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Assessing the U.S. Climate during the Year of 2019

Assessing the U.S. Climate during the Year of 2019

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 15 January 2020



Mean 2019 Annual US Temperatures
Mean 2019 Annual US Temperatures by NOAA.
Percentiles, January-December 2019. By NOAA, NCEI.


2019 a Warm, Cool, & Wet Year of Extremes in the United States

Assessing the U.S. Climate in 2019,
Warmest year on record for Alaska, second wettest for contiguous U.S.,
NOAA, NCEI, January 8, 2020.


US Temps
Not Hot, Not Cool
"...the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 52.7°F, 0.7°F above the 20th century average."

"...in the warmest third of the 125-year period of record..."

"...the coolest year since 2014."

US Regional Trends
Cool Plains. Hot Southeast
"Below-average temperatures, particularly daytime temperatures, were observed across the northern Plains, while above-average to record-warm overnight temperatures dominated across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic."

Mean US Precipitation
Extreme Wet Year
Mean 2019 US Precipitation, NOAA.
Percentiles, January-December 2019. By NOAA, NCEI.

US Precipitation
Second Wettest on Record
"The annual precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 34.78 inches, 4.84 inches above average, the second wettest year on record and 0.18 inch less than the total for the wettest year set in 1973."

US Drenching
"North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan each had their wettest year on record during 2019, with much of the central U.S., Northeast and parts of the West experiencing above- to much-above-average precipitation."

US Billion Dollar Babies
An Extreme Disaster Year
Fourteen of them...
Billion Dollar US Disasters during 2019, NOAA.
Big Version

In 2019, there were 14 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States: three inland flooding events, eight severe storm events, two tropical cyclone events (Dorian and Imelda) and one wildfire event. 2019 experienced an above-average year of costs ($45.0 billion) as the 40-year (1980–2019) annual cost average is $43.9 billion (inflation-adjusted). The combined cost of the Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi river flooding ($20.0 billion) was almost half of the U.S. cost total in 2019. There was a trend of an increasing number of billion-dollar inland flooding events during the 2010s.

US Record Five Year Disaster Run
"The total cost of U.S. billion-dollar disasters over the last five years (2015–2019) exceeds $525 billion, with a five-year annual cost average of $106.3 billion (CPI-adjusted), both of which are records."

Second Decade of 21st Century
Doubled Average Rate of Billion Dollar Disasters
"Even after adjusting for inflation, the U.S. experienced more than twice the number of billion-dollar disasters during the 2010s (119) when compared to the 2000s (59)."

A Year of Huge US Floods
"Several large-scale flooding events impacted the nation during 2019 including the rainfall associated with Tropical Storm Imelda in September across southeast Texas and southwestern Louisiana. More than 40 inches of rain fell in Jefferson County, Texas, over a five-day period. Slow-moving Hurricane Barry brought flash flooding to Louisiana and Arkansas in July. Dierks, Arkansas, reported 16.59 inches of rainfall, which is a new record for rain from a tropical cyclone across the state."

A Year of Huge US Fires
"Several large and dangerous wildfires impacted parts of north-central and southern California during October and November. The Kincade Fire, located in Sonoma County, California, burned through nearly 78,000 acres and destroyed approximately 350 structures. The Tick, Saddle Ridge and Getty fires in southern California consumed more than 14,000 acres as well as 60 structures."

US Hurricane Season
"The 2019 Hurricane Season was above normal, particularly in terms of the number of named storms (18 with winds ≥ 39 mph) and accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) about 25 percent above the 1981–2010 mean."

Record Northern US Snows
"The Northern Tier of the U.S. received above-average snowfall during the 2018–2019 snow season. In Caribou, Maine, it was the snowiest January on record (59.8 inches). Caribou also broke another record for the most consecutive days with at least one inch of snow on the ground (163 days from November 10, 2018–April 21, 2019). Record snowfall and cold temperatures occurred from Washington state to Wisconsin in February with Eau Claire, Wisconsin, reporting its all-time snowiest month (53.7 inches)."

An Extreme Year in the USA
"The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for 2019 was 14 percent above average and ranked in the upper third of the 110-year record. Warm extremes across the Southeast, cold extremes in the central U.S. and wet conditions throughout the year from the central U.S. to the East Coast contributed to this elevated USCEI value."


Selected United States Climate Anomalies & Events, 2019
Billions Dollar Disasters in the US during 2019, NOAA.
Big Version


Anomalies & Events

Alaska: Warmest July, & Year in Record.

Ca: Big Fires

Arizona & Nevada: Weird Snow

Hot Hawaii

Arctic Jan in Illionios & Iowa

Record March to July Mississippi, Missouri, Platt, & Arkansas Flooding

Lotsa Hurricanes



Last 12 Months

Assessing the U.S. Climate in November 2019


NOAA Assessing the U.S. Climate in October 2019


NOAA: Assessing the Global Climate, August 2019


2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment





News of Man & Nature, January 2020








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