Global Analysis - March 2003


Global Highlights:

  • Global average combined land and sea surface temperature was the fifth warmest for March 2003
  • Temperatures were much above average across most of the U.S., Scandinavia and Europe with below average temperatures in the northern Great Plains of the U.S., across most of Canada, and eastern Australia
  • Precipitation during March was above average across the Pacific Northwest and southeastern U.S., Thailand and Malaysia, with drier than average conditions over most of Australia, the Mississippi Valley of the U.S. and Europe
 

Contents of this Section:

This is a break in the document 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. This is a break in the document

Top of Page Introduction

The March 2003 mean temperature was above the 1988-2002 average across the southeastern U.S., Europe, eastern Russia and Scandinavia as shown in the adjacent map of blended satellite and in situ data. Cooler than average temperatures occurred over the Middle East, the Northern Great Plains of the U.S., across Canada and eastern Australia. 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.  temperature in March 2003
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Click Here for the Global Temperature Anomalies in March 2003
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March temperature anomalies calculated from the Global Historical Climatology Network data set of land surface stations using a 1961-1990 base period also show above average temperatures throughout Europe, much of Asia, the western United States and eastern Russia. Monthly temperatures were 3-6°C (5.4-10.8°F) above the mean. Cooler than average temperatures were present throughout Canada, Mongolia, eastern Australia and the eastern Mediterranean region where monthly temperatures were as much as 3-5°C (5.4-9°F) below average.
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Top of Page Temperature

March
  • For March 2003, the global average land and ocean surface temperature was 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 1880-2002 average, ranking as the fifth warmest March in the period of record
  • The warmest March occurred in 2002, when the global anomaly was +0.80°C (+1.44°F)
  • Globally averaged land temperatures were eighth warmest on record, 0.89°C (1.60°F) above the long-term mean
Click Here for the Global Temp Anomalies in March 2003
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  • March 2003 temperatures averaged across the Northern Hemisphere were eighth warmest on record, 0.61°C (1.10°F) above the long term mean
  • Temperatures averaged throughout the Southern Hemisphere were fourth warmest, 0.49°C (0.88°F) above average
Click Here for the Global Temp Anomalies in March 2003
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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.
  • Globally averaged surface temperatures (land and ocean) have been warmer than the 1971-2000 average for the last 83 consecutive months.
Click Here for the Global Temperature Timeseries
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Top of Page Precipitation

  • During March 2003, much above average precipitation fell across the southeastern U.S., Thailand, Malaysia and portions of Brazil
  • Below average precipitation was observed in the Mississippi Valley of the U.S., most of Australia and Europe
  • Additional regional analysis can be found on the Global Hazards page
Click Here for the Global Precip Anomalies in March 2003 larger image

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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 March 2003, published online April 2003, retrieved on August 21, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2003/3.