Global Analysis - July 2008


Global Highlights:

  • Based on preliminary data, the globally averaged combined land and sea surface temperature was the fifth warmest on record for July and the ninth warmest for the January-July year-to-date period.
  • July 2008 temperatures were above average in Japan, the British Isles, northwestern Africa, the northwestern and northeastern continental U.S., and most of South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Meanwhile, cooler-than-average conditions were present across far northwestern Europe, the southern and western coast of Alaska, and north-central Russia.
  • Precipitation during July 2008 was variable in many areas. In general, precipitation was above average in the British Isles, northeastern Australia, central Russia, parts of the eastern half of the continental U.S., and eastern Asia. Drier-than-average conditions were observed across Norway, the western and north-central contiguous U.S., southern Australia, parts of South America and Asia.
  • El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions remained in a neutral phase during July.

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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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Introduction

Temperature anomalies for July 2008 are shown on the dot maps below. The dot map, below 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 dot map, below right, is a product of a merged land surface and sea surface temperature anomaly analysis developed by Smith and Reynolds (2005). Temperature anomalies with respect to the 1961-1990 mean for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis. Additional information on this product is available.

During July, above average temperatures were observed across Japan, the British Isles, northwestern Africa, the northwestern and northeastern continental U.S., and most of South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Meanwhile, cooler-than-average conditions were present across far northwestern Europe, the southern and western coasts of Alaska, north-central Russia, parts of the north-central contiguous U.S., Mexico, and southeastern China.

Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) during July 2008 were warmer than average in the Atlantic, northwestern Pacific and eastern equatorial Pacific oceans, and parts of the Indian Ocean. Cooler-than-average SSTs were present in parts of the southern hemisphere and in the central equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Anomalously warm temperatures covered much of the world's land surface for the first seven months of the year. The January-July 2008 map shows the presence of warmer-than-average temperatures across all land areas, with the exception of parts of the northern continental U.S. and eastern Australia. Warmer-than-average SST conditions were present in the Atlantic and Indian oceans, eastern equatorial Pacific and parts of the northwest Pacific oceans. Cooler-than-average conditions were observed in the central equatorial Pacific, parts of the northeastern Pacific and some areas in the southern oceans.

The mean position of the upper level ridges of high pressure and troughs of low pressure (depicted by positive and negative 500-millibar height anomalies on the July map, respectively) are generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively. For other Global products, please see the Climate Monitoring Global Products page.

Images of sea surface temperature conditions are available for all weeks during 2008 at the weekly SST page.

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Temperature Rankings and Graphics

Current Month / Year-to-date

Effective with the February 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). The ranks found in the tables below are based on records that began in 1880.

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature tied with 2001 and 2003 as the fifth warmest July on record, while the January-July year-to-date was the ninth warmest on record.

July Anomaly Rank
(out of 129 years)
Warmest (or Next
Warmest) Year on Record

Global

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean

+0.68°C (+1.22°F)
+0.42°C (+0.76°F)
+0.49°C (+0.88°F)

5th warmest
8th warmest
5th warmest

1998 (+0.99°C/1.78°F)
1998 (+0.55°C/0.99°F)
1998 (+0.67°C/1.21°F)

Northern Hemisphere

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean


+0.63°C (+1.13°F)
+0.51°C (+0.92°F)
+0.55°C (+0.99°F)


7th warmest
6th warmest
7th warmest


2002 (+1.02°C/184°F)
2005 (+0.64°C/1.15°F)
2005 (+0.76°C/1.37°F)

Southern Hemisphere

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean


+0.83°C (+1.49°F)
+0.36°C (+0.65°F)
+0.43°C (+0.77°F)


4th warmest
11th warmest
6th warmest


1998 (+0.91°C/1.64°F)
1998 (+0.57°C/1.03°F)
1998 (+0.62°C/1.12°F)

January-July Anomaly Rank
(out of 129 years)
Warmest (or Next
Warmest) Year on Record

Global

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean

+0.75°C (+1.35°F)
+0.34°C (+0.61°F)
+0.45°C (+0.81°F)

6th warmest
10th warmest
9th warmest

2007 (+1.07°C/1.93°F)
1998 (+0.53°C/0.95°F)
1998 (+0.64°C/1.15°F)

Northern Hemisphere

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean


+0.86°C (+1.55°F)
+0.36°C (+0.65°F)
+0.55°C (+0.99°F)


6th warmest
8th warmest
7th warmest


2007 (+1.27°C/2.29°F)
2005 (+0.53°C/0.95°F)
2007 (+0.75°C/1.35°F)

Southern Hemisphere

Land
Ocean
Land and Ocean


+0.43°C (+0.77°F)
+0.32°C (+0.58°F)
+0.34°C (+0.61°F)


13th warmest
19th warmest
17th warmest


2005 (+0.91°C/1.64°F)
1998 (+0.56°C/1.01°F)
1998 (+0.60°C/1.08°F)

The most current data may be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

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Precipitation

The maps below represent anomaly values based on the GHCN data set of land surface stations using a base period of 1961-1990. Precipitation during July 2008 was variable in many areas. Above average precipitation fell over areas that include the British Isles, northeastern Australia, central Russia, and parts of the eastern half of the continental U.S. and eastern Asia. Drier-than-average conditions were observed across Norway, the western and north-central contiguous U.S., southern Australia, and parts of South America and Asia.

According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), unseasonal rains fell across parts of eastern Queensland. As a whole, the State of Queensland had a monthly average of 95 percent above normal (BoM).

In the U.S., hurricane Dolly brought much needed rain to parts of the South, but at month's end, moderate to exceptional drought remained over 46 percent of the region. Typhoon Kalmaegi passed over the Philippines, Taiwan and eastern China, killing at least 18 people and causing about $10 million (U.S.) in damage. Some mountainous locations in Taiwan reported more than 1,100 mm (43 inches) of rain during the storm. A few days later, Typhoon Fung-Wong passed over many of the same areas, dumping 838 mm (32.9 inches) of rain on Hualien on Taiwan's east coast. Extensive damage exceeding $6 million (U.S.) and 6 fatalities were reported. Heavy monsoon rains impacted northern India and Bangladesh between July 5-14, resulting in floods and landslides that claimed 20 lives. Eleven people died in monsoon flooding and landslides in Nepal in early July.

Additional details on flooding and drought can also be found on the July Global Hazards page.

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ENSO SST Analysis

Sea surface temperatures (SST) warmed across the equatorial Pacific Ocean during July. Above or near average SST anomalies were present across all of the Niño regions. These conditions are indicative of a neutral ENSO phase (shown in the adjacent animation of weekly sea surface temperature anomalies). A comprehensive summary of July 2008 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 since 2003 at the weekly SST page.

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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.

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.

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Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for July 2008, published online August 2008, retrieved on April 23, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2008/7.