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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 2000 - September
Global Regional Analysis

National Climatic Data Center, 16 October 2000
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Asian Wetness Anomaly Asian Surface Wetness Anomaly

The featured product above is the Asian surface wetness anomaly. It shows several large positive anomalies across southeast Asia. The greatest anomalies were across parts of extreme east India and Bangladesh. This is the third month in a row with positive anomalies in parts of southeast Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. According to media reports, flooding across eastern India and Bangladesh has killed more than 700 people with hundreds still missing. Rescue workers used boats and military helicopters to help some of the millions of people washed out of their homes by floods. Early monsoon rains which began in July have wrought havoc along the Mekong river and its tributaries running through Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. More than 4.5 million people have been affected, most severely in the large delta in southeastern Cambodia and southern Vietnam, where the Mekong meanders before feeding into the South China Sea. In Cambodia, the National Committee of Disaster Management declared a state of emergency in 14 of 23 Cambodian provinces. Media reports indicate this years monsoon floods were the worst to occur in 30 years and have affected more than 2.2 million individuals - 20% of the country's population. In contrast, negative wetness anomalies associated with drought conditions were prevalent across parts of western India and eastern Pakistan. Large negative wetness anomalies were noted in central China stretching into northeastern China. Additional details and global regional information are available in other sections of this report.

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Contents of This Report:

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Top of Page African Wetness Product

Large negative wetness anomalies cover much of central Africa in the Sahel. Consequently, drought conditions have stressed crops and caused poor harvests in parts of the region. The drought is the worst across portions of Mali and along the Niger-Nigerian border eastward into central Sudan.

In contrast, just south of the large negative anomalies in Nigeria, the media reported that heavy rains destroyed crops, and left thousands homeless in the northwestern state of Zamfara. More than 10,000 hectares of farmland were reportedly flooded, threatening the rice harvest. In addition, houses in the capital of Gusau and the adjacent towns were severely damaged. African Wetness Product
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Top of Page African Temperature Product

The coldest anomalies in Africa occurred in the southern quarter of the continent, although there was also an area of colder than average temperatures in the north central region of the continent. Warmer than average temperartures dominated the Sahel region, situated south of the Sahara desert. This areas was also much drier than usual. The combination of warm dry conditons had a negative impact on the crops in the area. More importantly, this is the end of the growing season for the Sahel, which means the populations will have to wait until next year before they can grow another crop. The exception to these conditions exists in the eastern section of the Sahel, where cooler than average temperatures reduced the stress on the crops. African Temperature Product
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Top of Page Australian Wetness Product

Much of the Australian continent experienced large negative wetness anomalies during the month. The anomalies were the greatest in central Queensland and New South Wales. Negative anomalies were also noted in western Australia. Some parts of the south coast of western Australia had their driest September on record according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Wetness Product for Australia
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Positive anomalies were noted in the extreme southeastern section of the continent due to a series of strong frontal systems bringing excessive moisture to the region. The area around Victoria in the southeast had the greatest positive anomalies.

Top of Page North American Wetness Product

Large negative wetness anomalies were observed over Mexico northward across the central Rockies and Plains of the United States. These negative wetness anomalies, coupled with in-situ data, confirmed that much of the region was drier than average. These conditions, which have persisted throughout most of the year, led to an active summer fire season over much of the West.
Severe drought and persistent heat over the south-central and southeast states caused significant losses to agriculture and related industries with preliminary estimates over $2.0 billion in damages and costs. Positive wetness anomalies were noted over portions of North Dakota and the Ohio valley eastward to the coast. North American Wetness Product
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Top of Page North American Temperature Product

North American Temperature Product
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North America was generally cooler than average for the month. This was particularly true for the vast majority of Canada, but cold temperatures were also dominant over both the eastern and western coasts of the United States. In contrast, extremely warm temperatures persisted over the central U.S. and the desert southwest, where a ridge of high pressure and southerly winds dominated the circulation.

Top of Page European and Western Asia Wetness Product

Large negative anomalies occurred north and east of the Caspian sea, and across portions of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Media reports indicated that 90% of the country's rice crop in Uzbekistan has failed as a result of the severe drought this year. The severe drought in Tajikistan will cost the country an estimated 57 million US dollars. Precipitation in the northern part of Kazakhstan has fallen as snow, rather than rain, therefore this product identifies the area with below average wetness.

European/Western Asia Wetness Product
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Large negative anomalies were also seen across parts of eastern Turkey and northern Iran, which are suffering from drought. In contrast, only a few small areas had positive wetness anomalies across southern Romania and the Ukraine, just north of the Black Sea.

Top of Page Asian Temperature Product

Generally, temperatures in Southeast Asia were below average, with the coolest values over the eastern half of the Tibetean Plateau and southeastern China. Warmer than average conditions prevailed to the north and west of the cold anomalies.
The largest area of warm anomalies generally occurred in Manchuria and southeastern Russia, where excessively warm and dry conditions have persisted for several months. This is the Asian Temperature Product for September 2000
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Top of Page South American Snow Cover Product

For the third month in a row, frequent storms brought heavy snowfalls to the extreme southern sections of South America. Cold temperatures and snow cover were much greater than average in southern Argentina and southeast Chile.
Disaster relief agencies reported that, as of the 20th of the month, the worst September snowstorm in 100 years affected the Patagonia region of Argentina. The 12-day blizzard caused firewood and kerosene shortages, forced mountain roads, schools and airports to close, and resulted in the deaths of half a million sheep. This is the South American Snow Cover Product for September 2000
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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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