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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 2001 - February
Global Regional Analysis

National Climatic Data Center, 13 March 2001
Asian Blended Temperature Product
Asian Blended Temperature Product

The featured product above is the Asian blended temperature map. Large positive anomalies stretched from Turkestan, in the southern part of the former Soviet Union, eastward across parts of northern Pakistan and India, and southeast Asia into Southern China. Anomalies in these regions were near 2C (3.6F). Additional positive anomalies were noted across the Philippines and Taiwan. In contrast, large negative temperature anomalies, in excess of 4C (7.2F), were observed over eastern Mongolia and northeastern China. Media reports indicated that Mongolia continued to suffer from its second consecutive winter of extremely cold temperatures and excess snow. Additional details and global regional information are available below.

Contents of This Report:

Top of Page African/Middle East Wetness Product

    Large positive wetness anomalies covered much of the fertile strip in north Africa across Morocco and Algeria for the second month in a row. Positive wetness anomalies are shown across scattered areas in central and southeast Africa. Flooding was reported across parts of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. The Africa News Service reported on February 20th that floods affected the Muzarabani area of northern Zimbabwe, destroying crops and the homes of hundreds of families. Incessant rains have fallen since the beginning of February, particularly in the food-producing northern part of the country. Negative wetness anomalies were noted over portions of extreme south and southwest Africa.

    Positive wetness anomalies were also prevalent in the Middle East. A strong winter storm hit parts of the Middle East on the 20th, bringing rain and snow to the region. According to media reports, the storm dumped a foot of snow in the mountains of Jordan, and Lebanon, bringing down power lines and stranding motorists. Flooding rains were reported elsewhere in the region. The northern Syrian town of Idlib reportedly received 190 mm (7.6 in) of rain on the 21st. This region usually receives about 90% of its annual precipitation during the November through April period. African/Middle East Wetness Product
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Top of Page South American Wetness Product

    Large positive wetness anomalies were observed this month over parts of southern Bolivia and southeastern Peru. This region received heavy rainfall which caused flooding in January 2001 as well. The rains have reportedly affected 250,000 residents, left 3,000 homeless and have killed 41 individuals in Bolivia. The Bolivian government has declared a red alert indicating a state of emergency across the country. The main roads linking northern Chile with Bolivia and Peru have reportedly been rendered impassable by unusual flooding that has resulted from the heavy rains. In contrast, scattered areas of negative wetness anomalies associated with dryness were observed over southwestern Brazil and across sections of Argentina. South American Wetness Product
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Top of Page European/Asian Wetness Product

    Positive surface wetness anomalies were observed mainly over the Atlantic coast regions of Europe and in north central Spain. Heavy rains resulted in flooding across parts of these regions. The AP reported that a large piece of chalk from England’s famed white cliffs of Dover crashed into the sea in southeast England. The slide was reportedly blamed on periods of heavy rain followed by cold temperatures. The rain is absorbed in the cliff-face, freezes, and expands again when the temperature increases, causing the chalk to weaken.
    European/Asian Wetness Product
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    Southeastern Europe eastward across Turkey was generally dry with much of the region having negative wetness anomalies.

Top of Page European Snow Cover Product

    Snowstorms moved across Europe at the beginning of February and also near the end of the month. Heavy snowfall and strong winds caused avalanches and several deaths in Austria and Italy, while a snowstorm left several towns along the eastern coast of the Black Sea without power.

    However, most of the month was characterized by warmer than average temperatures with below-average snow cover. A large portion of southeastern Europe had below average snow cover for the second month in a row. Warmer than average temperatures in the region for much of the last two months melted a significant portion of the shallow, protective snow cover in eastern Europe, leaving crops exposed to potentially cold weather. See the NOAA Europe / Asian Daily Snow/Ice Cover Movie Loops for January 2001 and February 2001 for more information.
    Above average snow cover was noted across parts of the Scandanavian countries and across the Ukraine north of the Black Sea. Heavy snow on the 3rd led to flight delays and cancellations across parts of northern Europe, and a heavy snowstorm on the 5th closed roads and downed power lines over parts of the United Kingdom. European Snow Cover Product
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Top of Page Asian Snow Cover Product

    Unusually heavy snow has affected parts of eastern Asia this month. Heavy snow on the 11th closed highways and caused flight delays in central China's Henan Province. This was the area's fourth heavy snowfall since January. This winters snowfall has reportedly been the heaviest in the Altay region of China in the past 50 years. According to meteorological sources, snow depth is 29.5 inches (75 cm) in the plains and 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) in mountainous areas. The regions with the greatest snow cover anomailes this month were mainly across Manchuria in northern China and across parts of the Korean Peninsula. See the February 2001 NOAA Europe / Asian Daily Snow/Ice Cover Movie Loop for more information on the areal extent and persistence of the snow cover.
    A snowstorm at mid-month dumped 8.4 in. (21.4 cm) of snow in Seoul, South Korea, the largest amount since 1969, causing traffic and flight delays. Negative snow cover anomalies were observed over southern Mongolia and parts of central and western China. Asian Snow Cover Product
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Top of Page North American Temperature Product

North American Temperature Product
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North America was a study in contrasts this month. A ridge of high pressure aloft and a mild southwesterly flow kept most of the southeastern United States milder than average. The warmest anomalies, over 4C (7.2F), were seen across parts of Florida. Cooler than average temperatures were found across most of the central and western United States. A persistant flow of polar air brought several intrusions of cold air into the Plains states. Temperatures were more than 4C (7.2F) below average across much of the region.

Top of Page Australian Blended Temperature Product

    According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, February 2001 continued the run of anomalous warmth over the southeast and central parts of the country, helping South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria record their hottest summers since at least 1950. Monsoon rainfall was widespread over the tropics and in some areas was intense, with numerous tropical cyclones and widespread flooding.

    Australian Blended Temperature Product
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    Much above normal or record rainfall affected much of the Northwest Territories and most of Western Australia and far north Queensland. As a result these areas had cooler temperatures. Anomalies were generally 2 to 3°C (3.6 to 5.4F) below average.


Top of Page African/Middle East Blended Temperature Product

    In the Middle East, regions from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and into parts of western Saudi Arabia experienced warmer than average temperatures this month. The warmth persisted across these areas during January as well. Additional warm anomalies were noted over southern Sudan, northern Congo, and parts of Angola and Botswana. Many of these regions were also dry this month.
    In contrast, a large portion of north central and southeast Africa were cooler than average. The coolest anomalies were noted over Zimbabwe, western and northern Mozambique, and southern Zambia. These areas experienced persistent cloudiness and flooding rains. African/Middle East Blended Temperature Product
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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:

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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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NCDC / Climate Research / Climate of 2001 / February / Search / Help

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