Global heat: 2002 tried harder
According to analyses from NOAA,
and the WMO,
2002 muscled out 2001 as the second-warmest year in global
record-keeping. El Niño tends to raise
global temperatures by up to 0.3°C (0.5°F),
so if the current El Niño
continues, 2003 may unseat 1998
as the warmest year on record.
A warmup for winter?
October was unexpectedly chilly across the U.S., but a
strengthening El Nino may change that picture by midwinter.
NOAA predicts above-average readings across the northern
U.S., which experienced record warmth last winter.
The mild winter outlooks from NOAA
are based largely on El Nino conditions, now updated weekly.
Keeping tabs on drought
The most widespread drought in decades is plaguing much
of the country. A NOAA/CDC site spotlights U.S.
droughts through time and allows you to plot 1-to-12-month rainfall history at
any U.S. point. The multiagency Drought Monitor, updated
each Thursday, outlines current conditions. For other sites
and links, check out the NOAA
Drought Information Center.
Hurricanes at bay this year?
With a new El Niņo in the works (see the latest NOAA
advisory), forecasters at CSU
are expecting fewer Atlantic hurricanes than in recent years.
Meanwhile, in Florida, over 400 scientists have been probing
cirrus clouds and their influence on climate in the giant,
Is El Niņo on the way?
A new El Niņo could materialize by this summer. NOAA is
updates and a comprehensive
El Niņo site. NCAR scientists have produced a study
of early warning systems and a
new El Niņo index.
2001 takes second place for heat
and the World
Meteorological Organization have ranked 2001 as the
second-warmest year on record. Meanwhile, NASA/GISS
scientists are taking a closer look at US and global temperature
change, including America's lag behind the world pace.