Global Analysis - November 2011


Contents of this Section:


November 2011 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events MapNovember 2011 Selected Climate
Anomalies and Events Map


Global Highlights

  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for November 2011 was the 12th warmest on record at 13.35°C (55.81°F), which is 0.45°C (0.81°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (55.0°F). The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.07°C (0.13°F).
  • Separately, the global land surface temperature was 0.61°C (1.10°F) above the 20th century average of 5.9°C (42.6°F), making this the 16th warmest November on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.11°C (0.20°F). Warmer-than-average conditions occurred across central and eastern North America, Northern and Western Europe, northern Russia, most of China and the Middle East, southeastern Australia, and southern South America. Cooler-than-average regions included Alaska, western Canada, much of Eastern Europe, Kazakhstan, and southwestern Russia.
  • Separately, the global land surface temperature was 0.61°C (1.10°F) above the 20th century average of 5.9°C (42.6°F), making this the 16th warmest November on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.11°C (0.20°F).
  • The November global ocean surface temperature was 0.39°C (0.70°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F), making it the 12th warmest November on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.04°C (0.07°F). The warmth was most pronounced across the north central and northwest Pacific, the Labrador Sea, and portions of the mid-latitude Southern oceans..
  • The November global ocean surface temperature was 0.39°C (0.70°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F), making it the 12th warmest November on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.04°C (0.07°F).
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the September – November period was 0.52°C (0.94°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F), making it the 12th warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.09°C (0.16°F.
  • The September – November worldwide land surface temperature was 0.87°C (1.57°F) above the 20th century average, the seventh warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.17°C (0.31°F).
  • The global ocean surface temperature for September – November was 0.39°C (0.70°F) above the 20th century average and was the 12th warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.04°C (0.07°F).
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January – November period was 0.52°C (0.94°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.2°F), making it the 11th warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.09°C (0.16°F).
  • The January – November worldwide land surface temperature was 0.84°C (1.51°F) above the 20th century average — the seventh warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.20°C (0.36°F).
  • The global ocean surface temperature for the year to date was 0.41°C (0.74°F) above the 20th century average and was the 11th warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.04°C (0.07°F).
  • La Niña conditions continued during November 2011. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, La Niña is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2011/12.
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent during November was 11.5 percent below average, ranking as the third smallest November extent since satellite records began in 1979. The extent was 1.3 million square kilometers (502,000 square miles) below average. This marks the 18th consecutive November and 126th consecutive month with below-average Arctic sea ice extent.
  • On the opposite pole, the November Antarctic monthly average extent was 0.5 percent below the 1979–2000 average, the 11th smallest on record. This is the first November since 2002 with below-average Antarctic ice extent.
  • Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent was much-above average during November with the fourth largest November snow cover extent in the 46-year period of record. Both the North American and Eurasian land areas had above-average snow cover extents.
  • Much of Europe experienced extreme dryness during November. Both Germany and Austria reported their driest Novembers on record. Much-wetter-than-normal conditions occurred across parts of South Asia and northeast Africa.


Introduction

The data presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may change as more complete data are received and processed. Effective with the July 2009 State of the Climate Report, NCDC transitioned to the new version (version 3b) of the extended reconstructed sea surface temperature (ERSST) dataset. ERSST.v3b is an improved extended SST reconstruction over version 2. For more information about the differences between ERSST.v3b and ERSST.v2 and to access the most current data, please visit NCDC's Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

Temperature anomalies for November 2011, September–November 2011, and January–November are shown on the dot maps in the following section. The dot maps on the left provide a spatial representation of anomalies calculated from the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) dataset of land surface stations using a 1961–1990 base period. The dot maps on the right are a product of a merged land surface and sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly analysis developed by Smith et al. (2008). For the merged land surface and SST analysis, temperature anomalies with respect to the 1971–2000 average for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis. For more information, please visit NCDC's Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.


[ top ]


Temperatures

In the atmosphere, 500-millibar height pressure anomalies correlate well with temperatures at the Earth's surface. The average 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 November 2011 height and anomaly mapNovember 2011 and September–November 2011 height and anomaly mapSeptember–November 2011 maps—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.

