Global Analysis - February 2003


Global Highlights:

  • Global average combined land and sea surface temperature was the sixth warmest for February 2003 as well as for December-February 2002-2003
  • 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 western Canada
 

Contents of this Section:

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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.
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Top of Page Introduction

The December-February 2002-2003 mean temperature was above the 1988-2003 average across western Canada and Alaska, the western U.S., and south central China as shown in the adjacent map of blended satellite and in situ data. Cooler than average temperatures were noted over the eastern U.S., much of Europe and Russia, and the southern tip of Chile. The mean position of upper level ridges and troughs of low pressure depicted by positive and negative 500 millibar height anomalies), are generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively. Warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures were observed throughout the tropical Pacific, the signature of El Niño conditions. Click Here for the global blended temperature in December-February 2003
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Click Here for the Global Temperature Anomalies in February 2003
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February temperature 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.
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Top of Page Temperature

February
  • 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 record.
  • The warmest February occurred in 1998, with an anomaly of +0.84°C (+1.51°F).
Click Here for the Global Temp Anomalies in February 2003
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December-February
  • 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 2002-2003.
Click Here for the Global Temperature Timeseries
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  • Serial monthly global surface temperature departures with respect to a 1971-2000 mean are shown in the figure to the right.
  • 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.
Click Here for the Global Temperature Timeseries
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Top of Page Precipitation

  • 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 the U.S.
  • 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 average conditions.
  • Additional regional analysis can be found on the Global Hazards page
Click Here for the Global Precip Anomalies in December-February 2003
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References:

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 September 19, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2003/2.