.0 1949  59.9 1934   56.6   56.3
 
       NATIONAL            52.1 1912  56.9 1934   54.3   55.8

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Top of Page The Tropics: A Historical Perspective

Late in the afternoon of August 22, Hurricane Bret made landfall on Padre Island in sparsely populated Kenedy County, about half-way between Brownsville and Corpus Christi. Bret was only the 16th category 4 storm to ever hit the United States and the fourth category 4 storm to ever hit the Texas coast. The last category 4 storm to hit the Texas coast was hurricane Carla which passed over the Matagorda/Port O'Conner region in September 1961. Bret SatPic
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Bret drifted westward dumping copious rainfall over south Texas where in excess of ten inches of rain was reported in several locations due to the storm's slow forward motion. Numerous tornadoes were reported and extensive wind damage was noted, especially to the immediate north of land fall.

This region has been spared a land falling hurricane in recent years. The last hurricane to hit the Texas coast was Jerry in October 1989.


The coastal areas of North Carolina had their fourth tropical storm scare in as many years during August 29th and 30th. Hurricane Dennis developed over the eastern Bahamas on the 26th and drifted northward parallel to the southeast U.S. coast from the 26th through the 30th. Dennis became an immediate threat to southeastern North Carolina when the center approached to within 60 miles of the coast early on the 30th. At this time, Dennis was a strong category two hurricane with highest sustained winds of 105 miles per hour. Dennis SatPic
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Although the hurricane turned northeastward and didn't made landfall, it became stationary about 100 miles east of Cape Hatteras from August 30th through the 3rd of September and continuous wave action pounded the northern Outer Banks creating substantial beach erosion, dune overwash, and destroying several beach front homes. Rainfall amounts exceeded five inches in the region. After weakening to a strong tropical storm, Dennis made landfall late on September 4th near Cape Lookout.

Eastern North Carolina is no stranger to hurricane activity. Category two hurricane Bertha and category three hurricane Fran hit Brunswick County in 1996 and Hurricane Bonnie (category 2) followed nearly the same path in 1998. Prior to 1996, the area had been spared from the direct impact of a hurricane since Charlie (category 1) hit Carteret County in 1986.

For the latest forecasts, warnings, and analyses for the tropical Atlantic and the tropical Eastern North Pacific, visit the National Hurricane Center's web site. More specific information on Hurricanes Bret and Dennis can be located at the Weather Underground tropical page while additional satellite images and loops of Bret and Dennis are located at the NCDC Online Images web site. A detailed discription of the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale can also be obtained from the National Hurricane Center.

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Top of Page August 1999 Temperature and Precipitation

Warm Region - August
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Based upon preliminary data, August 1999 was the fifth warmest August on record for Southeast Region.
August 1999 was the 37th coolest August on record for the East-North Central Region. Several cool air intrusions from Canada kept the region cooler than the long-term mean. Cool Region - August
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Dry Region - August
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Preliminary data for the Central Region ranked August 1999 as the second driest August since records began in 1895. Only August 1953 has been drier.
Preliminary data indicate that precipitation averaged across the Primary Corn and Soybean agricultural belt ranked near the long-term mean for growing season to date. The last ten such periods have averaged at or above the long-term mean for precipitation. Primary Corn and Soybean - August
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Top of Page August 1999 Statewide Temperature and Precipitation

August Tmp Map
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Seven states ranked within the top ten warm portion of the distribution for August 1999, including:
  • Alabama - 3rd warmest
  • Georgia - 3rd warmest
  • Louisiana - 3rd warmest
  • South Carolina - 3rd warmest

No state ranked within the top ten cool portion of the distribution.

Eleven states ranked within the top ten dry portion of the historical distribution for August 1999, including:
  • Alabama - 2nd Driest
  • Louisiana - 2nd driest
  • Tennessee - 2nd driest
  • Indiana - 3rd driest
  • Kentucky - 3rd driest

No state ranked within the top ten wet portion of the distribution.

