Department of Commerce

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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

Includes Year-to-Date Summary

National Climatic Data Center, 16 October 2000

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Standard Regions for Temperature and Precipitation
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Contents of This Report:

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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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Top of Page September 2000 Statewide Ranks

September Statewide Temperature Ranks
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September 2000 was the seventh warmest such month on record for Arizona. Ten other states ranked within the warm-third portion of the distribution.

Fourteen states ranked within the cool third portion of the historical distribution for September 2000.

It was the fourth driest September on record for New Mexico and the fifth driest September on record for Kansas. Twelve other states ranked within the dry third portion of the distribution.

Eighteen states ranked within the wet third portion of the distribution including the tenth wettest September on record for Georgia and the seventh wettest September since 1895 for South Carolina. Two tropical storms, Gordon and Helene, were responsible for significant drought relief in these two states. Additional drought information is contained within the U.S. Drought page.

September Statewide Precipitaiton Ranks
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Top of Page September Regional Highlights

Based upon preliminary data, September 2000 was the 16th warmest such month since 1895 for the Southwest region. Eight of the last twelve Septembers have been above to much above the long term mean. September Warm Region
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September Wet Region
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It was the 19th wettest September on record for the Southeast region. Drought severity in the southern half of the region was lessened during September by two tropical systems which provided beneficial rains from southeastern Alabama to North Carolina. The last five such months have averaged above normal for precipitation in the region, which extends from Virginia to Alabama.
September 2000 was the eighth driest such month since 1895 for the South region. The last two such months have been much drier than normal. September Dry Region
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September Agricultural Region
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Preliminary data indicate that precipitation for the now complete Primary Corn and Soybean growing season, averaged slightly below the long-term mean. Only three of the last twelve such seasons have been below the long-term mean. The growing season runs from March through September. Additional information regarding agricultural interests can be located at the Joint Agricultural Weather Facility.
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Top of Page January-September 2000 Statewide Ranks

Year-to-date Statewide Temperature Map
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Forty-one states ranked within the warm third portion of the historical distribution for January-September 2000 while 20 states ranked within the top ten warm. It was the warmest such year-to-date on record for New Mexico and Utah and the second warmest year-to-date for
  • Arizona (warmest was 1896)
  • Colorado (1934)
  • Nebraska (1934)
  • Nevada (1934)
  • Texas (1911)
  • Wyoming (1934)

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

January-September 2000 was the second driest such period on record for Louisiana (driest was 1954), third driest for Florida and Mississippi and fifth driest for Alabama. Eleven other states ranked within the dry third portion of the distribution.

It was the second wettest January-September on record for New York (wettest was 1976). Eighteen other states ranked within the wet third portion of the distribution.

Year-to-date Statewide Precipitation Map
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Top of Page January-September Regional Highlights

Year-to-date Warm Region
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Preliminary data indicate that January-September 2000 was the second warmest (warmest was 1934) such period since 1895 for the West region. Fourteen of the last seventeen such periods have been above to much above the long-term mean.

Preliminary data indicate that the year-to-date, January-September 2000, was the 14th wettest such period on record for the Northeast region. Five of the last seven such periods have been much wetter than the long-term mean in this region. Year-to-date Wet Region
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Year-to-date Dry Region
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Preliminary data indicate that January-September 2000 was the 15th driest such period since 1895 for the Southeast region. Only two of the last seven such periods have been much below the long-term mean.
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A detailed drought update through September is located at the NCDC U.S. Drought page. Additional drought information can also 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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Top of Page September Precipitation and Temperature Ranks, Extremes and Normals

Table 1 shows precipitation and temperature ranks for each of the 9 regions and the nation for September 2000, the two-month period of August-September 2000, the six months of April-September 2000, and the past 12 months, October 1999-September 2000.
                     PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE RANKS, BASED
                     ON THE PERIOD 1895-2000.  1 = DRIEST/COLDEST,
                     106 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR SEPTEMBER 2000,
                     106 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR AUG-SEP 2000,
                     106 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR APR-SEP 2000,
                     105 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR OCT 1999-SEPTEMBER 2000.

                                SEP    AUG-SEP    APR-SEP   OCT 1999-
            REGION              2000     2000       2000    SEP 2000
            ------              ----  ---------  ---------  ---------

                      PRECIPITATION:

           NORTHEAST             53       33         95         76
           EAST NORTH CENTRAL    35       41         72         34
           CENTRAL               68       58         69         39

           SOUTHEAST             88       61         20         14
           WEST NORTH CENTRAL    44       29         32         12
           SOUTH                  8        1         12          7

           SOUTHWEST             13       17          4          2
           NORTHWEST             88       71         41         50
           WEST                  64       74         52         45

           NATIONAL              28        9         19         11

                      TEMPERATURE:

           NORTHEAST             30       29         30         84
           EAST NORTH CENTRAL    57       66         60        101
           CENTRAL               40       53         52         99

           SOUTHEAST             31       34         49         81
           WEST NORTH CENTRAL    76       94         95        105
           SOUTH                 81      103         95        105

           SOUTHWEST             91      100        106        105
           NORTHWEST             55       79         95        101
           WEST                  76       93        104        103

           NATIONAL*             74       97        103        105

           *National Temperature Rank Based on USHCN.

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. Additional state, regional and national ranks maps including three-month and 12-month rankings can be viewed at the September Preliminary page.


