Climate Assessment for 2001

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Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
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Global temperatures in 2001 were 0.51degreesC (0.92degreesF) above the long-term (1880-2000) average, which places 2001 as the second warmest year in the 122-year instrumental record. Land temperatures were 0.75degreesC (1.35degreesF) above average and ocean temperatures were 0.40degreesC (0.72degreesF) above the 1880-2000 mean. This ranks them as the second and third warmest on record, respectively. The Northern Hemisphere temperature continued to average near record levels in 2001 at 0.60degreesC (1.08degreesF) above the long-term average. The Southern Hemisphere also reflects the globally warmer conditions, with a positive anomaly of 0.43degreesC (0.77degreesF).Annual anomalies in excess of 1.0degreesC (1.8degreesF) were widespread across North America and much of Europe and the Middle East, while significantly cooler than average conditions were confined to western Australia, the northeast and northwest Pacific Ocean, and the far southeastern region of the Pacific, near coastal Chile. Although no hurricanes made landfall in the United States for the second consecutive year, it was nonetheless an extremely active Atlantic hurricane season, the fourth most active on record. Tropical Storm Allison became the costliest tropical storm on record when it caused approximately $5 billion worth of damage in the southern and southeastern United States. The season was slow to start but quickly escalated in the last three months of the season and it was the first time in recorded history that three hurricanes formed in the Atlantic in the month of November.The long-running La Nina episode finally came to an end in 2001. The La Nina, which began in mid-1998 persisted through the first half of the year but gave way to neutral ENSO conditions for the latter half.Other notable events in 2001 include extreme cold and snow in Siberia during the 2000-01 boreal winter, ongoing drought in the Middle East and central Asia, drought in Central America and Brazil, near-record flooding in central/eastern Europe, an extremely wet austral spring in northeastern Argentina, severe moisture deficits in some regions of the United States, and the driest year on record in parts of western Australia.


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