U.S. HAS COOLER SEPTEMBER AFTER NEAR RECORD WARM SUMMER,
GLOBAL SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE FOURTH WARMEST ON RECORD
2006 was cooler than average for the continental U.S., providing relief
from the second-warmest summer on record, according to scientists
at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. September
was the first cooler-than- average month for the continental U.S.
since May 2005. Drought conditions also improved in some areas of
the nation, with nationally averaged precipitation above average during
September. The global temperature remained well above average.
September 2006 temperature for the contiguous United States (based
on preliminary data) was 0.7°F (0.4°C) below the 20th century
average of 65.4°F (18.6°C). This was the first cooler-than-average
month since May 2005, based on the century-scale average. The rarity
of below-average national temperatures is reflective of the overall
long-term warming trend for the nation.
January-September 2006 combined temperature is warmest on record.
The previous record warm January-September happened in 2000.
September temperature was below average in 25 states of the continental
U.S., while above-average temperatures occurred in only five (Vermont,
Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon).
temperatures for Alaska averaged at 48.6° F and were warmer
than average, 2.7° F (1.5°C) above the 1971-2000 mean (45.9°),
the 11th warmest September since statewide records began in 1918.
conditions in September occurred from the northern High Plains to
the Southwest and from New York to the mid-Mississippi Valley. Overall,
precipitation was above average for the nation.
tied its September precipitation record with 8.02 inches of rain.
wetter-than-average summer monsoon season for much of the Southwest
ended in September. Precipitation during the past few months ended
drought in New Mexico and helped reduce drought severity in other
parts of the region. However, below-average reservoirs and other
longer term hydrological effects remained widespread.
to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 33 percent of the continental U.S.
was in moderate to exceptional drought at the end of September,
a decrease of 11 percent since the end of August.
drought remained across large parts of Arizona, southern Oklahoma
to south Texas, areas of the northern high Plains, the northern
Rockies and northern Minnesota.
conditions across the Far West contributed to the continuation of
a very active wildfire season for the nation. By early October,
more than 9 million acres, mostly in the continental U.S., had burned
since the beginning of the year, according to the National Interagency
Fire Center. This exceeded the previous record for an entire year,
set in 2005 when 8.7 million acres burned, much of it in Alaska.
was the fourth warmest September and fifth warmest year-to-date
period since records began in 1880 for global land- and ocean-surface
temperatures (1.01°F/0.56°C, 092°F/0.51°C above
the 20th century mean).
land surface temperatures were second warmest, while ocean surface
temperatures were third warmest in the 127-year record.
An El Niño episode began in September as ocean temperatures
in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific continued a recent
2007, NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates
200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment
of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson
to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial
Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted
agency is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety
through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related
events and information service delivery for transportation, and by
providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine
resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of
Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is
working with its federal partners and more than 60 countries to develop
a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it
Satellite and Information Service: http://www.nesdis.noaa.gov
to Editors: More complete information, including links to
data, graphics and analysis, is online at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2006/sep/sep06.html