NCDC Releases July 2012 Global Monthly Climate Report

The average global temperature for July 2012 was 1.12°F above the 20th-century average, making it the fourth warmest July since record keeping began in 1880. July 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive July and the 329th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th-century average. The last July with below-average temperature was July 1976, and the last month with below-average temperature was February 1985.

Higher-than-average monthly temperatures were widespread across most of the Northern Hemisphere. The most unusually warm areas were the central United States and Canada, Greenland, and southeastern Europe. However, Australia, northern and western Europe, eastern Russia, Alaska, and southern South America were notably cooler than average.

The average temperature for the contiguous United States during July was 3.3°F above the 20th century average, marking the warmest July and all-time warmest month since national records began in 1895, surpassing the previous record warmth of July 1936.

While July daytime (maximum) average temperatures across Australia were close to the long-term average, the nighttime (minimum) temperatures were the coolest of the past 30 years, making it the eighth coolest July in the country’s 63-year period of record, at 1.73°F below average. The state of Western Australia reported its lowest average July minimum temperature on record, 3.08°F below average.

For the ocean, the July global sea surface temperature was 0.90°F above the 20th-century average of 61.5°F, or seventh warmest for July on record. This was also the highest monthly global ocean temperature departure from average for any month since July 2010.

The equatorial Pacific Ocean continued to reflect “neutral” El Niño-Southern Ocean conditions in July. However, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, the El Niño warm ocean phase will likely develop between now and September. In addition to influencing seasonal climate outcomes in the United States, El Niño is often, but not always, associated with global temperatures that are higher than normal.

This monthly analysis (summary, full report) from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business, and community leaders so they can make informed decisions.