Global Analysis - March 2006


Global Highlights:

  • Based on preliminary data, globally averaged combined land and sea surface temperature was 7th warmest on record for March 2006.
  • March 2006 temperatures were above average in Mexico, the U.S. Great Plains and much of Asia. Colder-than-average conditions occurred in Alaska, Europe, and the western U.S.
  • Precipitation during March 2006 was above average in the U.S. southern Plains, most of Brazil and southeast Asia, with drier-than-average conditions in eastern Australia, the U.S. East Coast and parts of Argentina.
  • ENSO conditions during March indicate the presence of a weak La Niña episode.

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 PageIntroduction

Temperature anomalies for March 2006 are shown on the two maps below. The dot map on the left provides a spatial representation of anomalies calculated from the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) data set of land surface stations using a 1961-1990 base period. The map on the right is a product of a merged land surface and sea surface temperature anomaly analysis which is based on data from the GHCN of land temperatures and the Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (COADS) of Sea-Surface Temperature (SST) data. Temperature anomalies with respect to 1961-1990 for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis. Additional information on this product is available.
During March 2006, there were above average temperatures in the U.S. Great Plains, Mexico, Algeria, Peru, Greenland and much of Asia. Cooler than average temperatures were observed in Europe, Alaska, South Africa and the western coast of British Columbia.

During January-March 2006, there were above average temperatures in the majority of North America, central Africa, much of Asia and Greenland. Cooler than average temperatures were observed in eastern Europe, Alaska and Russia.

In January-March and March 2006, warmer than average SSTs occurred in the South Pacific and the North Atlantic. Cooler than average conditions were observed in the Niño 3.4 region, indicative of the La Niña episode that developed by mid-January, and also off the coast of western Australia. Please see the latest ENSO discussion for further information.

Current month's Land SurfaceTemperature Dot map
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Current month's blended Land and sea surface Temperature Dot map
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The mean position of upper level ridges of high pressure and troughs of low pressure (depicted by positive and negative 500 millibar height anomalies on the March 2006 map) are generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively. For other Global products see the Climate Monitoring Global Products page.

Images of sea surface temperature conditions are available for all weeks during 2006 at the weekly SST page.

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Top of Page Temperature Rankings and Graphics

Effective with the January 2006 report, NCDC transitioned from the use of the Operational Global Surface Temperature Index (Quayle et al. 1999) to the blended land and ocean dataset developed by Smith and Reynolds (2005). The differences between the two methods are discussed in Smith et al. 2005.
Current Month / Year-to-date
March Anomaly Rank Warmest Year on Record

Global

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean

+1.02°C (+1.84°F)
+0.38°C (+0.68°F)
+0.55°C (+0.99°F)

7th warmest
7th warmest
7th warmest

1990 (+1.45°C/2.61°F)
1998 (+0.51°C/0.92°F)
2002 (+0.73°C/1.31°F)

Northern Hemisphere

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean


+1.21°C (+2.18°F)
+0.33°C (+0.59°F)
+0.66°C (+1.19°F)


8th warmest
6th warmest
6th warmest


1990 (+1.99°C/3.58°F)
2004 (+0.49°C/0.88°F)
1990 (+0.90°C/1.62°F)

Southern Hemisphere

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean


+0.45°C (+0.81°F)
+0.43°C (+0.77°F)
+0.44°C (+0.79°F)


13th warmest
7th warmest
9th warmest


1988 (+1.60°C/2.88°F)
1998 (+0.55°C/0.99°F)
1988 (+0.63°C/1.13°F)

Global Land and Ocean Triad plot
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Global Hemisphere Triad plot
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January-March Anomaly Rank Warmest Year on Record

Global

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean

+0.75°C (+1.35°F)
+0.38°C (+0.68°F)
+0.48°C (+0.86°F)

11th warmest
6th warmest
7th warmest

2002 (+1.50°C/2.70°F)
1998 (+0.53°C/0.95°F)
2002 (+0.72°C/1.30°F)

Northern Hemisphere

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean


+0.80°C (+1.44°F)
+0.32°C (+0.58°F)
+0.50°C (+0.90°F)


12th warmest
6th warmest
10th warmest


2002 (+1.88°C/3.38°F)
1998 (+0.50°C/0.90°F)
2002 (+0.95°C/1.71°F)

Southern Hemisphere

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean


+0.60°C (+1.08°F)
+0.44°C (+0.79°F)
+0.46°C (+0.83°F)


5th warmest
7th warmest
7th warmest


1998 (+0.86°C/1.55°F)
1998 (+0.56°C/1.01°F)
1998 (+0.60°C/1.08°F)

Global Land and Ocean Triad plot
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Global Hemisphere Triad plot
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The most current data may be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

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Top of Page Precipitation

The maps below represent anomaly values based on the GHCN data set of land surface stations using a base period of 1961-1990. During March 2006, above average precipitation fell over areas that include the U.S. southern Plains, Brazil, India, far eastern Europe, southeast Asia and parts of the U.S. Ohio Valley. Below average precipitation was observed in Iceland, South Africa, the western coast of Canada and the U.S. East Coast.


Precipitation Dot map in Millimeters for March
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Percent Precipitation Dot map for March
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Top of Page ENSO SST Analysis




Last week of the month's ENSO condtions Map
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  • Sea Surface Temperatures were cooler than average across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, indicative of La Niña conditions (shown in the adjacent animation of weekly sea surface temperature anomalies). A comprehensive summary of March 2006 ENSO conditions can be found on the ENSO monitoring page. For the latest advisory on ENSO conditions go to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and the CPC ENSO Diagnostic Discussion

  • Images of sea surface temperature conditions are available for all weeks during 2006 at the weekly SST page

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Top of Page 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.

Quayle, R. G., T. C. Peterson, A. N. Basist, and C. S. Godfrey, 1999: An operational near-real-time global temperature index. Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 333-335.

Smith, T. M., and R. W. Reynolds (2005), A global merged land air and sea surface temperature reconstruction based on historical observations (1880-1997), J. Clim., 18, 2021-2036.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for March 2006, published online April 2006, retrieved on July 24, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2006/3.