Winter, 2008 Warmer Despite Storms

Tucson Citizen

Winter warmer despite storms

The Associated Press
Published: 03.14.2008

WASHINGTON – Winter storms and snow notwithstanding, this winter was still warmer
than average worldwide, the government reported Thursday.The global temperature
for meteorological winter – December, January and February – averaged 54.38 degrees,
which was 0.58 degrees warmer than normal for the last century, according to the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Temperatures have been rising in
recent years, raising concerns about the effects of global warming, generally
attributed to human-induced impacts on the atmosphere. While it was warmer than
normal, the current winter – which ends Thursday – was the coolest since 2000-01.
Climate experts attribute that to La Niña, the cooling of the tropical Pacific
Ocean, which can affect conditions around the world. For the U.S., this winter’s
average temperature was 33.2 degrees – 0.2 degrees above the average for the 20th
century. The NOAA said this winter has been unusual for the above-average rain and
snowfall in the Southwest, where La Niña usually brings drier-than-average conditions.
Mountain snowpack exceeded 150 percent of average in large parts of Colorado, New
Mexico, Arizona and Oregon at the end of February. Spring run-off from the above
average snowpack in the West is expected to be beneficial in drought-plagued areas.
Record Northern Hemisphere snow cover in January was followed by unusually high
temperatures across much of the mid- and high-latitude areas of the Northern
Hemisphere in February, reducing the snow cover.In the Northeast, February rain and
snow helped make the winter the fifth wettest on record.

additional information
Key points
• Winter temperatures have been warmer than average from Texas to the Southeast and
along the Eastern Seaboard.
• Temperatures have been cooler than average from the upper Midwest to the West Coast.
• Severe winter storms have struck southern China, and the causes are still under
study.

The Associated Press

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