Written by wattsupwiththat.com
January 19, 2009
The NOAA/NCDC 2008 temperature map shows near normal USA in 2008
No red dots on this map. The map below appears to be representing Weather Service Forecast Office forecast zones, though I'm not absolutely sure since no reference is included with the map. If so, then each of these divisions is an area where a Zone Forecast is issued for.
Update: It turns out they are "climate divisions" see here with thanks to Basil.
The public hasn't been widely exposed to the map above. The map below is what was in the latest press release.
If we just look at the month of December, the USA still looks cooler than normal or near normal for the most part, with the southeast USA being the exception:
NOAA says in the press release:
South Carolina and Georgia had their sixth and eighth, respectively, warmest December on record.
The first map was not part of the press release, the second one was. I wonder why NOAA chose not to include a yearly map presentation like the first one above from their research section, but only chose to show one for December 2008 even though the title of the press release was:
NOAA: 2008 Temperature for U.S. Near Average, was Coldest Since 1997; Below Average for December
It would seem to me that if you run a press release about the entire year of 2008, you'd put in a map for 2008 also. It's not like they didn't have one available.
To their credit, they did include the time series, but as my years of television experience have told me, that isn't often as easily interpreted by the general public.
Here is what the CONUS temperature time series looks like with 2008 added, as included in the press release:
NOAA says in their press release:
For 2008, the average temperature of 53.0 degrees F was 0.2 degree above the 20th Century average.
In other words; near normal.