Global Analysis - October 2013


Contents of this Section:


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Note: GHCN-M Data Notice

An omission in processing a correction algorithm led to some small errors on the Global Historical Climatology Network-Monthly dataset (GHCN-M v3.2.0). This led to small errors in the reported land surface temperatures in the October, November, December and Annual U.S. and global climate reports. On February 14, 2013, NCDC fixed this error in its software, included an additional improvement (described below), and implemented both changes as GHCN-M version 3.2.1. With this update to GHCN-M, the Merged Land and Ocean Surface Temperature dataset also is subsequently revised as MLOST version 3.5.3.

The net result of this new version of GHCN-M reveals very small changes in temperature and ranks. The 2012 U.S. temperature is 0.01°F higher than reported in early January, but still remains approximately 1.0°F warmer than the next warmest year, and approximately 3.25°F warmer than the 20th century average. The U.S. annual time series from version 3.2.1 is almost identical to the series from version 3.2.0 and that the 1895-2012 annual temperature trend remains 0.13°F/decade. The trend for certain calendar months changed more than others (discussed below). For the globe, ranks of individual years changed in some instances by a few positions, but global land temperature trends changed no more than 0.01°C/century for any month since 1880.

NCDC uses two correction processes to remove inhomogeneities associated with factors unrelated to climate such as changes in observer practices, instrumentation, and changes in station location and environment that have occurred through time. The first correction for time of observation changes in the United States was inadvertently disabled during late 2012. That algorithm provides for a physically based correction for observing time changes based on station history information. NCDC also routinely runs a .pairwise correction. algorithm that addresses such issues, but in an indirect manner. It successfully corrected for many of the time of observation issues, which minimized the effect of this processing omission.

The version 3.2.1 release also includes the use of updated data to improve quality control and correction processes of other U.S. stations and neighboring stations in Canada and Mexico.

Compared to analyses released in January 2013, the trend for certain calendar months has changed more than others. This effect is related to the seasonal nature of the reintroduced time-of-observation correction. Trends in U.S. winter temperature are higher while trends in summer temperatures are lower. For the globe, ranks of individual years changed in some instances by a few positions, but global temperature trends changed no more than 0.01°C/century for any month since 1880.

More complete information about this issue is available at this supplemental page.

NCDC will not update the static reports from October through December 2012 and the 2012 U.S and Global annual reports, but will use the current dataset (GHCN-M v. 3.2.1 and MLOST v. 3.5.3) for the January 2013 report and other comparisons to previous months and years.

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Global Highlights

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for October 2013 was the seventh highest for October on record, at 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F).
  • The global land surface temperature was 0.98°C (1.76°F) above the 20th century average of 9.3°C (48.7°F)—tying with 2012 as the eighth warmest October on record. For the ocean, the October global sea surface temperature was 0.50°C (0.90°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F) and the eighth highest for October on record.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–October period (year-to-date) was 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.4°F). The first ten months of 2013 ranked as the seventh warmest such period on record.

==global-temps-errata==

Introduction

Temperature anomalies and percentiles are shown on the gridded maps below. The anomaly map on the left is a product of a merged land surface temperature (Global Historical Climatology Network, GHCN) and sea surface temperature (ERSST.v3b) anomaly analysis developed by Smith et al. (2008). Temperature anomalies for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis. For more information, please visit NCDC's Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page. The October 2013 Global State of the Climate report includes percentile maps that complement the information provided by the anomaly maps. These maps on the right provide additional information by placing the temperature anomaly observed for a specific place and time period into historical perspective, showing how the most current month, season, or year-to-date compares with the past.

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Temperatures

In the atmosphere, 500-millibar height pressure anomalies correlate well with temperatures at the Earth's surface. The average position of the upper-level ridges of high pressure and troughs of low pressure—depicted by positive and negative 500-millibar height anomalies on the October 2013 height and anomaly mapOctober 2013 map—is generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.

October

During October 2013, most of the world land areas experienced warmer-than-average temperatures, with the most notable departures from the 1981–2010 average across Alaska, northwestern Canada, northwestern Africa, and parts of north central and southern Asia. The departure from the 1981–2010 average in these locations varied between +2°C to +5°C or greater. When comparing the October 2013 departure from average with the location's period of record (minimum of 80 years), parts of Alaska, northwestern Canada, northwestern Africa, and southern Australia experienced their warmest October temperature on record. As shown in the anomalies map, some areas that had departures that were above the 1981–2010 average, but lower in magnitude—such as Australia, Mexico, most of Africa, western and central Europe, northern and southern Argentina, and parts of the Caribbean—fell in the much-warmer-than-average category, as shown in the percentiles map, with some locations in the Caribbean having their warmest October on record.