Top of Page Table 2 shows historical extremes for September, the 1961-1990 normal, and the September 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           1.25 1914  8.04 1999   3.63   3.38
              EAST NORTH CENTRAL  0.95 1952  7.21 1986   3.60   2.79
              CENTRAL             0.70 1897  6.94 1926   3.63   3.67

              SOUTHEAST           1.91 1919  9.26 1979   4.33   5.96
              WEST NORTH CENTRAL  0.47 1952  3.42 1973   1.61   1.32
              SOUTH               0.88 1956  6.88 1913   3.67   1.61

              SOUTHWEST           0.09 1956  3.07 1941   1.46   0.60
              NORTHWEST           0.12 1975  3.42 1959   1.33   1.78
              WEST                0.03 1974  2.00 1976   0.62   0.41

              NATIONAL            1.45 1956  3.57 1986   2.63   2.17*

                                  * PRELIMINARY VALUE, CONFIDENCE
                                    INTERVAL + OR - 0.18 INCHES

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

              NORTHEAST           56.2 1918  66.5 1961   59.8   59.1
              EAST NORTH CENTRAL  53.5 1918  65.6 1931   58.8   59.6
              CENTRAL             60.5 1918  73.6 1925   66.7   66.3

              SOUTHEAST           68.9 1967  80.3 1925   73.2   72.5
              WEST NORTH CENTRAL  47.4 1965  63.7 1998   56.8   58.8
              SOUTH               67.7 1974  79.5 1911   73.6   75.8

              SOUTHWEST           59.0 1912  67.6 1998   63.9   66.3
              NORTHWEST           52.7 1926  62.7 1990   57.3   57.6
              WEST                61.0 1986  69.9 1979   65.9   67.6

              NATIONAL*           62.3 1965  69.5 1998   64.8   66.2

              * National Temperature Values based on USHCN
 
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Top of Page January-September Precipitation and Temperature Ranks, Extremes and Normals

Table 3 shows precipitation and temperature ranks for each of the 9 regions and the nation for January-September 2000. Based on the period 1895-2000.

1 = DRIEST/COLDEST, 106 = WETTEST/HOTTEST
               REGION                PRECIPITATION  TEMPERATURE
               ------                -------------  -----------

              NORTHEAST                   93             77
              EAST NORTH CENTRAL          69            102
              CENTRAL                     57             85

              SOUTHEAST                   15             76
              WEST NORTH CENTRAL          39            103
              SOUTH                       10            105

              SOUTHWEST                   14            106
              NORTHWEST                   57             95
              WEST                        77            105

              NATIONAL*                   20            106

              *National Temperature Rank Based on USHCN

Top of Page Table 4 shows historical extremes for January-September, the 1961-1990 normal, and the January-September 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          23.82 1941 39.83 1996  30.99  34.77
              EAST NORTH CENTRAL 16.74 1910 31.07 1993  24.70  25.35
              CENTRAL            24.56 1930 43.13 1950  33.04  33.82

              SOUTHEAST          28.88 1954 51.09 1979  40.70  34.61
              WEST NORTH CENTRAL  9.33 1934 20.44 1915  14.44  13.44
              SOUTH              18.35 1954 36.99 1973  27.71  22.29

              SOUTHWEST           6.45 1956 17.55 1941  10.66   8.75
              NORTHWEST          10.14 1924 22.97 1983  17.64  17.44
              WEST                4.90 1924 22.15 1998  10.95  13.14

              NATIONAL           18.78 1934 25.87 1979  22.68  21.18

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

              NORTHEAST           46.5 1904  52.2 1998   48.7   49.6
              EAST NORTH CENTRAL  43.2 1912  51.5 1987   46.9   49.4
              CENTRAL             53.7 1979  60.7 1921   56.3   58.1

              SOUTHEAST           62.9 1940  67.6 1921   64.8   66.1
              WEST NORTH CENTRAL  42.9 1950  50.3 1934   47.1   50.0
              SOUTH               62.9 1979  68.2 1911   65.0   68.0

              SOUTHWEST           51.8 1917  58.6 2000   55.0   58.6
              NORTHWEST           46.6 1955  53.3 1934   49.6   51.2
              WEST                55.4 1903  60.7 1934   57.6   60.1

              NATIONAL*           53.5 1912  58.3 2000   55.9   58.3

              * National Temperature Values based on USHCN
 
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Top of Page Water Year River Basin Statistics, October 1999-September 2000

Table 5 shows statistics for selected river basins: Precipitation rankings are for October 1999-September 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 September 2000.
                                       PRECIPITATION  % AREA  % AREA
          RIVER BASIN                       RANK        DRY     WET
          -----------                   -------------  ------  ------

          MISSOURI BASIN                      7         36.6%    5.9%
          PACIFIC NORTHWEST BASIN            46         10.7%    1.3%
          CALIFORNIA RIVER BASIN             51         28.8%    0.0%

          GREAT BASIN                        18         53.6%    0.0%
          UPPER COLORADO BASIN                7         93.3%    0.0%
          LOWER COLORADO BASIN                2         92.1%    0.0%
          RIO GRANDE BASIN                    3         81.6%    0.0%

          ARKANSAS-WHITE-RED BASIN           28         24.4%    0.0%
          TEXAS GULF COAST BASIN             11         74.7%    0.0%
          SOURIS-RED-RAINY BASIN             48          0.0%   30.7%
          UPPER MISSISSIPPI BASIN            34          0.0%    1.3%

          LOWER MISSISSIPPI BASIN             5         61.5%    0.0%
          GREAT LAKES BASIN                  76          0.0%   17.9%
          OHIO RIVER BASIN                   67          0.0%    7.6%
          TENNESSEE RIVER BASIN              14         12.3%    0.0%

          NEW ENGLAND BASIN                  61          0.0%    7.7%
          MID-ATLANTIC BASIN                 79          0.0%   12.8%
          SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF BASIN           9         40.9%    0.0%

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

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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.info@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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