Department of Commerce

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

December 1999- February 2000
Global Regional Analyses

National Climatic Data Center, 13 March 2000

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Europe-Asia Snow Cover larger image
This December 1999 - February 2000 season featured significant variability in the distribution of snowfall across the Eurasian landmass. Snow cover for the three month period was above average in the eastern half of Europe and eastward into Turkey. The frequent snow storms in this region kept the area fairly cloudy and cold for the first half of the period. Much of February, especially across western Europe, was warmer than average resulting in below average seasonal snow cover. The areas with the greatest snow cover duration anomalies were across parts of Turkey and north of the Black sea. Below average snow cover was also observed across the southern Volga river basin, and across southern Kazakhstan where most of the seasonal precipitation fell as rain rather than snow. Snow cover was also above average across a large area of north central China and southern Mongolia. Media sources reported that various snow storms, since October 1999, have caused damage in the northern Chinese provinces of Qinghai, Inner Mongolia and Xingjiang.


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North American Snow Cover
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This season brought two significant snowstorms to the eastern part of the U.S, which led to an above average snow cover duration in parts of the lower Ohio Valley and middle Atlantic region. The largest anomalies were observed in east central North Carolina and Virginia. This region usually averages 3-6 days with 1" or more snowcover. This season, during late January and early February, the region around east central North Carolina had snow cover reported on 9-12 days. In contrast, snow cover was below the long term (1992-2000) mean across a good deal of the central and western Plains, across the "Four Corners" area westward into parts of Nevada.

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Temperature Across Africa
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For the three-month period, the mean temperatures for the southern part of the continent were cooler than average. Much of this region had above average cloud cover. Also, flooding rains caused several thousand deaths across parts of Mozambique and Zimbabwe during late February and March. See the Climate Watch- March 2000 for more information. In contrast, in Ethiopia, dry conditions this season led to drought. Fires reportedly set by farmers trying to smoke out bees and other insects have blazed out of control. Media reports indicate that fires in the southeastern Ethiopia have destroyed some 97,000 hectares of virgin and natural coffee forests. The fires in Ethiopia are also reportedly threatening several wildlife preserves and natural areas. Drought has also affected portions of Kenya and Morocco with reservoirs in Morocco reported at half their capacity.

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Australia Temperatures
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Much of the Australian continent was cool this season. The coolest areas were over interior sections of western Australia and Queensland where temperatures were over 2 degrees C below the 1992-2000 average.These regions also had several stormy periods this season with tropical rains and some flooding. A few areas along the south coast experienced average temperatures.

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Temperatures across portions of the Baltic states eastward into western Siberia were generally warmer than average. This warmth was also noted over portions of the Middle East and central Africa. In contrast, the coldest anomalies were observed over portions of Mongolia and north central China. A few areas of cold anomalies were noted in the Alps region in Europe and in central Turkey. These areas not only had cold anomalies but also above average snow cover. Dec 1999-Feb 2000 Precipitation-Asia/Europe
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Line separating section as of the report

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.


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-

Mike Changery
NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
fax: 828-271-4750
email: mchangry@ncdc.noaa.gov
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