Some locations across the globe experienced departures that were below the 1981–2010 average. These areas include most of the western half of the United States, northern parts of the Middle East, and parts of central South America, western Russia and the Russian Far East. When comparing each location's October 2013 temperature with their respective period of record, the northern Middle East experienced much-cooler-than-average temperatures, while the rest had near-average to cooler-than-average temperatures. There were no land areas that experienced record coldest temperatures.

Averaged as a whole, the temperature across the land surfaces was 0.98°C (1.76°F) higher than the 20th century average of 9.3°C (48.7°F)—tying with 2012 as the eighth warmest October since records began in 1880. This was also the 21st consecutive October with a warmer-than-average temperature. The last October with below-average temperatures occurred in 1992, when the global land temperature was 0.04°C (0.07°F) below the 20th century average. The last below-average global land temperature for any month was February 1994. When averaging the temperature across the land surfaces across each hemisphere, the Northern Hemisphere experienced its seventh warmest October on record, with a departure from the 20th century average of +1.01°C (+1.82°F), while the Southern Hemisphere's October 2013 land surface temperature was +0.90°C (+1.62°F) higher than the 20th century average—the eighth warmest October on record.

Select national information is highlighted below. (Please note that different countries report anomalies with respect to different base periods. The information provided here is based directly upon these data):

  • For the 15th consecutive month (since August 2012), Australia experienced above-average temperatures. The nationally averaged October maximum temperature was the third warmest on record with a departure from the 1961–1990 average of +2.1°C. Minimum temperatures were also above average, but did not rank among the top ten warmest on record. The mean national temperature was 1.43°C above average—the seventh warmest since national temperature records began in 1910, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology. Also, the 12-month (November 2012 to October 2013) mean temperature for the nation was 1.3°C above the 1961–1990 average—the highest 12-month period average for the nation. This value surpasses the previous record set the two previous months, +1.25°C (October 2012 to September 2013) and +1.11°C (September 2012 to August 2013). This is also 0.22°C higher than any 12-month period prior to 2013.
  • Spain experienced warm temperatures during October, with an average monthly temperature of 17.5°C or 2.1°C above the 1971–2000 average. This resulted in the sixth warmest October since national records began in 1961.
  • In Austria, the October 2013 temperature was 1.1°C warmer than the 1981–2010 average—the warmest October since 2006 and the 25th warmest October since national records began in 1767.
  • The national temperature in Germany was 10.6°C or 1.4°C warmer than the 1981–2010 average, resulting in the 11th warmest October since national records began in 1881.

Across the oceans, temperature departures from 1981–2010 tend to be smaller than across the land surfaces. According to the percentiles map, much-warmer-than-average conditions were present across the tropical Atlantic Ocean, and along the European and the northeastern United States coasts, the tropical Western Pacific Ocean, the south-central Pacific Ocean, and across parts of the Indian Ocean. Some ocean areas in the Caribbean, western and south-central Pacific Ocean, and Indian Ocean experienced their warmest October temperature on record. ENSO-neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña) conditions persisted across much of the tropical Pacific Ocean during October. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, neutral conditions are favored through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014. Averaged globally, the global ocean temperature was 0.50°C (0.90°F) above the 20th century average, ranking as the eighth warmest October on record.

Averaging the globe as a whole, the temperature across land and ocean surfaces combined during October 2013 was 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 1901–2000 average of 14.0°C (57.1°F)—the seventh warmest October since records began in 1880. It also marked the 37th consecutive October and 344th consecutive month (more than 28 years) with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average October global temperature was October 1976 and the last below-average global temperature for any month was February 1985. The warmest October on record occurred in 2003 when global land and ocean surface temperatures were 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average, while the coldest October occurred in 1912 [-0.57°C (-1.03°F)].

October Anomaly Rank
(out of 134 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +0.98 ± 0.12 +1.76 ± 0.22 Warmest 8th 2005 +1.18 +2.12
Coolest 127th 1912 -0.98 -1.76
Ties: 2012
Ocean +0.50 ± 0.04 +0.90 ± 0.07 Warmest 8th 2003 +0.59 +1.06
Coolest 127th 1909 -0.47 -0.85
Land and Ocean +0.63 ± 0.07 +1.13 ± 0.13 Warmest 7th 2003 +0.74 +1.33
Coolest 128th 1912 -0.57 -1.03
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.01 ± 0.11 +1.82 ± 0.20 Warmest 7th 2011 +1.34 +2.41
Coolest 128th 1912 -1.29 -2.32
Ocean +0.57 ± 0.04 +1.03 ± 0.07 Warmest 5th 2003, 2006 +0.66 +1.19
Coolest 130th 1912 -0.50 -0.90
Ties: 2012
Land and Ocean +0.73 ± 0.09 +1.31 ± 0.16 Warmest 6th 2003 +0.90 +1.62
Coolest 129th 1912 -0.79 -1.42
Ties: 2010
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.90 ± 0.16 +1.62 ± 0.29 Warmest 8th 2002, 2006 +1.16 +2.09
Coolest 127th 1910 -0.77 -1.39
Ocean +0.45 ± 0.04 +0.81 ± 0.07 Warmest 8th 1997 +0.59 +1.06
Coolest 127th 1910 -0.46 -0.83
Ties: 2001
Land and Ocean +0.52 ± 0.06 +0.94 ± 0.11 Warmest 9th 1997 +0.62 +1.12
Coolest 126th 1910 -0.51 -0.92

