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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 2000 - May
U.S. Regional and Statewide Analyses

Includes Year-to-Date Summary

National Climatic Data Center, 16 June 2000

Standard Regions for Temperature and Precipitation
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Bluebar 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.

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Table 1 shows precipitation and temperature ranks for each of the 9 regions and the nation for May 2000, the two-month period of April-May 2000, the six months of December 1999-May 2000, and the past 12 months, June 1999-May 2000.

            PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE RANKS, BASED
             ON THE PERIOD 1895-2000.  1 = DRIEST/COLDEST,
             106 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR MAY 2000,
             106 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR APR-MAY 2000,
             105 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR DEC 1999-MAY 2000,
             105 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR JUN 1999-MAY 2000.

                        MAY    APR-MAY   DEC 1999-  JUN 1999-
    REGION              2000     2000    MAY 2000   MAY 2000
    ------              ----  ---------  ---------  ---------

              PRECIPITATION:

   NORTHEAST             86       96         79         83
   EAST NORTH CENTRAL    79       60         44         47
   CENTRAL               52       39         36          9

   SOUTHEAST              3       12         11         24
   WEST NORTH CENTRAL    59       67         57         52
   SOUTH                 28       25         22         12

   SOUTHWEST             16        9         25         47
   NORTHWEST             68       63         64         52
   WEST                  66       65         61         45

   NATIONAL              29       30         23         15

              TEMPERATURE:

   NORTHEAST             71       65         97        102
   EAST NORTH CENTRAL    85       86        103        105
   CENTRAL               86       78        101        103

   SOUTHEAST             97       61         81         85
   WEST NORTH CENTRAL    85       87        102        104
   SOUTH                102       98        105        103

   SOUTHWEST            105      105        104        104
   NORTHWEST             72       91         97         99
   WEST                  95      103        101        102

   NATIONAL             106      106        105        105

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

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Top of Page Table 2 shows historical extremes for May, the 1961-1990 normal, and the May 2000 value for each of the 9 regions and the contiguous U.S. for precipitation and temperature. It should be noted that the 2000 values will change when the final data are processed.

                                PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
                           DRIEST     WETTEST   NORMAL  2000
       REGION            VALUE YEAR VALUE YEAR   PCPN   PCPN
       ------            ---------- ----------  ------ ------

      NORTHEAST           0.98 1903  7.25 1984   3.79   4.56
      EAST NORTH CENTRAL  1.15 1934  6.23 1908   3.29   4.26
      CENTRAL             1.65 1934  8.03 1995   4.47   4.20

      SOUTHEAST           0.97 1941  7.61 1976   4.21   1.61
      WEST NORTH CENTRAL  0.65 1934  4.63 1962   2.57   2.56
      SOUTH               1.53 1998  7.33 1935   4.17   3.18

      SOUTHWEST           0.19 1974  2.31 1992   1.01   0.57
      NORTHWEST           0.30 1924  4.19 1998   1.79   2.10
      WEST                0.07 1924  2.75 1915   0.73   0.89

      NATIONAL            1.78 1934  4.15 1957   2.91   2.55*

                          * PRELIMINARY VALUE, CONFIDENCE
                            INTERVAL + OR - 0.32 INCHES

                             TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)
                           COLDEST    WARMEST   NORMAL  2000
       REGION            VALUE YEAR VALUE YEAR   TEMP   TEMP
       ------            ---------- ----------  ------ ------

      NORTHEAST           48.7 1917  61.7 1911   55.5   56.9
      EAST NORTH CENTRAL  46.8 1907  63.7 1977   56.0   58.6
      CENTRAL             56.7 1917  69.8 1962   62.8   65.7

      SOUTHEAST           65.9 1917  74.4 1896   69.3   72.4
      WEST NORTH CENTRAL  47.2 1907  62.6 1934   53.7   56.0
      SOUTH               65.1 1907  75.3 1896   70.2   74.2

      SOUTHWEST           51.7 1917  64.3 1934   58.8   63.5
      NORTHWEST           47.7 1896  58.5 1958   52.3   53.6
      WEST                53.5 1977  65.6 1992   59.6   63.0

      NATIONAL*           56.2 1917  65.2 1934   61.2   64.7

                              * National Temperature Values based
                                on USHCN

 
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Top of Page Table 3 shows statistics for selected river basins: Precipitation rankings are for October 1999-May 2000, where 1 = driest, and 105 = wettest, based on the period 1895 to 2000. 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 May 2000.

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

  MISSOURI BASIN                     15         14.8%   11.9%
  PACIFIC NORTHWEST BASIN            62          0.0%    1.8%
  CALIFORNIA RIVER BASIN             49         28.8%    0.0%

  GREAT BASIN                        28         13.0%    0.0%
  UPPER COLORADO BASIN                9          0.0%    0.0%
  LOWER COLORADO BASIN                3         89.3%    0.0%
  RIO GRANDE BASIN                    5         69.1%    3.9%

  ARKANSAS-WHITE-RED BASIN           31          0.0%    3.7%
  TEXAS GULF COAST BASIN             17         58.4%    0.0%
  SOURIS-RED-RAINY BASIN             13          0.0%    8.4%
  UPPER MISSISSIPPI BASIN            18         20.5%    0.0%

  LOWER MISSISSIPPI BASIN             8         32.7%    0.0%
  GREAT LAKES BASIN                  40          0.0%    0.0%
  OHIO RIVER BASIN                   35         21.3%    0.0%
  TENNESSEE RIVER BASIN              18          0.0%    0.0%

  NEW ENGLAND BASIN                  73          0.0%   40.4%
  MID-ATLANTIC BASIN                 63          0.0%   10.3%
  SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF BASIN          11         36.7%    0.0%

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

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Top of Page Table 4 shows precipitation and temperature ranks for each of the 9 regions and the nation for January-May 2000. Based on the period 1895-2000.

