FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Curtis Carey
The year began with a record warm winter, but 2000 is ending with a record cold winter and a legacy of topsy-turvy weather events during the months in between, including a deadly F-4 tornado in Alabama over the weekend. At a press conference today in Washington, D. C., NOAA officials said the recent blast of cold air that broke several records last week, is a preview of what the nation can expect for the rest of the winter.
"Generally, while we experienced above-average temperatures in 2000, colder-than-normal temperatures emerged later, especially during November," said NOAA Administrator D. James Baker, adding that November was the second coldest on record.
Retired Brig. Gen. Jack Kelly, director of the NOAA's National Weather Service, said 2000 was shaped by variability and extremes, and the trend should continue into the winter. Updating the Winter 2000-01 outlook, Kelly said cold temperatures would continue through the next two weeks in the western and southern United States, the Great Lakes region and New England.
"As we progress through the winter, there is a good chance of seeing a couple more major cold outbreaks, and considerable swings in temperature and precipitation across the nation," he said.
Kelly also said colder winter temperatures are expected in the northern Plains, upper Midwest, Great Lakes, northern Rockies and parts of the Northwest; more precipitation including more snow is expected from Texas to the Carolinas and New England; the Pacific Northwest can expect more heavy rain events; states in the Southeast, Southwest and West will see warmer temperatures and Alaska will experience near normal precipitation with colder temperatures in the southern portion of the state.
"The recent cold spell, including the ice storms, is an example of what most of the nation will likely face throughout the winter," Kelly said. "Take precautions now to prepare for this winter, because it's here."
Year 2000 Highlights