Skip Navigation Links 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA home page National Weather Service   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS home page
Climate Prediction Center


Climate Diagnostics Bulletin
Climate Diagnostics Bulletin - Home Climate Diagnostics Bulletin - Tropics Climate Diagnostics Bulletin - Forecast


  Extratropical Highlights

  Table of Indices  (Table 3)

  Global Surface Temperature  E1

  Temperature Anomalies (Land Only)  E2

  Global Precipitation  E3

  Regional Precip Estimates (a)  E4

  Regional Precip Estimates (b)  E5

  U.S. Precipitation  E6

  Northern Hemisphere

  Southern Hemisphere


  Appendix 2: Additional Figures

Extratropical Highlights

MARCH 2019


Extratropical Highlights –March 2019


1. Northern Hemisphere

The 500-hPa circulation during March featured above-average heights over Alaska, the southern U.S., southern Europe, and north-central Russia, and below-average heights over the eastern North Pacific and from northeastern Canada to Scandinavia (Fig. E9).

The main land-surface temperature signals included above-average temperatures across Alaska and northwestern Canada, and throughout most of Eurasia, and below-average temperatures in the northwestern U.S. and southwestern Canada (Fig. E1). The main precipitation signals included above-average totals in the portions of the western U.S., and below-average totals in western Canada, the southeastern U.S. and southern Europe (Fig. E3).


a. North Pacific and North America

The 500-hPa circulation during March featured above-average heights over Alaska and the southern U.S., and below-average heights over the eastern North Pacific and northeastern Canada (Fig. E9). This anomalous circulation contributed to above-average surface temperatures (generally 5+°C above average) in Alaska and western Canada (Fig. E1). It also contributed to below-average temperatures in southwestern Canada and the northwestern U.S., with many areas recording temperatures in the lowest 10th percentile of occurrences for the second consecutive month.

Precipitation was above average in portions of the western U.S. during March (Fig. E3), which led to a further restoration of soil moisture levels following long-term drought in many areas during the past year. Also, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the area of severe drought continued to diminish in the four-corner region of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, and also in Oregon.


b. North Atlantic and Eurasia

The 500-hPa height pattern featured a north-south dipole characterized by above-average heights across the central North Atlantic and southern Europe and below-average heights across the high latitudes of the North Atlantic (Fig. E9). This pattern resulted in a continuation of above-average surface temperatures throughout Europe, with most areas recording departures in the upper 70th percentile of occurrences (Fig. E1). It also contributed to exceptionally warm temperatures (generally 5+°C above average) in central Russia and Siberia.


2. Southern Hemisphere

The 500-hPa height field during March featured an anomalous zonal wave-3 pattern. Above-average heights were present over both the western and eastern South Pacific Ocean and also over the central Indian Ocean. Below-average heights were present south of Australia, and over the central South Pacific and South Atlantic Ocean (Fig. E15).

Much of Australia recorded above-average surface temperatures during March (Fig. E1), along with near-average rainfall (Fig. E3). In southern Africa, the monsoon season runs from October to April. During March, rainfall was again below average for the region as a whole (Fig. E3). The most significant deficits were observed in the northern portion of the monsoon region, where totals were in the lowest 10th percentile of occurrences. Since October 2018, the monsoon region has recorded below-average precipitation in every month except January, when only slightly above-average totals were observed (Fig. E4).

NOAA/ National Weather Service
NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction
Climate Prediction Center
5830 University Research Court
College Park, Maryland 20740
Page Author: Climate Prediction Center Internet Team
Page Last Modified: April 2019
Information Quality
Privacy Policy
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
About Us
Career Opportunities