Spring 2019 was the second warmest March through May for the global land and ocean surfaces in the 140-year record coming in at 1.73°F (nearly a full degree Celsius) above the 20th century average.
Of note: the five warmest March–May periods have all occurred since 2015.
The global land-only temperature for spring 2019 was also second highest on record.
In the continental United States meteorological spring had near-average temperatures. However, precipitation was nearly 2 inches above average making spring 2019 the sixth wettest on record. Kansas had its wettest spring on record and severe flooding occurred along several major rivers in the central United States. In fact, the 12-month period from June 2018 to May 2019 was the wettest on record for the United States with 37.68” of precipitation pushing the time period into a clear first place among all year-long totals going back to 1895.
Not surprisingly, most of the U.S. started the summer drought-free.
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– Global 3-month land temperatures
– 3-month Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies
– Temperature and precipitation graphics for the U.S.
– Global temperature and precipitation outlooks for summer
The data for the global temperature and precipitation outlooks are provided by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). The IRI was established as a cooperative agreement between NOAA’s Climate Program Office and Columbia University. It is part of The Earth Institute, Columbia University. These maps are constructed primarily with data from NOAA climate models, with some minor tweaks by climatologists.
What does RED mean on the map? The red shading on the map indicates areas that have a higher probability (greater than 35%) of being “warmer than normal”, than “normal”, or “cooler than normal”.
What does BLUE mean on the map? The blue shading on the map indicates areas that have a higher probability (greater than 35%) of being “cooler than normal”, than “normal”, or “warmer normal”.
WHITE indicates areas that have a higher probability of being “normal” than “cooler or warmer than normal” and also, areas where the chances for being cooler than normal, warmer than normal, and normal are equal.
It should be noted that areas in the “warmer than normal” region may still have cooler than normal days, and may not be “hot”. This outlook only suggests that after the three months are over, those areas in the “warmer than normal” region are more likely to have experienced warmer than normal average temperatures.
What does GREEN mean on the map? The green shading on the map indicates areas that have a higher probability (greater than 35%) of being “wetter than normal”, than “normal”, or “drier than normal”.
What does BROWN mean on the map? The brown shading on the map indicates areas that have a higher probability (greater than 35%) of being “drier than normal”, than “normal”, or “wetter than normal”.
WHITE indicates areas that have a higher probability of being “normal” than “drier or wetter than normal” and also, areas where the chances for being drier than normal, wetter than normal, and normal are equal.
It should be noted that areas in the “wetter than normal” region may still have drier than normal days, and may not be “flooded”. This outlook only suggests that after the three months are over, those areas in the “wetter than normal” region are more likely to have experienced wetter than normal average rainfall.
The December 2018 to February 2019 average temperature across the global land and ocean surface was the fourth highest since records began in 1880. Averaged as a whole, the temperature for meteorological winter was 0.84°C (1.51°F) above the 20th century average.
The global ocean-only temperature was the second highest on record.
In spite of an extreme Arctic blast in late January, the United States had a warmer than normal winter during December through February, with southeast states much warmer than normal.
Meanwhile the winter precipitation total was more than 2 inches above average, making this past winter the wettest winter on record for the contiguous United States.
To better understand our wet winter, this climate digest includes a 3-month display of “total precipitable water” (TPW) measured by polar-orbiting satellites, revealing moisture plumes in our atmosphere. Several atmospheric rivers can be seen flowing onto the U.S. west coast. Not surprisingly, California experienced record rains and above normal snowpack in the mountains. The good news is that California has been declared drought-free for the first time since December 2011! The bad news involved flooding along California’s Russian River, which crested at its highest level since 1995.
Record rainfall also resulted in flooding along the Mississippi River and Tennessee Valley this past winter.
In addition, multiple snowfall records were set in northern states from Washington to Wisconsin. In Eau Claire Wisconsin, February 2019 set an all-time record for the snowiest of any month on record, surpassing the previous record by more than 21 inches!
While watching the TPW loop look for 2 tropical cyclones swirling on either side of the equator near Australia. They are Typhoon Wutip spinning counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and Tropical Storm Oma spinning clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere, opposite rotations due to the Coriolis effect.