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.
- Global average combined land and sea surface temperature was
the sixth warmest for February 2003 as well as for
- December-February 2002-2003 temperatures were colder than
average over the eastern U.S., much of Europe and western Mongolia
with above average warmth across Alaska, western Canada, western
U.S. and China
- Precipitation during December-February 2002-2003 was above
average over the east-central U.S., the Mediterranean region and
northern Mozambique while notably drier weather occurred across
Scandinavia, eastern Australia, the North American Great Lakes, and
Contents of this Section:
|The data 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.
anomalies calculated from the Global Historical Climatology Network
data set of land surface stations using a 1961-1990 base period
show below average temperatures in northeastern U.S. as well as in
the Great Plains and Europe. Notable warm anomalies were present
over Alaska and western Canada, Scandinavia and China.
- For February 2003, the global average land and ocean
surface temperature was 0.46°C (0.83°F) above the 1880-2001
average, ranking as the sixth warmest February in the period of
- The warmest February occurred in 1998, with an anomaly of
- For December-February 2002-2003, the global average land and
ocean surface temperature was 0.47°C (0.85°F) above the
long term mean, or sixth warmest for boreal winter.
- Ocean surface temperatures were 0.43°C (0.77°F) above
the 1880-2001 mean, or second warmest for December-February
- 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 82 consecutive months.
- During December-February 2002-2003, much above average
precipitation fell across the east-central U.S the northwestern
coast of Australia and along the Mediterranean region.
- Below average precipitation was observed across Scandinavia,
eastern Australia and the Great Plains to the Great Lakes region of
- During the month of February
2003 , unusually wet weather occurred in eastern Australia,
Uruguay and in the mid-Atlantic U.S., while western Canada,
southeastern Brazil and most of Europe experienced drier than
- 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 February 2003, published online March 2003, retrieved on May 25, 2013 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2003/2.