IRI Climate Digest
March Global Climate Summary
Climatological Background In March, the sun
crosses the equator (the Equinox) and begins its migration into the Northern
Hemisphere. It is the transition from winter to spring in the Northern
Hemisphere, when temperatures begin to increase and storm
tracks move northward. In the Southern Hemisphere summer is ending and
the monsoon rains are retreating northward.
Monthly Mean Temperature (1961-1990), data from the Climate Research
Unit, University of East Anglia
|Monthly Mean Precipitation (1960-1991),with data from
the Climate Research Unit, University of East Anglia
Temperatures Over Land
North America: With the exception of the western US and southwestern
Canada, temperatures continued to be well above average over most
of the region and more than 5 C above average in central Canada.
Europe and Asia: Temperatures remained above average over a broad
area extending from western Europe eastward into central Asia with the
largest departures from average to the east of the Ural mountains.
Africa: Above average conditions prevailed in coastal areas of west
Africa from Morocco southward to western Zaire.
Australia: Western Australia saw continued cool conditions with
temperatures 2 to 3 C below average.
South America: Temperatures were very close to the climatological
average throughout the region with the exception of east-central Brazil
and western Venezuela which were slightly warmer than average.
|Temperature Difference from the 1961-1990 mean, with
data from NCEP Climate Prediction Center, CAMS.
Africa: Unusually dry weather continued in central Africa from northern
Zaire eastward to Kenya and northward into Ethiopia. Morocco and
northern portions of Western Sahara also saw below average
precipitation. By contrast, with the exception of northern South Africa,
precipitation was well above average from Namibia eastward through
Zambia and Zimbabwe to southern Mozambique and Madagascar.
Australia: Heavy rains, some associated with tropical cyclone activity,
resulted in above average precipitation in Western Australia and northern
sections of the Northern Territory.
Indonesia: Unusually dry conditions continued over southern Sumatra
and western Borneo.
Philippines: Above average rainfall continued over the Phillipines and
nearby islands in the South China Sea.
South America: Northwestern Argentina and southern Bolivia had
above average rainfall, as did northern and south-central sections of
Middle East: Rainfall continued to be below average across much of the
Middle East eastward to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
United States: Below average rainfall continued along the immediate
gulf coast and in the upper midwest.
|Precipitation Difference from 1961-1990 mean, with
data from NCEP Climate Prediction Center, CAMS-OPI.
Tropics: Moderate La Niña conditions (below
average sea surface
temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial Pacific) continued in the
Pacific, while continuing to weaken in the east. SST forecasts
predict that this event will weaken, reaching neutral conditions
summer. A shallow lens of above average SSTs have developed in the east Pacific. These above average temperatures have not developed in ways typically associated with El Niño, but will be monitored closely over the coming months.
Extratropics: Above average SSTs continue to persist in
the western and
central North Pacific and in the central North Atlantic oceans.
Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, the ocean temperatures continue
be predominantly warmer than average in all three basins,
cooling somewhat from the previous month.
Monthly Sea Surface Temperature Difference from the 1950-1979 mean,
with data from the Environmental Modeling Center, NCEP/NOAA.