August Pcp Map
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Top of PageJanuary-August 1999 Statewide Temperature and Precipitation

Jan-Aug Temp Map
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Fourteen states were within the top ten warm portion of the distribution for temperature for January-August 1999, including:
  • Rhode Island - 3rd warmest
  • Lousiana - 4th warmest
  • Massachusetts - 4th warmest
  • Colorado - 5th warmest
  • New Hampshire - 5th warmest
  • Wisconsin - 5th warmest

The same January-August period was the 25th coolest such period for California.

Two states ranked within the top ten dry portion of the distribution for January-August 1999:
  • West Virginia - 5th driest
  • Virginia - 8th driest
Three states ranked within the top ten wet portion of the distribution for the same period including:
  • Minnesota - 3rd wettest
  • Wisconsin - 3rd wettest
  • North Dakota - 9th wettest
Jan-Aug Pcp Map
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Top of Page September 1998-August 1999 Statewide Temperature and Precipitation

Sep-Aug Temp Map
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Forty states were within the top ten warm portion of the distribution for temperature for the running twelve month period. Some September 1998-August 1999 ranks included:
  • Louisiana - 2nd warmest
  • Arkansas - 3rd warmest
  • Kansas - 3rd warmest
  • Maine - 3rd warmest
  • Maryland - 3rd warmest
  • Massachusetts - 3rd warmest
  • Nebraska - 3rd warmest
  • New Hampshire - 3rd warmest
  • Rhode Island - 3rd warmest
  • Tennessee - 3rd warmest
  • Texas - 3rd warmest
  • Wisconsin - 3rd warmest

Only California ranked within the cool third portion of the historical distribution.

Eight states were within the top 10 dry portion of the distribution for the September 1998-August 1999 period including:
  • Virginia - 2nd driest
  • West Virginia - 2nd driest
  • Maryland - 3rd driest
  • New York - 4th driest
  • Delaware - 5th driest
  • North Carolina - 5th driest

Seven states ranked with the top ten wet portion of the distribution for the same period. They included the wettest such period for Minnesota, second wettest such period for North Dakota, the fourth wettest for Kansas, and the fifth wettest such twelve-month period since 1895 for South Dakota.

Sep-Aug Pcp Map
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It should be emphasized that all of the temperature and precipitation ranks on these maps are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final data are processed.

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For more information, refer to ...References:

Thomas R. Karl and Albert J. Koscielny, 1982: "Drought in the United States: 1895-1981." Journal of Climatology, vol. 2, pp. 313-329.

Thomas R. Karl and Walter James Koss, 1984: "Regional and National Monthly, Seasonal, and Annual Temperature Weighted by Area, 1895-1983." Historical Climatology Series 4-3, National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, NC, 38 pp.

NOAA's National Climatic Data Center is the world's largest active archive of weather data. The preliminary temperature and precipitation rankings are available from the center by calling: 828-271-4800.

Historical precipitation and temperature ranking maps are also available on the Internet at: http://nic.fb4.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/regional_monitoring/usa.html.

NOAA works closely with the academic and science communities on climate-related research projects to increase the understanding of El Niño and improve forecasting techniques. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center monitors, analyzes and predicts climate events ranging from weeks to seasons for the nation. NOAA also operates the network of data buoys and satellites that provide vital information about the ocean waters, and initiates research projects to improve future climate forecasts. The long lead climate outlooks are available on the Internet at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.

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For all climate questions other than questions concerning this report, please contact the National Climatic Data Center's Climate Services Division:

Climate Services Division
NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
fax: 828-271-4876
phone: 828-271-4800
email: ncdc.orders@noaa.gov
For further information on the historical climate perspective presented in this report, contact:

William Brown
NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
fax: 828-271-4328
email: william.brown@noaa.gov
-or-
Mike Changery
NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
fax: 828-271-4328
email: mchangry@ncdc.noaa.gov

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