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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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

National Climatic Data Center, 14 Febuary 2001

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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 January 2001 Statewide Ranks

January Statewide Ranking Map for Temperature
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January 2001 temperatures were generally below normal in the south and above normal in the north. Ten southern states ranked within the cool third portion of the historical distribution and ten northern states ranked within the warm third portion.

Minnesota had its ninth warmest January out of 107 years of record. In Alaska, temperatures averaged across the state resulted in the fifth warmest January since records began in 1918. valign=middle

It was the fourth driest January on record for Oregon and Maine, fifth driest for New York and sixth driest for Ohio since 1895. Four other states experienced one of their top ten dry Januarys in 2001 while a total of seventeen states fell within the dry third portion of the historical distribution.

Seven states in the center of the nation ranked within the wet third.

It is interesting to note that North Dakota had its tenth driest January while South Dakota had its seventeenth wettest. This contrast is due to areas of southern South Dakota receiving more than twice their normal monthly mean and areas in northern North Dakota receiving less than a third of normal.

January Statewide Ranking Map for Precipitation
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Top of Page January Regional Highlights

Based upon preliminary data, January 2001 was the twenty-eighth coldest such month since 1895 for the South region. Most of the last ten Januarys have remained close to the long-term mean. January Time Series for Coolest Region
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January Time Series for Warmest Region
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It was the seventeenth warmest January on record for the West North Central region. The last four Januarys have been well above the long-term mean. In fact, twelve of the last nineteen such months have been well above the long-term mean. valign=middle

January 2001 was the fifth driest such month since 1895 for the Northwest region. This ends five consecutive Januarys of above normal precipitation. January Time Series for Driest Region
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January Time Series for Wettest Region
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January 2001 was the thirty-first wettest such month for the South region. Ten of the last thirteen Januarys have been above the long-term mean. valign=middle

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 8 62
East North Central 56 89
Central 24 42
Southeast 17 27
West North Central 36 90
South 76 28
Southwest 74 50
Northwest 5 46
West 41 57

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Preliminary data indicate that precipitation for the growing season-to-date, October 2000-January 2001, averaged much above the long-term mean for the Primary Hard Red Winter Wheat Belt. The wettest such period was just two years ago. October 2000 through January 20001 Winter Wheat Belt Precipitation Time Series
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Current and historical drought information can be found at the 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 January Precipitation and Temperature Ranks, Extremes and Normals

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

                     PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE RANKS, BASED

                     ON THE PERIOD 1895-2001.  1 = DRIEST/COLDEST,

                     107 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR JAN 2001,

                     106 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR DEC 2000-JAN 2001,

                     106 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR AUG 2000-JAN 2001,

                     106 = WETTEST/WARMEST FOR FEB 2000-JAN 2001.



                                JAN   DEC 2000-  AUG 2000-  FEB 2000-

            REGION              2001  JAN 2001   JAN 2001   JAN 2001

            ------              ----  ---------  ---------  ---------



                      PRECIPITATION:



           NORTHEAST              8       27         12         72

           EAST NORTH CENTRAL    56       57         46         64

           CENTRAL               24       18         21         42



           SOUTHEAST             17       12         20          4

           WEST NORTH CENTRAL    36       44         53         48

           SOUTH                 76       51         49         42



           SOUTHWEST             74       41         75         50

           NORTHWEST              5        3          4          4

           WEST                  41       19         18         40



           NATIONAL              14        9         22         23



                      TEMPERATURE:



           NORTHEAST             62       31         25         58

           EAST NORTH CENTRAL    89       33         49         93

           CENTRAL               42        8         12         56



           SOUTHEAST             27       10          8         39

           WEST NORTH CENTRAL    90       51         49         91

           SOUTH                 28        6         18         87



           SOUTHWEST             50       62         61        104

           NORTHWEST             46       43         35         76

           WEST                  57       84         75         98



           NATIONAL              63       22         24         92



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.


Top of Page Table 2 shows historical extremes for January, the 1961-1990 normal, and the January 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           0.87 1981  7.22 1979   2.84   1.69

              EAST NORTH CENTRAL  0.32 1961  2.47 1916   1.11   1.06

              CENTRAL             0.72 1981  9.61 1937   2.52   2.02



              SOUTHEAST           0.92 1927  7.73 1936   4.13   2.49

              WEST NORTH CENTRAL  0.16 1961  1.25 1949   0.61   0.54

              SOUTH               0.53 1914  5.34 1932   2.09   2.63



              SOUTHWEST           0.20 1924  3.00 1916   0.82   1.03

              NORTHWEST           0.43 1985  7.81 1953   3.80   1.56

              WEST                0.28 1984 10.67 1916   2.58   2.36



              NATIONAL            0.92 1981  3.87 1916   2.07   1.70*



                                  * PRELIMINARY VALUE, CONFIDENCE

                                    INTERVAL + OR - 0.34 INCHES



                                     TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)

                                   COLDEST    WARMEST   NORMAL  2001

               REGION            VALUE YEAR VALUE YEAR   TEMP   TEMP

               ------            ---------- ----------  ------ ------



              NORTHEAST           12.3 1918  33.8 1932   21.1   23.2

              EAST NORTH CENTRAL  -1.3 1912  25.4 1990   13.0   20.0

              CENTRAL             15.1 1977  40.0 1933   28.2   29.6



              SOUTHEAST           35.0 1977  57.7 1950   44.1   43.5

              WEST NORTH CENTRAL   0.1 1937  26.6 1986   16.5   22.3

              SOUTH               31.1 1940  50.7 1923   40.7   40.7



              SOUTHWEST           20.8 1937  38.2 1986   31.2   31.5

              NORTHWEST           13.4 1949  37.4 1953   28.5   28.4

              WEST                24.4 1937  45.5 1986   38.4   38.8



              NATIONAL            22.4 1979  37.1 1953   29.9   31.7*



                                  * PRELIMINARY VALUE, CONFIDENCE

                                    INTERVAL + OR - 0.3 DEG. F.





              *National Temperature Rank Based on a combination of

               USHCN and divisional data.

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

Table 3 shows statistics for selected river basins: Precipitation rankings are for October 2000-January 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 January 2001.

                                        PRECIPITATION  % AREA  % AREA

          RIVER BASIN                       RANK        DRY     WET

          -----------                   -------------  ------  ------



          MISSOURI BASIN                     87         12.7%    6.1%

          PACIFIC NORTHWEST BASIN             4         51.9%    0.0%

          CALIFORNIA RIVER BASIN             17          4.2%    0.0%



          GREAT BASIN                        63          0.0%    0.0%

          UPPER COLORADO BASIN               65          0.0%    0.0%

          LOWER COLORADO BASIN               91          0.0%    0.0%

          RIO GRANDE BASIN                   98          0.0%   11.2%



          ARKANSAS-WHITE-RED BASIN          100          0.0%   17.2%

          TEXAS GULF COAST BASIN             93          0.0%    0.0%

          SOURIS-RED-RAINY BASIN             97          0.0%   63.4%

          UPPER MISSISSIPPI BASIN            53          0.0%    0.0%



          LOWER MISSISSIPPI BASIN            58         21.5%    0.0%

          GREAT LAKES BASIN                  18         16.2%    6.5%

          OHIO RIVER BASIN                   11          0.4%    0.0%

          TENNESSEE RIVER BASIN              14          0.0%    0.0%



          NEW ENGLAND BASIN                  23          0.0%    0.0%

          MID-ATLANTIC BASIN                  5          3.0%    0.0%

          SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF BASIN          19         28.3%    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: 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
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