WARMER AND DRIER THAN AVERAGE ACROSS U.S.,
Oct. 13, 2005 — The United States experienced its fourth warmest September on record, while global land surface temperatures were the warmest on record for the month, according to scientists at the NOAA National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Also, three East Coast states had their driest September on record, while the month was the eleventh driest for the nation overall. (Click NOAA image for larger view of September 2005 temperature rankings by state. Please credit “NOAA.”)
July-September average temperatures also were the fourth warmest on record, indicative of an unusually warm late summer and early fall across the country. All 48 contiguous states ranked above average for the last three months, with six states (Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont) setting new statewide average temperature records for July-September. Overall, the Northeast region had its warmest July-September period in at least 111 years.
Temperatures across Alaska also were above average during July-September, with respective statewide temperatures of 2.3 degrees F (1.3 degrees C) and 2.2 degrees F (1.2 degrees C) above the 1971-2000 mean, ranking 12th for September and second warmest for July-September since 1918.
At the end of September, moderate-to-extreme drought (as defined by a widely-used measure of drought—the Palmer Drought Index) affected 18 percent of U.S., an increase of almost 6 percent from August 2005. The U.S. wildfire season through September 30 is approximately double the 10-year average acreage burned. More than 8 million acres have burned so far in 2005, approaching the record annual acreage burned, which occurred in 2000.
So far, tropical cyclone activity for the 2005 Atlantic season has been well above average with 20 named storms, 11 of which became hurricanes and five were classified as major. The hurricane season officially ends on November 30. There has been only one other season with 20 or more named tropical systems, which was 1933 with 21.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources.
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