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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 2000 - May
Global Regional Analyses

National Climatic Data Center, 16 June 2000
African Liquid Water Product Wetness Anomaly Product

The featured region in this month's analysis is the African continent. The speckled green/red area stretching across Africa at about 10 degrees North was a wet and dry anomaly pattern associated with the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The seasonal rains associated with the ITCZ are important to the agriculture of this region. The relatively large interannual variability in the magnitude of seasonal rains associated with the ITCZ, especially in the Sahel, can make or break crop growth in the region. The largest negative anomalies were on the northern fringe of the zone across portions of Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, into Kenya. Positive wetness values were observed over portions of Morocco eastward across coastal Algeria into Tunisia. Positive wetness anomalies were also noted across portions of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, with some of the moisture observed in the SSMI Liquid water product due to earlier floods.


Top of Page European Temperature Anomalies

Positive temperature anomalies (departures from the 1992-2000 average) over central Europe extended northward into Scandinavia. These anomalies were associated with a ridge of high pressure extending across the region which produced temperatures that were generally 1-2 degrees C above average. While this region was warm, anomalies were not as large as the 4C values recorded last month.
A persistent low pressure trough brought below-average temperatures to much of central Russia north of the Caspian Sea. Some areas were 4C below average. This is in sharp contrast to last month's temperatures that were greater than 4C above average in this region. European Temperature Product
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Top of Page European Wetness Anomalies

European Wetness Anomalies
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The same high pressure ridge which kept a large part of western Europe warm also kept the region dry this month. These dry conditions are reflected in the negative wetness anomalies. Several areas of low pressure tracked across central and northern Scandinavia leading to above average precipitation which was reflected in the positive wetness anomalies.

Top of Page Asian Wetness Anomalies

A ridge of high pressure over southwest Asia kept the region warm and dry. The region from Afghanistan into parts of Pakistan had suffered from drought during the last several months. A second area of below normal wetness values were also observed over a large portion of eastern China, contributing to worsening drought conditions in some areas.
Precipitation Anomalies across Asia
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In contrast, across much of eastern India, and southeast Asia abundant moisture from thunderstorms and the beginning of the monsoon kept these regions near or wetter than average. Also, the positive wetness anomalies seen in south central Pakistan are almost certainly not due to rainfall, but may be related to irrigation that is more apparent under the present dry conditions.

Top of Page Asian Temperature Anomalies

The combination of hot temperatures and the lack of surface moisture continued to worsen drought conditions across southwest Asia. In contrast, to the east temperatures were near or below average across much of India eastward into Southeast Asia. The combination of moisture and cloudiness in this region kept temperatures cooler than average. Asian Temperature Anomalies
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Top of Page African Temperature Anomalies.

Much of the African contintent was cooler than average this month. The wettest and coolest regions were in the southeast portion of the continent. Temperatures were more than 4C below average across Namibia, Botswana, parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. A persistent trough of low pressure off the northwest coast brought unsettled weather to coastal areas of Morocco. Temperatures were close to average across portions of Nigeria and Tanzania. Temperatures were warmer than average across much of northern Algeria and Tunisia due to a ridge aloft centered over south central Europe which kept this region of the African continent quite mild. African Temperature Anomalies
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Top of Page South American Temperature Anomalies

Much of the South American continent was near or below average temperatures in May. Frequent storminess with associated clouds and precipitation kept portions of Paraguay, Bolivia and northern Argentina quite cool. Storminess and flash floods claimed several lives across interior Argentina. Additional details are available on this month's Climate Watch . Temperatures were near the 1992-2000 average across portions of interior Brazil. South American Temperature Anomalies
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References:

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.

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, Room 120
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
fax: 828-271-4876
phone: 828-271-4800
email: ncdc.orders@noaa.gov

For more information, refer also to ...
SSMI Derived Products
Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN)
The Blended GHCN - SSM/I Product
The Global Temperature Anomalies
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For further information on the historical climate perspective presented in this report, contact:

Tom Ross
NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
fax: 828-271-4499
email: tom.ross@noaa.gov

-or-

Jay Lawrimore
NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
fax: 828-271-4328
email: jay.lawrimore@noaa.gov
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