USA 2014 Temperature & Precipitation Report From NOAA

Very Warm/Cold and Wet/Dry Percentages
Very Warm/Cold and Wet/Dry Percentages – Images by NOAA (Click on Image for more details)

Online — In 2014, the contiguous United States (CONUS) average temperature was 52.6 ??F, 0.5 ??F above the 20th century average, and tied with 1977 as the 34th warmest year in the 120-year period of record.

Precipitation averaged across the CONUS in 2014 was 30.76 inches, 0.82 inch above the 20th century average.

This was the 40th wettest year on record for the CONUS.

2014 was slightly warmer than 2013 for the CONUS when the annual average temperature was 52.4 ??F.

This marks the 18th consecutive year with an annual average temperature above the 20th century average for the CONUS.

The last year with a below-average CONUS temperature was 1996.

Since 1895, when national temperature records began, the CONUS has observed an average temperature increase of 0.13 ??F per decade.

Precipitation averaged across the CONUS in 2014 was 30.76 inches, 0.82 inch above the 20th century average.

This was the 40th wettest year on record for the CONUS.

Over the 120-year period of record, precipitation across the CONUS has increased at an average rate of 0.14 inch per decade.

The complete report provides far more detail and is available online at the NCDC area on the NOAA website at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2014/13.

One of the many details is a description of the two images selected here to lead this story. It states:

??One way to assess the magnitude of warm/cold and wet/dry episodes is to compute the percent area of the contiguous United States that was “very warm/very cold” and that was “very wet/very dry”.

The figures above depict these values for each month in the past 30 years. These percentages are computed based on the climate division data set.

Those climate divisions having a monthly average temperature/precipitation in the top ten percent (> 90th percentile) of their historical distribution are considered “very warm/very wet” and those in the bottom ten percent (< 10th percentile) are “very cold/very dry”.

The “very warm” categories translate to the “much above average” while the “very cold” categories translate to the “much below average” in terms of the NCDC ranking methods.

This is similar for the “very wet” and “very dry” categories and the NCDC ranking methods of precipitation totals.

Citation: NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: National Overview for Annual 2014, published online December 2014, retrieved on January 14, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2014/13.