Global Analysis - April 2003


Global Highlights:

  • Global average combined land and sea surface temperature was the fourth warmest for April 2003
  • Temperatures were much above average across Alaska and western Europe with below average temperatures in the Mediterranean region into western Asia
  • Precipitation during April was above average in Argentina and across the Pacific Northwestern U.S., with drier than average conditions over most of Australia, the western Gulf Coast of the U.S. and Brazil
  • Cooler sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific continued to indicate a rapid weakening of El Niño conditions
 

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 April 2003 mean temperature was above the 1988-2002 average across Alaska, South Africa and Europe as shown in the adjacent map of blended satellite and in situ data. Cooler than average temperatures occurred over the northeastern U.S., western Asia, the Mediterranean region and the west coast of the U.S. 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 April 2003
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Click Here for the Global Temperature Anomalies in April 2003
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April 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 much of northwestern Canada and Alaska, much of western Europe, Southeast Asia and the southwestern coast of Australia. Monthly temperatures were 3-5°C (5.4-9.0°F) above the mean. Cooler than average temperatures were present throughout the Mediterranean region into western Asia, parts of the western United States and the eastern coast of Argentina where monthly temperatures were as much as 2-5°C (3.6-9.0°F) below average.
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Top of Page Temperature

April
  • For April 2003, the global average land and ocean surface temperature was 0.51°C (0.92°F) above the 1880-2002 average, ranking as the fourth warmest April in the period of record
  • The warmest April occurred in 1998, when the global anomaly was +0.74°C (+1.33°F)
  • Globally averaged land temperatures were seventh warmest on record, 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the long-term mean
Click Here for the Global Temp Anomalies in April 2003
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  • April 2003 temperatures averaged across the Northern Hemisphere were seventh warmest on record, 0.53°C (0.95°F) above the long term mean
  • Temperatures averaged throughout the Southern Hemisphere were third warmest, 0.46°C (0.83°F) above average
Click Here for the Global Temp Anomalies in April 2003
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Click Here for the Global Temperature Anomalies in April 2003
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  • For January-April 2003, the global average land and ocean surface temperature was 0.55°C (0.99°F) above the 1880-2002 average, ranking as the third warmest January-April in the period of record (see top graph at left)
  • 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 84 consecutive months
Click Here for the Global Temperature Timeseries
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Top of Page Precipitation

  • During April 2003, much above average precipitation fell across the southeastern U.S., Argentina, the Korean peninsula and the U.S.Pacific Northwest.
  • Below average precipitation was observed in Brazil, northwestern Australia, southern Africa and Madagascar. Also, much of Canada was dryer than average in some of the same regions that have been experiencing drought
  • Additional regional analysis can be found on the Global Hazards page
Click Here for the Global Precip Anomalies in April 2003
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Top of Page ENSO SST Analysis

Click Here for the last week of the month's ENSO condtions Map
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  • El Nino conditions continued to rapidly dissipate in April as sea surface temperatures continued to cool in the central and equatorial Pacific, as shown in the adjacent animation of weekly sea surface temperature anomalies. This trend as well as others, such as a steady decrease in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific oceanic thermocline are indicators of a transition to La Nina conditions. The most up-to-date information on ENSO (El Nino/Southern Oscillation) conditions can be found at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and the CPC ENSO Diagnostic Discussion .
  • Images of sea surface temperature conditions are available for all months to date during 2003 at 2003 weekly sst

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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 April 2003, published online May 2003, retrieved on September 15, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2003/4.