November

The climate phenomenon La Niña continued through November, which helped produce cooler—although still above-average—temperatures on a global scale compared with previous months. The average temperature over land was 0.61°C (1.10°F) above the 20th century average. This marks the coolest monthly average temperature anomaly over land since February 2011 and the coolest November land temperature since 2000. However, it was the 16th warmest November since records began in 1880. Regionally, warmer-than-average conditions occurred across central and eastern North America, Northern and Western Europe, northern Russia, most of China and the Middle East, southeastern Australia, and southern South America.

The November average monthly temperature in Norway was 4.6°C (8.3°F) above average, making this month the country's warmest November since records began in 1900. The average temperature for Northern Norway was 5.3°C (9.5°F) above normal, also a new November record.

According to the UK Met Office, November 2011 was the second warmest November on record for the United Kingdom, Behind 1994, at 2.9°C (5.2°F) above normal. Provisionally, Scotland recorded its warmest November on record.

In Asia, China reported its third warmest November since national records began in 1951, according to the Beijing Climate Center. It was the warmest November on record in 12 provinces and second warmest in four provinces.

Cooler-than-average regions around the globe included Alaska, western Canada, much of Eastern Europe, Kazakhstan, and southwestern Russia. Alaska reported its sixth coolest November on record.

Land tends to absorb and release heat much faster than water. Thus, land temperatures generally fluctuate more rapidly than ocean surface temperatures and this is well illustrated by the global anomaly differences between October and November 2011. While the November land surface temperature anomaly was 0.61°C (1.10°F) and 16th warmest November on record, the October 2011 land temperature was 1.10°C (1.98°F) above average and was the second warmest October on record—a difference of 0.49°C (0.88°F). On the other hand, both the October and November global ocean temperature anomalies were 0.39°C (0.70°F), ranking 11th and 12th warmest for their respective months. In fact, the global monthly ocean temperature anomaly has remained between 0.35°C (0.63°F) and 0.47°C (0.85°F) during all of 2011 to date—a range of only 0.12°C (0.22°F).

La Niña conditions during November kept east central Pacific Ocean surface waters nearly 1°C below average for that region. Sea surface temperatures were also below average in the southern Atlantic Ocean and other parts of the mid-latitude southern oceans. It was notably warmer-than-average across the north central and north west Pacific Ocean, the Labrador Sea, and the southern Indian Ocean. As stated above, the globally averaged ocean temperature was the 12th warmest November on record, but was the coolest November since 2007. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC), La Niña is expected to peak during December 2011–January 2012 and continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2012.

Combining the monthly global land and ocean temperatures, November ranked as the 12th warmest November since records began, at 0.45°C (0.81°F) above average, making this the 26th consecutive November and 321st consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last month with below-average temperatures was February 1985. However, November 2011 also marks the coolest November since 2000 and the lowest above-average monthly temperature since February 2011.

November Anomaly Rank
(out of 132 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +0.61 ± 0.11 +1.10 ± 0.20 Warmest 16th 2010 +1.56 +2.81
Coolest 117th 1892 -0.98 -1.76
Ocean +0.39 ± 0.04 +0.70 ± 0.07 Warmest 12th 1997 +0.55 +0.99
Coolest 121st 1909 -0.49 -0.88
Ties: 1987
Land and Ocean +0.45 ± 0.07 +0.81 ± 0.13 Warmest 12th 2004 +0.74 +1.33
Coolest 121st 1907 -0.51 -0.92
Northern Hemisphere
Land +0.57 ± 0.11 +1.03 ± 0.20 Warmest 24th 2010 +1.99 +3.58
Coolest 109th 1892 -1.24 -2.23
Ocean +0.42 ± 0.04 +0.76 ± 0.07 Warmest 12th 2006 +0.66 +1.19
Coolest 121st -0.52 -0.94 0.05
Land and Ocean +0.47 ± 0.08 +0.85 ± 0.14 Warmest 15th 2010 +1.02 +1.84
Coolest 118th 1892 -0.75 -1.35
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.72 ± 0.11 +1.30 ± 0.20 Warmest 11th 2009 +1.18 +2.12
Coolest 122nd 1917 -0.90 -1.62
Ties: 1995
Ocean +0.38 ± 0.04 +0.68 ± 0.07 Warmest 15th 1997 +0.57 +1.03
Coolest 118th 1910 -0.45 -0.81
Ties: 1979
Land and Ocean +0.44 ± 0.06 +0.79 ± 0.11 Warmest 11th 2009 +0.64 +1.15
Coolest 122nd 1910 -0.49 -0.88

