- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first two months of 1998 were the warmest and
wettest on record for the lower 48 U.S. states, based on 104 years of weather
data, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.
- ``These record-breaking statistics are
generally consistent with both a strong El Nino and climate model projections
of a continuing trend toward a warmer and wetter world as greenhouse gases
continue to increase,'' said Tom Karl, senior scientist at the NOAA's Climate
- The national average temperature during
the January-February period was 37.5 degrees Fahrenheit , compared with
a normal 32.1 degrees, the NOAA said. The previous record was 37.0 degrees
- Precipitation in the continental U.S.
averaged 6.01 inches during the period, almost two inches above normal,
breaking the old record of 5.7 inches set in 1979, the NOAA said.
- However, overall temperatures and precipitation
for the December-February winter period were not as extreme. That period
was the second warmest and seventh wettest on record, the NOAA said.
- California and North Dakota had their
wettest February on record, while Florida, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island
and Virginia had their second wettest February since 1895, according to
- The warmest February on record occurred
in much of the upper Midwest and parts of the East, including Minnesota,
Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, the
- The temperature and precipitation patterns
that have dominated much of the winter months are expected to continue
through March and April, the NOAA said.
- ``In the summer, at least slightly warmer
than normal conditions are expected across Southern California, the southwest
and much of the East Coast. There are no strong indications for either
above or below normal precipitation across the country (during the period),''
the NOAA said.