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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 2001 - February
U.S. Regional and Statewide Analyses

National Climatic Data Center, 13 March 2001

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Standard Regions for Temperature and Precipitation
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Contents of This Report:

Top of Page February 2001 Statewide Ranks

    February Statewide Ranking Map for Temperature
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    February 2001 temperatures were generally below normal along the West Coast through the Pacific Northwest into the central and northern Plains. Above normal temperatures occurred from New Mexico into Texas through the eastern third of the nation. Twelve states ranked within the cool third portion of the historical distribution while twenty-five states ranked within the warm third portion. Florida had its ninth warmest February out of 107 years of record. In Alaska, temperatures averaged across the state resulted in the third warmest February since records began in 1918.
    It was the second driest February on record for Florida. In fact, for the year long period March 2000-February 2001, Florida had its driest such period since 1895. The Pacific Northwest continued to be dry, with Washington ranking eighth driest and Oregon ranking tenth driest in 107 Februarys. Seventeen states fell within the dry third portion of the historical distribution.

    Twenty-one states ranked within the wet third. This included Oklahoma, which experienced its second wettest February. Other top ten rankings were:

  • Kansas - third wettest
  • Missouri - third wettest
  • Arkansas - fourth wettest
  • Iowa - seventh wettest
  • Wyoming - seventh wettest
  • February Statewide Ranking Map for Precipitation
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Top of Page February Regional Highlights

    Based upon preliminary data, February 2001 was the twenty-fifth coolest such month since 1895 for the West North Central region. This ends six consecutive Februarys that were above the long-term mean. February Time Series for Coolest Region
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    February Time Series for Warmest Region
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    It was the seventeenth warmest February on record for the Southeast region. Ten of the last thirteen Februarys have been above the long-term mean.

    February 2001 was the eleventh driest such month since 1895 for the Northwest region. This ends three consecutive Februarys of near to above normal precipitation. The Southeast region continued to experience precipitation deficits as well. February Time Series for Driest Region
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    February Time Series for Wettest Region
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    February 2001 was the thirteenth wettest such month for the East North Central region. Eleven of the last fifteen Februarys have been near to below the long-term mean.

View a temperature or precipitation time series for any region from the table below. Click on a region's precipitation or temperature rank to view the 1895-2001 time series.

Region Precipitation Temperature
Northeast 21 79
East North Central 95 32
Central 89 74
Southeast 17 94
West North Central 79 25
South 97 65
Southwest 78 60
Northwest 11 30
West 74 44

    Preliminary precipitation data indicate that the growing season-to-date, October 2000-February 2001, was the wettest such period since 1895 for the Primary Hard Red Winter Wheat Belt. The much above normal precipitation in this region is reflected in the October 2000-February 2001 state rank map. For this period, Oklahoma ranked second wettest and Kansas ranked fifth wettest. October 2000 through February 2001 Winter Wheat Belt Precipitation Time Series
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Top of Page February Precipitation and Temperature Ranks, Extremes and Normals

    Table 1 shows precipitation and temperature ranks for each of the 9 regions and the nation for February 2001, the two months of January-February 2001, the six months of September 2000-February 2001, and the past 12 months, March 2000-February 2001.

           PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE RANKS, BASED
           ON THE PERIOD 1895-2001.  1 = DRIEST/COLDEST,
           107 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR FEB 2001,
           107 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR JAN-FEB 2001,
           106 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR SEP 2000-FEB 2001,
           106 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR MAR 2000-FEB 2001.

                                FEB    JAN-FEB   SEP 2000-  MAR 2000-
            REGION              2001     2001    FEB 2001   FEB 2001
            ------              ----  ---------  ---------  ---------

                      PRECIPITATION:

           NORTHEAST             21        4          7         68
           EAST NORTH CENTRAL    95       79         62         67
           CENTRAL               89       55         30         45
 
           SOUTHEAST             17        8         14          3
           WEST NORTH CENTRAL    79       55         78         43
           SOUTH                 97       92         90         63
 
           SOUTHWEST             78       74         82         56
           NORTHWEST             11        3          2          2
           WEST                  74       60         30         19
 
           NATIONAL              67       30         29         27
 
                      TEMPERATURE:

           NORTHEAST             79       78         46         55
           EAST NORTH CENTRAL    32       70         37         67
           CENTRAL               74       61         18         41
 
           SOUTHEAST             94       66         21         43
           WEST NORTH CENTRAL    25       58         28         67
           SOUTH                 65       49         16         68
 
           SOUTHWEST             60       52         51        102
           NORTHWEST             30       35         27         57
           WEST                  44       49         50         88
 
           NATIONAL              53       58         21         74




    It should be emphasized that all of the temperature and precipitation ranks and values in Tables 1 through 3 are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final data are processed. National ranks and values are based on a combination of USHCN and divisional data.


