Climate Assessment for 1996

Michael S. Halpert and Gerald D. Bell

Climate Prediction Center, NCEP/NWS/NOAA, Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. Climate and global change issues

a. Surface temperature time series

b. Annual-average temperature, precipitation, and circulation anomalies

1) Northern Hemisphere extratropics

2) Southern Hemisphere extratropics

c. Tropospheric/stratospheric temperatures

1) Troposphere

2) Lower­stratosphere

d. Trace gases

1) Ozone

2) Carbon dioxide

3) Methane

e. Northern Hemisphere snow cover

3. Atmospheric and oceanic circulation

a. Southern Oscillation

1) Overview

2) Mature cold-episode conditions during December 1995-May 1996

3) Equatorial Walker circulation

b. Tropical intraseasonal activity

c. North Atlantic oscillation

4. Regional climate highlights

a. Europe/northwestern Africa

b. North America

1) Northwestern U. S. flooding

2) October 1995-May 1996 drought: Southwestern and southern plains states,

and northern Mexico

3) Winter 1995/96

4) The 1996 Atlantic hurricane season

c. Africa

1) June-September 1996: Western Africa (Sahel) rainy season

2) October 1995-April 1996: Southern Africa rainy season

d. Australia and New Zealand

1) Precipitation

2) Temperatures

e. Indian summer monsoon

5. Seasonal summaries

Appendix: Contributors