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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 1999 - February
U.S. Statewide Analyses

National Climatic Data Center, March 17, 1999

February'99 US Temps Statewide Ranks
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February 1999 Temperature

February 1999 statewide temperature ranks show that seventeen states, all in the central portion of the country or in New England, were within the top ten warm portion of the historical distribution while twenty-eight others ranked within the warm third of the historical distribution. No state was within the cool third of the distribution.

February 1999 Precipitation

February 1999 state ranks for precipitation indicate that four states ranked within the top ten wet portion of the distribution while seven others ranked within the wet third portion of the distribution. Eight states also ranked within the top ten dry portion of the historical distribution while 13 others ranked within the dry third. It should be noted that these February state precipitation ranks are preliminary and should be used with considerable caution due to the high variability of precipitation on a small space and time scale. U.S. Statewide Precipitation Ranks, February, 1895-1999
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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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A persistent storm track brought cool and wet Pacific air to the West Coast of the U.S., resulting in near to below-normal monthly mean temperatures there for February 1999. The Southeast also averaged near the long-term mean. The rest of the country, especially the central third, had unusually warm February mean temperatures. The animated maps show the geographical pattern of temperature anomalies for the last 12 months.
animated TZ anomaly maps for 1998/03-1999/02
Animated Map
On these standardized temperature anomaly maps, red indicates areas with mean monthly temperatures much warmer than normal (top 10 percentile), tan indicates warmer than normal (70-90 percentile), light blue indicates colder than normal (10-30 percentile), and dark blue indicates much colder than normal (bottom 10 percentile).
The Palmer Z Index, below, shows how monthly moisture conditions depart from normal (short-term drought and wetness). February 1999 was unusually wet from central California to the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies, and unusually dry from southern California to the southern Atlantic coast.
Pockets of February dryness also stretched northward from the Southeast to the eastern Great Lakes. The animated maps show the geographical pattern of the moisture anomalies for the last 12 months. On these Z Index maps, the red shading denotes dry conditions while the green shading indicates wet conditions. animated Palmer Z Index maps for 1998/03-1999/02
Animated Map
Animated Palmer Drought Index Maps
Animated Map
The Palmer Drought Index Maps show long-term (cumulative) drought and wet conditions. The February 1999 wetness increased the long-term wetness in the Pacific Northwest, while the dryness in the East interrupted the recovery from the long-term drought which has been plaguing that region. The animated maps show how the geographical pattern of the long-term moisture conditions has changed over the last 12 months. On these Palmer Drought Index maps, the red shading denotes drought conditions while the green shading indicates wet conditions.
The Palmer Crop Moisture Index is computed on a weekly basis by the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center and is useful for following the impact of precipitation anomalies on agriculture. The Animated Crop Moisture Index maps show the change in topsoil moisture conditions during the first 9 weeks of 1999. The West Coast to Northern Rockies became wetter during this period, while the Ohio to Lower Mississippi Valleys underwent a drying trend from January to February 1999. On these Crop Moisture Index maps, the red shading denotes dry conditions while the green shading indicates wet conditions. animated Palmer Crop Moisture Index maps for 1998/03-1999/02
Animated Map
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For further information, 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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