Maps and Graphics:
|Current Month||Most Recent 3 Months||Most Recent 6 Months|
|ANNUAL SUMMARY for 2003||Most Recent 12
||US Percent Area Very
|Temperatures across most of the country were warmer
than average for December 2003. The exception was the Southeast
where 6 states were significantly cooler than the long-term mean.
The contiguous nation ranked 21st warmest in 109 years of
The precipitation signal was more mixed across the lower 48 states with wetter than average conditions extending across much of the West (except the extreme Northwest) and the Northeast, while the southern tier of the country was mostly drier than the long-term mean. Averaged across the nation, precipitation was near average ranking 52nd driest out of 109 years.
For additional details, see the Monthly Highlights section. For details and graphics on weather events across the U.S. and the globe go to NCDC's Global Hazards page.
Snow was heavy in parts of the West late in the month with crippling blizzards hitting much of the western mountain states. A heavy snowstorm brought parts of the Northeast to a standstill earlier in December. Details of the 2002/2003 snow season can be found on NCDC's monthly snow summary page.
Indices used to determine the state of ENSO suggest that the Equatorial Pacific was in a neutral ENSO phase and Sea Surface Temperatures were near normal across the equatorial Pacific during December. To see the latest NOAA advisory and typical impacts of a La Nina or El Nino episode for the U.S., go to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
Monthly and Seasonal Highlights:
See NCDC's Monthly
Extremes web-page for weather and climate records for the month
It should be emphasized that all of the temperature and precipitation ranks and values are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages. Graphics based on final data are available on this page: National Temperature and Precipitation Maps
Citing This Report
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Monthly National Climate Report for December 2003, published online January 2004, retrieved on September 26, 2022 from https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/national/200312.