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NOAA: Coolest Winter Since 2001

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has released their winter season weather review, and the review indicates that the 2007-2008 winter season was the coldest winter since 2001.

NOAA says the average temperature for winter in the United States was 33.2 degrees Farenheit. While that temperature was slightly above average, it made the season the coldest on record since 2001 and the 54th coldest since 1895 - the year national records started.

NOAA also says that, for the south, winter temperatures were warmer than average.

On a world-wide scope, the winter was the 16th warmest on record. January saw a record high snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere, while February's snow cover remained above average.

So why were temperatures cooler in the United States than in previous winters? NOAA's report says it was a contribution of a "moderate-to-strong La Niña." The 2000-2001 winter was also influenced by a La Niña period. La Niña is the opposite of El Niño. La Niña is marked by cooler than normal ocean water temperatures in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. El Niño, on the other hand, is marked by warmer than normal ocean water temperatures. The variation of the water temperatures affects global-scale wind patters that drive weather systems.

The full report from NOAA is available on their website www.noaa.gov


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