The above image based on land and ocean surface temperatures gives a time series distribution of temperatures by latitude band. Surface temperatures within the tropics (20N-20S) in December were +0.23C above the 1880-1999 average. Temperatures in the Northern Extratropics (20N-90N) were slightly above average and noticeably cooler than warm December's of the 1990's. December 2000 in this band had the coolest positive anomaly (+0.19C) since 1985. Temperatures in the Southern Extratropics (20S-90S) were +0.56C above average, the third warmest on record.
Snow cover was widespread across the Northern Hemisphere this month. See the NOAA Eurasia Daily Snow/Ice Cover Movie Loop for December 2000 for information. Also, the National Weather Service/Climate Predictions Center produces a snow cover frequency map December - Northern Hemisphere . The frequency scale on the map (0-4) refers to the number of weeks during the month that the ground was snow covered. Additional details and global regional information are available in other sections of this report.
Due to problems with the ingest process of satellite data this month, the usual SSMI and blended temperature products are not available. This problem should be resolved in time to have these products available for the January 2001 report.
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.
Peterson, Thomas C. and Russell S. Vose, 1997: An overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network temperature data base. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78, 2837-2849.
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