Friday, June 3, 2011
U.S. Year To Date (Jan-May 2011) Temperature Update
The average January 1-May 31, 2011 temperatures across the lower 48 states show a strong contrast across the U.S.
The northern Plains have averaged well below normal temperatures for this time period and the area to the west and north of a diagonal line stretching from the Great Lakes to Southern California has experienced near normal to below normal temperatures.
In contrast, the area to the south and east of a diagonal line stretching from the Great Lakes to Southern California has experienced near normal to above normal temperatures. Some smaller areas and much of Texas has experienced well above normal temperatures (along with a significant drought).
This pattern is consistent with the climatology of La Niña events. According to NOAA “La Niña often features drier than normal conditions in the Southwest in late summer through the subsequent winter. Drier than normal conditions also typically occur in the Central Plains in the fall and in the Southeast in the winter. In contrast, the Pacific Northwest is more likely to be wetter than normal in the late fall and early winter with the presence of a well-established La Niña. Additionally, on average La Niña winters are warmer than normal in the Southeast and colder than normal in the Northwest”.