***New 1981-2010 Climate Normals Released July 1st***

The National Climatic Data Center will release the first in a set of new 30-year climate normals for the 1981-2010 period on July 1st. These climate "normals" or averages are updated every 10 years to compare current climate conditions to recent history. In removing the oldest 10 years of 1971-1980 and adding the decade of 2001-2010, the average annual temperature across the United States is now approximately 0.5 F degrees warmer than the previous 1971-2000 normals period. However, this increase is neither consistent across the entire country, nor consistent from season to season. In fact, the largest warming has occurred across the Rockies and Great Lakes/Upper Midwest, particularly during the winter season. For the Lower Missouri River Valley, the greatest changes will be seen in the winter months where normal high and low temperatures will be warmer and in the summer months where normal high temperatures will be somewhat cooler. A preview of some of these changes and potential impacts can be found in this NOAA Climate Watch article. Also, please find the NOAA News press release below. A reflection of the new 1981-2010 normal database will be seen in daily and monthly climate products issued by National Weather Service offices beginning August 1st. A preview of changes for the official Kansas City International Airport site can be seen below.

Average High Temperature

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

1971-2000 Normals

36.0

42.6

54.4

65.2

74.6

83.9

88.8

87.1

79.0

67.6

52.0

40.0

64.3

1981-2010 Normals

38.0

43.3

55.1

65.7

74.8

83.5

88.3

87.4

79.0

66.9

53.2

40.3

64.7

 Average Low Temperature

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

1971-2000 Normals

17.8

23.3

33.2

43.5

53.9

63.2

68.2

66.1

57.2

45.9

33.4

22.5

44.0

1981-2010 Normals

19.6

23.8

33.4

44.0

54.2

63.6

68.4

66.8

57.3

45.9

34.1

22.6

44.6

Mean Temperature

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

1971-2000 Normals

26.9

33.0

43.8

54.4

64.3

73.6

78.5

76.6

68.1

56.8

42.7

31.3

54.2

1981-2010 Normals

28.8

33.5

44.2

54.8

64.5

73.5

78.3

77.1

68.2

56.4

43.6

31.5

54.6

Precipitation

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

1971-2000 Normals

1.15

1.31

2.44

3.38

5.39

4.44

4.42

3.54

4.64

3.33

2.30

1.64

37.98

1981-2010 Normals

1.07

1.46

2.37

3.70

5.23

5.23

4.45

3.89

4.62

3.16

2.15

1.53

38.86

Snowfall

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

1971-2000 Normals

5.8

5.0

2.6

0.8

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.3

1.3

4.3

20.1

1981-2010 Normals

4.6

5.4

2.0

0.6

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.2

1.2

4.8

18.8


noaa title
 
Contact:          John Leslie                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                        301-713-0214                                      June 29, 2011
 
NOAA: Average U.S. temperature increases by 0.5 degrees F
New 1981-2010 “normals” to be released this week
 
According to the 1981-2010 normals to be released by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on July 1, temperatures across the United States were on average, approximately 0.5 degree F warmer than the 1971-2000 time period.
 
Normals serve as a 30 year baseline average of important climate variables that are used to understand average climate conditions at any location and serve as a consistent point of reference. The new normals update the 30-year averages of climatological variables, including average temperature and precipitation for more than 7,500 locations across the United States. This once-a-decade update will replace the current 1971–2000 normals.
 
In the continental United States, every state’s annual maximum and minimum temperature increased on average. “The climate of the 2000s is about 1.5 degree F warmer than the 1970s, so we would expect the updated 30-year normals to be warmer,” said Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D., NCDC director.
 
Using standards established by the World Meteorological Organization, the 30-year normals are used to compare current climate conditions with recent history. Local weathercasters traditionally use normals for comparisons with the day’s weather conditions.
 
In addition to their application in the weather sector, normals are used extensively by electric and gas companies for short- and long-term energy use projections. NOAA’s normals are also used by some states as the standard benchmark by which they determine the statewide rate that utilities are allowed to charge their customers.
 
The agricultural sector also heavily depends on normals. Farmers rely on normals to help make decisions on both crop selection and planting times. Agribusinesses use normals to monitor “departures from normal conditions” throughout the growing season and to assess past and current crop yields.
 
NCDC made many improvements and additions to the scientific methodology used to calculate the 1981-2010 normals. They include improved scientific quality control and statistical techniques. Comparisons to previous normals take these new techniques into account. The 1981-2010 normals provide a more comprehensive suite of precipitation and snowfall statistics. In addition, NCDC is providing hourly normals for more than 250 stations at the request of users, such as the energy industry.
 
Some of the key climate normals include: monthly and daily maximum temperature; monthly and daily minimum temperature; daily and monthly precipitation and snowfall statistics; and daily and monthly heating and cooling degree days. The 1981-2010 climate normals is one of the suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business and community leaders so they can make informed decisions. NOAA and its predecessor agencies have been providing updated 30-year normals once every decade since the 1921-1950 normals were released in 1956.
 
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.Visit us at http://www.noaa.gov or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/usnoaagov.
 
On the Web:
NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov
NOAA Climate Services: http://www.climate.gov
1981-2010 Climate Normals Information: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/normals/usnormals.html (link live starting July 1)
 
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