Note: The data presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may change as more complete data are received and processed. Effective September 2012, the GHCN-M version 3.2.0 dataset of monthly mean temperature replaced the GHCN-M version 3.1.0 monthly mean temperature dataset. Beginning with the August 2012 Global monthly State of the Climate Report, released on September 17, 2012, GHCN-M version 3.2.0 is used for NCDC climate monitoring activities, including calculation of global land surface temperature anomalies and trends. For more information about this newest version, please see the GHCN-M version 3.2.0 Technical Report.
*The GHCN-M version 3.1.0 Technical Report was revised on September 5, 2012 to accurately reflect the changes incorporated in that version. Previously that report incorrectly included discussion of changes to the Pairwise Homogeneity Algorithm (PHA). Changes to the PHA are included in version 3.2.0 and described in the version 3.2.0 Technical Report. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about this update.
presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may
change as more complete data are received and processed. The most
current data may be accessed via the Global Surface
Temperature Anomalies page.
- Global average combined land and sea surface temperature was
the fourth warmest for October 2002
- October temperatures were much colder than average over the
U.S. and northern Europe, with above average warmth across the
Mediterranean region, southern Brazil and northern Argentina
- October was wetter than average across much of the eastern U.S.
and parts of Europe, with below average precipitation across
Indonesia, Australia and the Pacific coast of North America
Contents of this Section:
The October 2002 mean temperature was 2-4°C (3.6-7.2°F)
below a 1968-1996 average across much of the central United States
into southern Canada, most of northern Europe, and across parts of
Mongolia and northeastern China as shown in the adjacent map of
surface temperature anomalies estimated from the NCEP Reanalysis.
Warmer than average temperatures occurred over Alaska, southern
Brazil into northern Argentina and throughout much of southern
Asia. The mean position of upper level ridges and troughs of low
by positive and negative 500 millibar height anomalies) are
generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature
anomalies at the surface, respectively. A belt of
warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures
persisted throughout the tropical Pacific during October, the
signature of El Niño
anomalies calculated from the Global Historical Climatology Network
data set of land
surface stations using a 1961-1990 base period show below
average temperatures of 2-5°C (3.6-9°F) across the Northern
Plains of the United States and across areas of Scandinavia into
northwest Russia. Much warmer than average temperatures (+2 to
+5°C or +3.6 to +9°F) extended across high latitudes of the
Northern Hemisphere, including Alaska and far northern Canada.
Anomalous warmth also was noted across parts of southern Argentina
and Brazil, as well as much of Australia.
- For October 2002, the global average land and ocean surface
temperature was 0.45°C (0.81°F) above the 1880-2001
average, ranking as the fourth warmest October in the period of
- The warmest Octobers occurred in 2001 and in 1997, with an
anomaly of +0.55°C (+0.99°F)
- The October ocean surface temperature average was second
warmest on record, 0.45°C (0.81°F) above average
- The global land and ocean surface temperature average
(January-October 2002) was the second warmest such 10-month period
in the 1880-2002 record, 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the
long-term mean and 0.08°C (0.14°F) cooler than during the
El Niño year of 1998
- January-October 2002 average temperature across land areas
also ranked as second warmest on record, or 0.93°C (1.67°F)
above the 1880-2001 average
- Serial monthly global surface temperature departures with
respect to a 1971-2000 mean are shown in the figure to the
- The recent return to record or near record temperature
departures is evident, and globally averaged surface temperatures
(land and ocean) have been warmer than the 1971-2000 average for
the last 78 consecutive months
- During October 2002, much above average precipitation fell
along the U.S. Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, from the United
Kingdom eastward into western Russia, and over southern India
- Below average precipitation was observed across southeastern
Alaska and North America's Pacific coast, Colombia and Venezuela,
much of Australia, and Indonesia
- Additional regional analysis can be found on the Global Hazards
Peterson, T.C. and R.S. Vose, 1997: An Overview of the Global
Historical Climatology Network Database. Bull. Amer. Meteorol.
Soc., 78, 2837-2849.
Citing This Report
NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for October 2002, published online November 2002, retrieved on December 10, 2013 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2002/10.