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CNN Today

A Warming Trend

Aired December 19, 2000 - 2:14 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: It's about that time of year for a look back at 2000's top events, and weather is no exception here. Federal officials are weighing in with details on this year's seasons and what may be coming up.

Here is CNN's environment correspondent Natalie Pawelski.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NATALIE PAWELSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Look outside right now and you might not believe it, but snow or no, around the globe, the year 2000 is one of the warmest on record.

JAY LAWNMORE, NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER: For the globe as a whole, we're looking at around the fifth warmest year on record.

PAWELSKI: With two weeks to go, all the returns aren't all in yet, but weather pundits are projecting a swing to the warm on the domestic front too. From January through October in the United States, this year was the hottest on record, featuring widespread wildfires and drought.

As the effects of the La Nina weather system disappeared, things cooled down at year's end. But even so, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration figures the year will go into the American record books somewhere between the seventh and the twelfth hottest on U.S. record.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are seeing global warming. The scientists tell us they simply cannot explain the patterns of temperature they see and the trends without including the impacts of human intervention in the climate.

PAWELSKI: Global warming won't keep you cozy over the next few months though. Forecasters are calling for colder than average temperatures in the Midwest and Mountain West, warmer in the southern tier of states. Overall, a more or less normal winter. But normal may not be what you think.

JACK KELLY, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: Most people, when they think of normals. think of the last three years, and it's been pretty mild the last three years.

PAWELSKI: Translation, for most Americans, bundle up and have shovels and sleds at the ready.

Natalie Pawelski, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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