December bands time series plot
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Contents of This Report:

Global Temperature

As shown in the above figure, global land surface temperature anomalies were near the long term average in December. This was the coolest land anomaly since 1984. The combined land and ocean temperature anomaly was +0.25C above the 1880-1999 long-term mean, the 17th warmest. Ocean temperatures were +0.35C warmer than average and tied for 7th warmest.

The spatial distribution of land surface temperature departures from normal (December 2000 minus the 1961-1990 averages) for areas with reporting stations available at the time of this report are shown in the adjacent plot. Below average temperatures (blue dots) were recorded throughout much of central and eastern North America, across a large area of Siberia and in the northern half of Australia. Above average temperatures (red dots) occurred in most of Europe, northern Africa and across the middle East into Asia, and across Alaska. In the Southern Hemisphere, anomalies were mixed and smaller across the remainder of Australia, South America, and Africa. Global Temperature Anomalies, December 2000
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Temperatures more than 4C below average covered most of southern and central Siberia and the central and eastern United States. Temperature anomalies more than 4C above average were observed over Alaska, parts of the middle East, and Europe.

Global Precipitation

Global Precip Anomalies, December 2000
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The adjacent map, based on in-situ data stations, shows precipitation anomalies for December. Brown dots indicate areas which were drier than normal, and green dots indicate those that were wetter than normal. As shown in the figure to the left, precipitation was above average in parts of western Europe, central South America, parts of Africa, the Far East and across northern Australia. Flooding caused damages and some deaths in eastern Brazil this month and heavy rains with flooding occurred in northern Australia. Burketown, in northwest Queensland, received 35.83 inches of rain for the month.
Precipitation was below average across parts western Asia near the Black Sea, Russia, and parts of interior southeast Asia. It was drier than normal across the east and west coasts of the United States and across portions of south Florida and the Caribbean.


Peterson, T.C. and R.S. Vose, 1997: An Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network Database. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., 78, 2837-2849.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Monthly Global Climate Report for December 2000, published online January 2001, retrieved on March 5, 2024 from