         1 = DRIEST/COLDEST, 106 = WETTEST/HOTTEST.

       REGION                PRECIPITATION  TEMPERATURE
       ------                -------------  -----------

      NORTHEAST                   93             96
      EAST NORTH CENTRAL          53            103
      CENTRAL                     35            100

      SOUTHEAST                   11             80
      WEST NORTH CENTRAL          69            102
      SOUTH                       25            106

      SOUTHWEST                   36            105
      NORTHWEST                   69             96
      WEST                        80            103

      NATIONAL                    35            106

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Top of Page Table 5 shows historical extremes for January-May, the 1961-1990 normal, and the January-May 2000 value for each of the 9 regions and the contiguous U.S. for precipitation and temperature. It should be noted that the 2000 values will change when the final data are processed.

                                PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
                           DRIEST     WETTEST   NORMAL  2000
       REGION            VALUE YEAR VALUE YEAR   PCPN   PCPN
       ------            ---------- ----------  ------ ------

      NORTHEAST          10.16 1941 22.11 1979  15.84  18.87
      EAST NORTH CENTRAL  5.06 1934 13.41 1938   9.87   9.91
      CENTRAL            10.36 1941 24.67 1927  17.50  16.39

      SOUTHEAST          12.34 1898 28.00 1998  20.76  15.13
      WEST NORTH CENTRAL  3.06 1934  8.80 1927   6.37   6.60
      SOUTH               8.85 1963 21.44 1957  14.37  12.41

      SOUTHWEST           1.71 1972 10.16 1905   4.48   4.07
      NORTHWEST           7.37 1924 18.07 1953  13.14  14.16
      WEST                4.32 1972 19.31 1998   9.03  11.96

      NATIONAL            9.04 1934 14.59 1983  11.81  11.29

                             TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)
                           COLDEST    WARMEST   NORMAL  2000
       REGION            VALUE YEAR VALUE YEAR   TEMP   TEMP
       ------            ---------- ----------  ------ ------

      NORTHEAST           32.3 1904  40.9 1998   35.5   37.9
      EAST NORTH CENTRAL  26.5 1979  39.0 1987   32.1   37.0
      CENTRAL             38.8 1978  49.0 1921   43.9   47.4

      SOUTHEAST           52.3 1940  59.3 1974   55.5   57.5
      WEST NORTH CENTRAL  27.4 1899  39.4 1992   33.3   37.7
      SOUTH               51.3 1978  58.7 2000   54.5   58.7

      SOUTHWEST           38.6 1917  48.3 1934   43.5   48.2
      NORTHWEST           35.0 1922  46.2 1934   39.6   42.0
      WEST                43.5 1933  53.1 1934   47.8   51.1

      NATIONAL*           41.6 1917  48.5 2000   44.8   48.5

                         * National Temperature Values based
                           on USHCN

 
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Top of Page Regional Temperature - May 2000

Based upon preliminary data, May 2000 was the second warmest such month since 1895 for the Southwest Region. Thirteen of the last seventeen months of May have been warmer than the long-term mean. Warm Region May
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Regional Precipitation - May 2000

It was the 21st wettest May on record for the Northeast Region. Wet Region May
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Dry Region May
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Preliminary data indicate that May 2000 was the third driest such month since 1895 for the Southeast Region. The last nine months of May have been below to much below the long-term mean.
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Regional Temperature - January-May 2000

Preliminary data indicate that the year-to-date, January-May 2000, was the warmest such period on record for the South Region. The last three such periods have been much above the long-term mean. Warm Region Jan-May
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Top of Page May 2000 Statewide Ranks

May Tmp Map
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Forty states ranked within the warm-third portion of the historical distribution for May 2000 while nine states ranked within the top ten warm. Specific rankings include:
  • New Mexico - 2nd warmest
  • Texas - 2nd warmest
  • Arizona - 4th warmest

No state ranked within the cool-third of the historical distribution.

It was the driest May on record for Florida. Six other states ranked within the top ten dry portion of the distribution including the third driest May since 1895 for Georgia and Arizona and the sixth driest May on record for Alabama.

It was the fifth wettest May on record for New York. Eleven other states ranked within the wet third portion of the distribution.

May Pcp Map
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Top of Page January-May 2000 Statewide Ranks

Jan-May Tmp Map
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Forty-seven states ranked within the warm-third portion of the historical distribution for January-May 2000 while twenty-nine states ranked within the top ten warm. It was the warmest such year-to-date on record for Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Other rankings include:
  • Colorado - 2nd warmest
  • Nebraska - 2nd warmest
  • Nevada - 2nd warmest
  • Oklahoma - 2nd warmest
  • Utah - 2nd warmest

No state ranked within the cool-third of the historical distribution.

January-May 2000 was the third driest such period on record for Florida. Thirteen other states ranked within the dry-third portion of the distribution.

It was the second wettest January-May on record for New York and the third wettest January-May on record for Vermont. Twelve other states ranked within the wet-third portion of the distribution.

Jan-May Pcp Map
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Top of Page 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. Damage due to the drought has been summarized by NOAA and the Office of Global Programs in the Climatological Impacts section of the Climate Information Project. Crop impact information can be found at the USDA NASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service) and Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin pages. Drought statements by local National Weather Service Offices can be found at the NWS Hydrologic Information Center. Drought threat assessments and other information can be found at NOAA's Drought Information Center.
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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 courtesy of the Climate Prediction Center.

NOAA works closely with the academic and scientific 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 from the Climate Prediction Center.

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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-

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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