NOAA REPORTS WARMER 2005 FOR THE UNITED STATES, NEAR-RECORD WARMTH GLOBALLY HURRICANES, FLOODS, SNOW AND WILDFIRES ALL NOTABLE
Dec. 15, 2005 — After a record-breaking hurricane season, blistering heat waves, lingering drought and a crippling Northeast blizzard, 2005 is ending as a warm year in the United States. It will come close to the all-time high global annual average temperature, based on preliminary data gathered by scientists at the NOAA National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. (Click on NOAA image for larger view of USA significant weather and climate events for 2005. Please credit "NOAA.")
2005 for U.S.
Rainfall and Snow
During spring, the drought focus shifted to the Midwest and southern Plains. Severe dryness persisted across parts of northern Illinois, with Chicago and Rockford recording their driest March-November on record. Drought disasters were declared in all or parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin. Drier-than-average conditions contributed to an active wildfire season that burned more than 8.5 million acres in 2005 — 4.5 million acres consumed in Alaska alone, based on preliminary data from the National Interagency Fire Center. This exceeds the old record set in 2000 for acreage burned in a wildfire season for the United States as a whole. At the end of November, 18 percent of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-extreme drought based on a widely used measure of drought (the Palmer Drought Index) in contrast to six percent at the end of November last year. (Click on NOAA image for larger view of annual 2005 state rankings by temperature. Please credit "NOAA.")
Record precipitation fell in the Northeast during the fall with three storm systems affecting the region in October. Nine states in the Northeast had their wettest October since 1895, and the October snowfall record on Mount Washington was shattered when 78.9 inches of snow fell during the month. Another notable snow storm in 2005 was the ‘Blizzard of 2005,’ which brought more than two feet of snow across much of southern New England in late January. This storm ranked as the seventh most extreme snow event in the Northeast as measured by a newly developed Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS) index and contributed to the snowiest January on record in Boston.
Cyclones and Hurricanes
The largest temperature anomalies were widespread throughout high latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere and included much of Russia, Scandinavia, Canada and Alaska. During the past century, global surface temperatures have increased at a rate near 1.1 degrees F/Century (0.6 degrees C/Century), but the rate of temperature increase has been three times larger since 1976, with some of the largest temperature increases occurring in the high latitudes.
the global warmth in 2005, a new record was established in September
for the lowest Arctic sea ice extent since satellite monitoring began
in the late 1970s, according to the National
Snow and Ice Data Center. This is part of a continuing trend in
end-of-summer Arctic sea ice extent reductions of approximately eight
percent per decade since 1979. (Click on NOAA image for larger
view of global significant climate anomalies and events in 2005. Click
here for high resolution version. Please credit "NOAA.")
Significant weather and climate events for the globe included: severe drought in parts of southern Africa and the Greater Horn of Africa, extreme monsoon-related rainfall in western India including a 24-hour rainfall total of 37.1 inches in Mumbai, the worst drought in decades in the Amazon River basin, severe drought in large parts of western Europe, and a record warm year in Australia.
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Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.