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

Season (September–November)

La Niña conditions were present during all three Northern Hemisphere autumn (Southern Hemisphere spring) months. Over land, temperatures were notably above normal across most of the Northern Hemisphere higher latitudes, including most of Canada, Northern Europe, and most of Russia. It was cooler than normal in much of the Middle East and part of eastern Russia. The November land temperature was 0.88°C (1.58°F) above average, making this the seventh warmest global land November on record.

Norway recorded its warmest autumn since records began in 1900. The average temperature was 3.0°C (5.4°F) above average, topping the previous record set in 2000 of 2.8°C (5.0°F) above average. It was also Finland's warmest autumn since 1938.

It was the second warmest autumn on record for the United Kingdom in more than a century, with temperatures 2.1°C (3.8°F) above average. November 2006 was the warmest at 2.3°C (4.1°F) above average. In Central England, autumn temperatures were the second warmest in at least 350 years.

While the nationally averaged November temperature for Austria was only about 1°C above normal, the average temperature at high elevation stations was 2.6°C above average, giving this region the second warmest November in the country's 161-year period of record. The warmest autumn in the high-elevation alpine regions occurred in 2006, with temperatures 3.2°C above average, according to Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG), Austria's National Meteorological Service.

It was the 12th warmest September–November across the global oceans. Sea surface temperatures were warmer than average across the north central and north west Pacific Ocean and parts of the mid-latitude southern oceans. Ocean temperatures were cooler than average in the east central Pacific Ocean, where La Niña conditions were observed, as well as the north east Pacific, the southern Atlantic Ocean, and parts of the mid-latitude southern oceans.

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September–November was the 11th warmest such period on record and the coolest since 2007, at 0.53°C (0.95°F) above the 20th century average.

September–November Anomaly Rank
(out of 132 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +0.87 ± 0.17 +1.57 ± 0.31 Warmest 7th 2005 +1.17 +2.11
Coolest 126th 1912 -0.70 -1.26
Ocean +0.39 ± 0.04 +0.70 ± 0.07 Warmest 12th 1997, 2003 +0.56 +1.01
Coolest 121st 1909 -0.46 -0.83
Land and Ocean +0.52 ± 0.09 +0.94 ± 0.16 Warmest 12th 2005 +0.68 +1.22
Coolest 121st 1912 -0.50 -0.90
Northern Hemisphere
Land +0.93 ± 0.18 +1.67 ± 0.32 Warmest 6th 2005 +1.32 +2.38
Coolest 127th 1912 -0.87 -1.57
Ties: 2001
Ocean +0.42 ± 0.04 +0.76 ± 0.07 Warmest 11th 2006 +0.65 +1.17
Coolest 122nd 1912 -0.52 -0.94
Ties: 1998
Land and Ocean +0.61 ± 0.11 +1.10 ± 0.20 Warmest 10th 2005 +0.85 +1.53
Coolest 123rd 1912 -0.65 -1.17
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.73 ± 0.14 +1.31 ± 0.25 Warmest 10th 2009 +0.99 +1.78
Coolest 123rd 1917 -0.61 -1.10
Ocean +0.39 ± 0.04 +0.70 ± 0.07 Warmest 13th 1997 +0.58 +1.04
Coolest 120th -0.43 -0.77 0.06
Ties: 2000
Land and Ocean +0.44 ± 0.07 +0.79 ± 0.13 Warmest 11th 1997 +0.63 +1.13
Coolest 122nd 1910 -0.45 -0.81
Ties: 2001

