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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 2001 - January
Global Regional Analysis

National Climatic Data Center, 14 February 2001
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European/Asian Blended Temperature Product European/Asian Blended Temperature Product

The featured product above is the European/Asian blended temperature map. Large positive anomalies stretched from eastern Europe across the Ukraine to the Ural mountains in Russia with anomalies over 4C (7.2F) in some areas. Additional positive anomalies were noted across areas south and west of the Caspian sea, across southern China and southeast Asia. In contrast, large negative temperature anomalies, in excess of 4C (7.2F) were observed over a large portion of Siberia, Mongolia and northeastern China. Temperatures of -40 to -50C (-40 to -58F) persisted across Siberia near Irkutsk for a week, causing at least 11 deaths. Many of these regions were mired in an energy crisis which left thousands cold and in the dark for weeks at a time this winter. Additional details and global regional information are available in other sections of this report.

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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. These anomalies were associated with above average rainfall for the month but no flooding or damages were reported. Negative wetness anomalies were noted in southern Sudan which has been plagued by drought conditions. Positive wetness anomalies are shown across Tanzania, which experienced landslides caused by flash floods during the month. Positive anomalies were also observed over portions of southern Kenya where flooding caused major damage in the capitol of Nairobi. Kenya’s meteorological office in Nairobi recorded 128mm (5 inches) of rain in 9 hours on the 13th. Heavy rains fell in Nairobi, and according to the meteorological office it was the wettest January in 40 years. In contrast, a large area of negative wetness anomalies were observed over southern Africa.

In the Middle East, large negative wetness anomalies stretched from Jordan eastward into Iran, and Afghanistan. Drought continued across portions of the region particularly in Afghanistan. Amman, Jordan has received about 50% of its average precipitation during the November 2000 - January 2001 period. 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 northeastern Argentina and western Bolivia. These areas reported heavy rains which caused some damage and flooding. The rains and associated flooding were heavest across portions of southeastern Bolivia. Media reports indicated that at least 19 individuals have died and more than 150,000 were left homeless. The province of La Paz was hardest hit -- four individuals reportedly died when mudslides buried their homes and the rest drowned while attempting to cross flooded rivers. South American Wetness Product
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Top of Page European/Asian Wetness Product

Positive surface wetness anomalies were observed over portions of western and southern Europe. Heavy rains resulted in flooding across Brittany in northwestern France. In southern Europe, positive wetness anomalies were observed. Heavy rains across Yugoslavia and Greece caused flooding in some spots. Residents were also reportedly evacuated from the shores of Lake Skadar, near the Albanian border, and parts of the medieval coastal town of Kotor became flooded. In Italy, the BBC reported that parts of Venice remain flooded as a result of persistent heavy rains.
European/Asian Wetness Product
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A large area of negative wetness anomalies associated with dry conditions was centered over Germany and Poland and then stretched eastward across western Russia.

Top of Page European Snow Cover Product

A large portion of central and eastern Europe had below average snow cover for the month. Warmer than average temperatures in the region for most of the month 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 Loop for January 2001 for more information.
Above average snow cover was noted across parts of western Norway and in scattered areas of the Zagros mountains of northwestern Iran. Prolonged drought covered most of Romania and parts of Bulgaria. This region has had little rain or snow over the last several months. 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 winter, causing dozens of deaths, blocking roads and railways, disrupting airline flights, and bringing down power lines. This is reportedly northern Asia's worst winter in decades. An early January snow and sand storm was reportedly the worst storm in 50 years to lash the vast stretches of Mongolia and northern China, dumping snow as deep as 1.5 meters (5 feet). Approximately half a million livestock animals have died in Mongolia since November. The blizzard was followed by intensely cold weather over much of northern Asia. According to media reports, some livestock herders in western China died from exposure with temperatures as low as -60C (-76F). Another area of above average snowcover was also noted over eastern China near Beijing which also endured cold temperatures as well this month.See the NOAA Europe / Asian Daily Snow/Ice Cover Movie Loop for January 2001 for more information on the areal extent and persistence of the snow cover.
Record snowfall and bitter cold also affected the Korean peninsula and Japan. According to media reports, property damage in South Korea as a result of the heaviest snows in 20 years is estimated to be 149 million dollars. In Fukishima, in northern Japan, 56 cm (22 inches) of snow fell -- the heaviest snowfall in January in 65 years. 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 contrast this month. A milder westerly flow of air off the Pacific kept most of Canada much warmer than average this month. This warmth extended southward across the northern and central Plains of the United States then northeastward across Hudson Bay in Canada. Cooler than average temperatures were found across most of the interior western U.S., which had frequent storminess. Cooler than average conditions were noted over the southern Plains eastward into the southeastern U.S. and Middle Atlantic ststes.

Top of Page Australian Blended Temperature Product

A ridge of high pressure aloft centered off the southeastern tip of Australia was responsible for above average temperatures. Temperatures were hottest across South Australia, New South Wales (NSW), and Victoria with many areas 4C (7.2) or more above average. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, "the main period of heat occurred around the middle of the month when most of central and eastern Australia was baked by a merciless 14-day heatwave starting on the 10th with Ceduna and Kyancutta in South Australia, and White Cliffs and Tibooburra in NSW peaking at 48C (120F)."

Australian Blended Temperature Product
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Temperatures were below average across much of northern Australia as well as along parts of the west coast. Anomalies were generally 2 to 3°C (3.6 to 5.4F) below average.

Top of Page African/Middle East Blended Temperature Product

Northern and southern areas of the continent experienced warmer than average temperatures this month. The warmth persisted across these areas much of January with some areas in northern Africa reaching 28C (82F).
In contrast, portions of central and interior Africa were cooler than average. The coolest anomalies were noted over Tanzania and Kenya which also received some flooding rains. Cooler than average temperatures were also evident in the Middle East across parts of Saudi Arabia. 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:

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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NOAA Bullet NCDC / Climate Research / Climate of 2001 / January / Search / Help

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Last Updated Wednesday, 20-Aug-2008 12:22:19 EDT by Tom.Ross@noaa.gov
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