Thursday, April 18, 2013

March 2013 Global Climate Summary

March 2013 Global Climate Summary (from NOAA/NCDC)

Note:  The January 1-March 31, 2013 Summary is also included at the end of this posting.

Global Highlights

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for March 2013 tied with 2006 as the 10th warmest on record, at 0.58°C (1.04°F) above the 20th century average of 12.3°C (54.1°F).
  • The global land surface temperature was 1.06°C (1.91°F) above the 20th century average of 5.0°C (40.8°F), the 11th warmest March on record. For the ocean, the March global sea surface temperature was 0.41°C (0.74°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.7°F), making it the ninth warmest March on record.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–March period (year-to-date) was 0.58°C (1.04°F) above the 20th century average of 12.3°C (54.1°F), the eighth warmest such period on record.


The globally-averaged temperature across the world's land and ocean surfaces was 0.58°C (1.04°F) above the 20th century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F), tying with 2006 as the 10th warmest March since records began in 1880. Both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres were also 10th warmest for March.
Globally, land surface temperatures were 1.06°C (1.91°F) above average (11th warmest on record), but there were some marked temperature anomaly differences around the world. The Arctic Oscillation (AO), a large-scale climate pattern that can influence temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, was strongly negative during the month, and in fact reached a monthly-averaged record low for March. This negative phase was associated with frigid Arctic air spilling southward into the Northern Hemisphere middle latitudes. Particularly, it was either cooler or much cooler than average across the eastern half of the United States as well as most of Europe, European Russia, and northern Siberia, according to the Global Land & Ocean Temperature Percentiles map above. Parts of northeastern Europe and western Russia observed temperatures that were at least 5°C (9°F) lower than average. This phase of the AO also contributed to much warmer than average and even record warm temperatures in northeastern Canada and southeastern Greenland. A large swath of China also saw record warm temperatures. Parts of these regions were at least 5°C (9°F) above average. Additionally, several regions in central and northern Africa in the 0°–20°N latitude belt were record warm. Overall, the 20°N–20°S global tropical latitude belt was the third warmest on record for that region during March, at 1.18°C (2.12°F) above average. Most of northern Africa, along with northern South America and northern Australia, were also much warmer than average. In the Southern Hemisphere, Argentina observed temperatures that were cooler to much cooler than average.

Global Temperature Anomalies January 1-March 31, 2013:

With ENSO-neutral conditions holding during the first three months of 2013, the January–March global temperature across land and ocean surfaces was the eighth warmest on record, at 0.58°C (1.04°F) above the 20th century average. The global land temperature ranked seventh warmest, with the Southern Hemisphere observing its second warmest such period, behind 2010, and the Northern Hemisphere having its 12th warmest January–March temperature over land on record. Parts of northern Australia and equatorial Africa were record warm for the period. The global ocean temperature was eighth warmest for January–March, with a large section of the Indian Ocean south of Australia having record warmth. No record cold regions over land or water were observed for the first quarter of the year.

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