    Top of Page Table 2 shows historical extremes for February, the 1961-1990 normal, and the February 2001 value for each of the 9 regions and the contiguous U.S. for precipitation and temperature. It should be noted that the 2001 values will change when the final data are processed.
                                     PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
                                   DRIEST     WETTEST   NORMAL  2001
               REGION            VALUE YEAR VALUE YEAR   PCPN   PCPN
               ------            ---------- ----------  ------ ------
 
              NORTHEAST           0.70 1987  5.43 1900   2.65   2.07
              EAST NORTH CENTRAL  0.31 1987  2.40 1922   0.95   1.64
              CENTRAL             0.67 1947  5.46 1909   2.64   3.69
 
              SOUTHEAST           1.36 1898  7.45 1998   4.15   2.25
              WEST NORTH CENTRAL  0.30 1985  1.07 1936   0.55   0.73
              SOUTH               0.66 1916  5.63 1903   2.30   3.38
 
              SOUTHWEST           0.14 1972  2.07 1980   0.80   0.99
              NORTHWEST           0.69 1920  5.95 1904   2.86   1.37
              WEST                0.21 1964  7.57 1998   2.27   3.08

              NATIONAL            0.96 1947  3.20 1998   1.98   2.14*
 
                                  * PRELIMINARY VALUE, CONFIDENCE
                                    INTERVAL + OR - 0.15 INCHES
 
                                     TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)
                                   COLDEST    WARMEST   NORMAL  2001
               REGION            VALUE YEAR VALUE YEAR   TEMP   TEMP
               ------            ---------- ----------  ------ ------
 
              NORTHEAST           11.6 1934  31.8 1998   23.3   26.2
              EAST NORTH CENTRAL   1.1 1936  31.6 1998   17.6   15.0
              CENTRAL             20.6 1978  41.8 1930   32.2   35.9
 
              SOUTHEAST           37.8 1895  56.4 1927   47.1   52.5
              WEST NORTH CENTRAL   2.7 1936  34.5 1954   22.2   15.8
              SOUTH               33.7 1905  53.5 1930   45.2   47.4
 
              SOUTHWEST           25.1 1903  42.8 1995   35.9   36.4
              NORTHWEST           23.3 1933  39.7 1963   33.5   30.9
              WEST                32.6 1903  48.8 1963   42.7   41.2

              NATIONAL            26.2 1936  42.4 1954   34.63  34.66 
                                 




 

Top of Page Water Year River Basin Statistics, October 2000-February 2001

    Table 3 shows statistics for selected river basins: Precipitation rankings are for October 2000-February 2001, where 1 = driest, and 106 = wettest, based on the period 1895 to 2001. 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 February 2001.
                                        PRECIPITATION  % AREA  % AREA
          RIVER BASIN                       RANK        DRY     WET
          -----------                   -------------  ------  ------

          MISSOURI BASIN                    100          7.3%    6.1%
          PACIFIC NORTHWEST BASIN             2         56.5%    0.0%
          CALIFORNIA RIVER BASIN             27          4.2%    0.0%
  
          GREAT BASIN                        70          0.0%    0.0%
          UPPER COLORADO BASIN               77          0.0%    0.0%
          LOWER COLORADO BASIN               85          0.0%    0.0%
          RIO GRANDE BASIN                   98          0.0%   20.6%
  
          ARKANSAS-WHITE-RED BASIN          105          0.0%   28.6%
          TEXAS GULF COAST BASIN             93          0.0%   29.7%
          SOURIS-RED-RAINY BASIN             96          0.0%   63.4%
          UPPER MISSISSIPPI BASIN            75          0.0%    1.3%
  
          LOWER MISSISSIPPI BASIN            70         10.2%    6.0%
          GREAT LAKES BASIN                  25          0.0%   16.9%
          OHIO RIVER BASIN                   12          0.4%    0.0%
          TENNESSEE RIVER BASIN              30          0.0%    0.0%
  
          NEW ENGLAND BASIN                  12          0.0%    7.7%
          MID-ATLANTIC BASIN                  2          6.8%    0.0%
          SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF BASIN           6         44.0%    0.0%

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

Top of Page
    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.

Top of Page 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: questions@ncdc.noaa.gov
For further information on the historical climate perspective presented in this report, contact:

    Jay Lawrimore
    NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
    151 Patton Avenue
    Asheville, NC 28801-5001
    fax: 828-271-4328
    email: Jay.Lawrimore@noaa.gov

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

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