NOAA: November global temperature highest on record

Year-to-date global temperature ties for fourth highest on record
December 17, 2013

According to NOAA scientists, the globally-averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for November 2013 was the highest for November since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 37th consecutive November and 345th consecutive month (more than 28 years) with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average November global temperature was November 1976 and the last below-average global temperature for any month was February 1985.

 

Most areas of the world experienced warmer-than-average monthly temperatures, including: much of Eurasia, coastal Africa, Central America, central South America, parts of the North Atlantic Ocean, the south west Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. Much of southern Russia, northwest Kazakhstan, south India, southern Madagascar, parts of the central and south Indian Ocean, and sections of the Pacific Ocean were record warm. Meanwhile, northern Australia, parts of North America, south west Greenland, and parts of the Southern Ocean near South America were cooler than average. No regions of the globe were record cold.

 

This monthly summary from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, the business sector, academia, and the public to support informed decision-making.


 

Map of August 2013 temperatures compared to the long-term history.
 See more. (Credit: NOAA)
 

Global temperature highlights: November

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for November was record highest for November at 56.60°F (13.68°C), or 1.40°F (0.78°C), above the 20th century average of 55.2°F (12.9°C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.13°F (0.07°C).
  • The global land temperature was the second highest for November on record, behind 2010, at 2.57°F (1.43°C) above the 20th century average of 42.6°F (5.9°C). The margin of error is +/- 0.20°F (0.11°C).
  • Some national temperature highlights include: 
    • Russia observed its warmest November since national records began in 1891. Some areas of the Urals, Siberia, south of the Far East region, and on the Arctic islands in the Kara Sea had temperatures that were more than 14°F (8°C) higher than the monthly average.
    • Spain was 0.9°F (0.5°C) below its 1971-2000 average for the month, although the first half was (4°-5°F) 2°-3°C above average while the second half was 5°-7°F (3°-4°C) below average, the coolest such period since 1985.
    • November temperatures were 7.0°-9.4°F (3.9°-5.2°C) above average across the Republic of Moldova. According to the country's national meteorological service, Serviciul Hidrometeorologic de Stat, this type of event in the north occurs every 20-30 years and every 10-15 years in the south.
    • According to the Fiji Meteorological Service, most regions of the country were considerably warmer than the 1971-2000 average, with maximum and minimum temperature anomalies exceeding 1°C at more than half of the official (21) monitoring stations. New November monthly minimum temperature records were set at four stations.
  • For the ocean, the November global sea surface temperature was 0.97°F (0.54°C) above the 20th century average of 60.4°F (15.8°C), tying with 2009 as the third highest for November on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.07°F (0.04°C).
  • Neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions were present across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during November. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, neutral conditions are favored into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2014.

Global temperature highlights: September-November

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for September-November was the second highest on record for this period, behind 2005, at 1.22°F (0.68°C), above the 20th century average of 57.1°F (14.0°C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.16°F (0.09°C).
  • The global land temperature was the third highest for September-November on record, at 1.94°F (1.08°C) above the 20th century average of 48.3°F (9.1°C). The margin of error is +/- 0.32°F (0.18°C).
    • Record warmth continued in Australia towards the latter part of 2013, as the country observed its highest average and maximum spring (September-November) temperatures in its 104-year period of record at 2.83°F (1.57°C) and 3.73°F (2.07°C) above the 1961-1990 average, respectively. The nationally-averaged minimum spring temperature was fourth highest on record, at 1.93°F (1.07°C) above normal.
    • Fall was 2.5°F (1.4°C) above the 1961-1990 average in Norway, with the southern mountains and some regions in the north observing temperature departures of +3.6°F (+2.0°C).
  • For the ocean, the September-November global sea surface temperature was 0.94°F (0.52°C), above the 20th century average of 60.7°F (16.0°C), tying with 2009 and 2012 as the fourth highest for September-November on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.07°F (0.04°C).

Polar ice highlights: November and September-November

  • According to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the average November Arctic sea ice extent was 3.95 million square miles, 290,000 square miles (6.8 percent) below the 1981-2010 average of 4.24 million square miles. This marked the sixth lowest November sea ice extent for the Arctic in the 35-year period of record.
  • The November Antarctic sea ice extent of 6.63 million square was 340,000 square miles (5.3 percent) above the 1981-2010 average of 6.29 million square miles. This was the largest November Antarctic sea ice extent on record, surpassing the previous record large November extent of 2010 by 90,000 square miles.
  • The globally combined Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent during November was 10.58 million square miles, 111,000 square miles (0.4 percent) above the 1981-2010 average of 10.62 million square miles. The global sea ice extent during November tied as the 12th largest on record and was the largest since 1998.
  • According to data from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during November was 13.42 million square miles, 310,000 square miles above the 1981-2010 average of 13.11 million square miles, and the 16th largest November snow cover extent in the 48-year period of record. The North American monthly snow cover extent was the third largest on record, behind November 1985 and 1996. The Eurasian November snow cover extent was below average and the 18th smallest on record.
  • The average Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during autumn was 7.54 million square miles, 710,000 square miles above the 1981-2010 average of 6.83 million square miles. This was the sixth largest snow cover extent during the autumn season for the Northern Hemisphere and the largest since 2002. North America had its seventh largest autumn snow cover extent, while Eurasia had its 10th largest.

Precipitation highlights: November and September-November

  • Record wetness was observed during November over sections of coastal China, central Japan, north central Australia, and north central Mexico. Record dryness was scattered across different parts of the globe, including some small sections of coastal South America, parts of north west Africa, a few regions of central and southern Asia, and parts of far west and southern Australia.
  • Austria observed precipitation that was 160 percent of the 1981-2010 average for November, making this the country's wettest November since 2002. Regions from Unterkörnten to Middle Burgenland had November precipitation totals that were their highest since 1949.
  • The September-November period was about 40 percent wetter than average across The Netherlands. De Bilt had its third wettest fall since records began in 1906.

Global temperature highlights: Year-to-date

  • The first 11 months of 2013 tied with 2002 as the fourth warmest such period on record, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature of 1.12°F (0.62°C) above the 20th century average of 57.0°F (13.9°C). The margin of error is +/- 0.18°F (0.10°C).
  • The January-November worldwide land surface temperature was 1.76°F (0.98°C) above the 20th century average, also tying with 2002 as the fourth warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.38°F (0.21°C).
  • The global ocean surface temperature for the year to date was 0.86°F (0.48°C) above average, tying with 2006 as the eighth warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/-0.07°F (0.04°C).
  

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