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

Year-to-date (January–November)

La Niña conditions were present in the east central Pacific Ocean during 2011 to date, with the exception of April through July, when ENSO-neutral conditions prevailed. The January–November 2011 global combined land and ocean temperature anomaly of 0.53°C (0.95°F) was the 11th warmest such period on record but the coolest since 2008 (0.50°C / 0.90°F), which was also a La Niña year. Separately, the January–November global land and global ocean temperatures ranked as the 7th and 11th warmest such periods, respectively.

January–November Anomaly Rank
(out of 132 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +0.84 ± 0.20 +1.51 ± 0.36 Warmest 7th 2010 +1.07 +1.93
Coolest 126th -0.56 -1.01 0.09
Ocean +0.41 ± 0.03 +0.74 ± 0.05 Warmest 11th 1998 +0.53 +0.95
Coolest 122nd 1911 -0.46 -0.83
Ties: 2007
Land and Ocean +0.52 ± 0.09 +0.94 ± 0.16 Warmest 11th 2010 +0.66 +1.19
Coolest 122nd 1911 -0.43 -0.77
Northern Hemisphere
Land +0.93 ± 0.25 +1.67 ± 0.45 Warmest 5th 2007 +1.20 +2.16
Coolest 128th 1884 -0.68 -1.22
Ocean +0.40 ± 0.04 +0.72 ± 0.07 Warmest 12th 2005 +0.56 +1.01
Coolest 121st 1910 -0.47 -0.85
Ties: 2008
Land and Ocean +0.60 ± 0.14 +1.08 ± 0.25 Warmest 11th 2010 +0.78 +1.40
Coolest 122nd -0.43 -0.77 0.06
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.60 ± 0.12 +1.08 ± 0.22 Warmest 10th 2005 +0.90 +1.62
Coolest 123rd 1917 -0.75 -1.35
Ties: 1987
Ocean +0.42 ± 0.03 +0.76 ± 0.05 Warmest 11th 1998 +0.55 +0.99
Coolest 122nd 1911 -0.49 -0.88
Land and Ocean +0.45 ± 0.06 +0.81 ± 0.11 Warmest 11th 1998 +0.60 +1.08
Coolest 122nd 1911 -0.50 -0.90
Ties: 2007

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

[ top ]


Precipitation

The maps below represent anomaly values based on the GHCN dataset of land surface stations using a base period of 1961–1990.

November

Much of Europe experienced extreme dryness during November. Germany reported its driest November since records began in 1881, measuring just 61 percent of its average monthly rainfall. Several locations recorded no measureable rainfall. Austria also had its driest November since national records began in 1858, with just 2 percent of average rainfall for the month. The second driest November was recorded in 1920, with 14 percent of average monthly rainfall.

Much-wetter-than-normal conditions occurred across parts of South Asia and northeast Africa. Tropical Depression Keila brought very heavy precipitation to the Arabian Peninsula at the beginning of the month. November rainfall across China was, on average, 57 percent above normal, marking the wettest November since 1983 for the country. It was the wettest November on record for the provinces of Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, and Fujian.

September–November

The areas with the wettest anomalies during September–November (Northern Hemisphere fall; Southern Hemisphere spring) included part of southwestern Asia and the Middle East, northern China, and western Australia. The driest anomalies during this period were observed over much of Europe, the central United States, part of northeast Asia, and east central Australia.

The United Kingdom saw large variations in precipitation during autumn. According to the UK Met Office, it was the second wettest September–November on record in Northern Ireland. In contrast, it was the driest such period since 1978 in the Midlands, and the driest since 1985 in East Anglia and southeast England.

Year-to-date (January–November)

[ top ]


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.

Smith, et al (2008), Improvements to NOAA's Historical Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (1880-2006), J. Climate., 21, 2283-2293.

[ top ]

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for November 2011, published online December 2011, retrieved on April 23, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2011/11.