The most current data may be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

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Year-to-date (January–October)

Warmer-than-average temperatures engulfed much of the world's surface, with some record warmth across much of Australia and parts of the tropical Western Pacific Ocean during January–October 2013. The first ten months of 2013 ranked as the seventh warmest such period on record, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.4°F). The warmest January–October period occurred in 2010 when temperatures were 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average, while the coolest such period took place in 1911 [-0.48°C (-0.86°F)].

Select national information is highlighted below. (Please note that different countries report anomalies with respect to different base periods. The information provided here is based directly upon these data):

  • In Australia, the 10-month period was the warmest on record at 1.32°C above the 1961–1990 average. This surpassed the January–October 2005 value of +1.08°C. 2005 is the warmest calendar year for the nation. However, 2013 will likely become Australia's warmest year on record.
  • The January–October 2013 temperature in Spain was 16.2°C—the coolest such period since 1996.

The January–October worldwide land surface temperature was 0.93°C (1.67°F) above the 20th century average, marking the seventh warmest such period on record. The global ocean surface temperature for the year to date was 0.48°C (0.86°F) above average, tying with 2009 as the seventh warmest such period on record.

January–October Anomaly Rank
(out of 134 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +0.93 ± 0.22 +1.67 ± 0.40 Warmest 7th 2007 +1.10 +1.98
Coolest 128th 1885, 1893 -0.58 -1.04
Ocean +0.48 ± 0.04 +0.86 ± 0.07 Warmest 7th 1998 +0.54 +0.97
Coolest 128th 1911 -0.48 -0.86
Ties: 2009
Land and Ocean +0.60 ± 0.10 +1.08 ± 0.18 Warmest 7th 2010 +0.67 +1.21
Coolest 128th 1911 -0.48 -0.86
Northern Hemisphere
Land +0.95 ± 0.26 +1.71 ± 0.47 Warmest 8th 2007 +1.23 +2.21
Coolest 127th 1883, 1884 -0.67 -1.21
Ocean +0.51 ± 0.06 +0.92 ± 0.11 Warmest 6th 2005 +0.56 +1.01
Coolest 129th 1910, 1913 -0.48 -0.86
Land and Ocean +0.68 ± 0.15 +1.22 ± 0.27 Warmest 7th 2010 +0.77 +1.39
Coolest 128th 1913 -0.50 -0.90
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.90 ± 0.13 +1.62 ± 0.23 Warmest 3rd 2005 +0.95 +1.71
Coolest 132nd 1917 -0.67 -1.21
Ocean +0.46 ± 0.04 +0.83 ± 0.07 Warmest 10th 1998 +0.57 +1.03
Coolest 125th 1911 -0.51 -0.92
Land and Ocean +0.53 ± 0.07 +0.95 ± 0.13 Warmest 7th 1998 +0.62 +1.12
Coolest 128th 1911 -0.52 -0.94

The most current data may be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

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Precipitation

The maps below represent precipitation percent of normal (left) and precipitation percentiles (right) based on the GHCN dataset of land surface stations using a base period of 1961–1990. Precipitation varied greatly around the globe during October. Above-average precipitation was observed across most of the central United States, Japan, northern India, and parts of northwestern Russia, northern Europe, northern Argentina, and eastern Brazil. Drier-than-average conditions were present across Australia, Chile, northern South America, western, northeastern and southeastern United States and southern India.

  • Australia as a whole experienced its 14th driest October (51 percent below the 1961–1990 average) since national precipitation records began in 1900.
  • Precipitation across Japan was above average due to the passage of several typhoons. Some locations received nearly twice its monthly average precipitation in October 2013.
  • According to India Meteorological Department, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Phailin was the most intense cyclone to cross India after the cyclone of October 29th, 1999. Phailin brought heavy rain over Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, triggering floods and substantial damage.

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References

Peterson, T.C. and R.S. Vose, 1997: An Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network Database. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., 78, 2837-2849.

Quayle, R.G., T.C. Peterson, A.N. Basist, and C. S. Godfrey, 1999: An operational near-real-time global temperature index. Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 333-335.

Smith, T.M. and R.W. Reynolds, 2005: A global merged land air and sea surface temperature reconstruction based on historical observations (1880-1997), J. Clim., 18, 2021-2036.

Smith et al., 2008, Improvements to NOAA's Historical Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (1880-2006), J. Climate., 21, 2283-2293.

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Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for October 2013, published online November 2013, retrieved on October 20, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2013/10.