National Snow & Ice - January 2006

The two satellite-derived animations above show the daily snow cover across the Northern Hemisphere (left map) and North America (right map) throughout January 2006. By clicking on the images, the change in sea-ice extent across parts of the Arctic (especially the Labrador Sea) can be seen through the month as well as several significant snowfall events across the U.S. and Europe. Exceptional warmth across much of the North American continent is reflected in a lack of snow cover for parts of the U.S. and lack of lake-ice across the Great Lakes, while colder than average temperatures led to snowier conditions over parts of Europe and western Asia. For the Arctic, the sea-ice extent was the lowest on record extending back to 1979.

More information on significant winter weather and other hazards can be found on NCDC's Hazards page.

The map to the left depicts percent of average snowpack in the West and Alaska as of February 1st. The snowpack is less than 50% of average across much of the Southwest causing rising concern over spring water supply, which primarily results from melting snow. Abundant snowfall accumulated in parts of Oregon and southern Idaho as Pacific storms impacted the region during December and January. More information on January severe winter weather can also be found on NCDC's Hazards page. Alaska had below average snowpack, partly as a result of warmer-than-average temperatures across the state during December and drier than average conditions in January.

The map to the right depicts January sea-ice extent (in millions of square kilometers) across the Northern Hemisphere. For the past 2 years, January extent has been the lowest on record and is consistent with a general decreasing trend. For January 2006, sea-ice covered approximately 16.6 million sq km - an anomaly of 1.2 million sq km below the long-term (1979-2000) mean, reflecting the above average warmth across the region for the month.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Snow & Ice for January 2006, published online February 2006, retrieved on January 22, 2018 from