Global Analysis - April 2014


Maps and Time Series

Temperature and Precipitation Maps
Temperature Anomalies Time Series

Contents of this Section:


Global Highlights

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for April 2014 tied with 2010 as the highest on record for the month, at 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 13.7°C (56.7°F).
  • The global land surface temperature was 1.35°C (2.43°F) above the 20th century average of 8.1°C (46.5°F), marking the third warmest April on record. For the ocean, the April global sea surface temperature was 0.55°C (0.99°F) above the 20th century average of 16.0°C (60.9°F), also the third highest for April on record.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–April period (year-to-date) was 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average of 12.6°C (54.8°F), the sixth warmest such period on record.

Introduction

Temperature anomalies and percentiles are shown on the gridded maps below. The anomaly map on the left is a product of a merged land surface temperature (Global Historical Climatology Network, GHCN) and sea surface temperature (ERSST.v3b) anomaly analysis developed by Smith et al. (2008). Temperature anomalies 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. The percentile maps on the right provide additional information by placing the temperature anomaly observed for a specific place and time period into historical perspective, showing how the most current month, season or year compares with the past.

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

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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 April 2014 height and anomaly mapApril 2014 map—is generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.

April

The globally-averaged temperature across land and ocean surfaces tied with 2010 as the highest on record for the month, at 0.77°C (1.39°F) higher than the 20th century average. This also ties with April 2010 as the seventh highest departure from average among all months in the period of record, which dates back to January 1880. The record highest departure is 0.86°C (1.55°F) above average, set in February 1998, a month when El Niño conditions had been present for nearly a year. Neither El Niño nor La Niña have been present in the east central equatorial Pacific Ocean for the past two years; however, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the chance of El Niño emerging increases for the remainder of 2014, exceeding 65 percent during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2014.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the combined temperature over land and ocean surfaces tied with 2012 for record April warmth. Land surfaces here were 1.54°C (2.77°F) higher than the 20th century average. Part of the warmth can be attributed to record warmth in much of central Siberia, where temperatures across a large region were at least 5°C (9°F) above the 1981–2010 average for the month. Overall, more than half of the Eurasian continent, along with northern Africa and most of Mexico, were much warmer than average, as indicated by the Land & Ocean Percentiles map above. Only parts of central and eastern North America were cooler than average for the month in this hemisphere.

The Southern Hemisphere was fourth warmest across land and ocean surfaces combined. Land surfaces were ninth warmest for April, at 0.82°C (1.48°F) above average. Regions of eastern Australia and part of western Indonesia were record warm. Only part of southern South America was cooler than average in this hemisphere.

Select national information is highlighted below. (Please note that different countries report anomalies with respect to different base periods. The information provided here is based directly upon these data):

  • Although the global temperature tied for record highest, the contiguous U.S. observed only its 46th warmest April and much of Canada had cooler-than-average to near-average temperatures for the month. This contrast is an example of how a globally-averaged temperature can differ from a single smaller region.
  • Australia observed its seventh highest average April temperature since records began in 1910, at 1.12°C (2.02°F) higher than the 1961–90 average. The average minimum temperature was fourth highest for April, at 1.32°C (2.38°F) above average, with Queensland setting a new record high monthly minimum for the state.
  • Austria observed its 10th highest April monthly temperature in its continuous 248-year period of record, at 1.9°C (3.4°F) above the 1981–2010 average.
  • It was the third warmest April since records began in 1910 for the United Kingdom, at 1.8°C (3.2°F) above the 1981–2010 average. April also marked the fifth month in a row of above-average temperatures for the UK.
  • Following its third warmest March on record, the average April temperature across Norway was the seventh highest for the month since its national records began in 1900, at 2.4°C (4.3°F) above the 1981–2010 average.
  • Denmark had its fourth warmest April on record, at 3.0°C (5.4°F) higher than the 1961–90 average, with records dating back to 1874. According to the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), including this year, the four warmest Aprils for the country have all occurred since 2007: 2011 (record warmest); 2009 (second warmest); 2007 (third warmest).

The globally-averaged ocean temperature was the third highest for April, at 0.55°C (0.99°F) higher than the 20th century average. Continuing its recent trend, part of the eastern North Pacific Ocean was record warm. Several other regions were also record warm, including parts of the eastern equatorial Pacific off the coast of Mexico and scattered regions of the equatorial western and South Pacific, western North and South Atlantic Ocean, sections of the Norwegian and Berents Seas, the central Indian Ocean, and regions of the Southern Ocean south of Africa. Regions of the central North Atlantic, eastern South Pacific and a small section of the western central Pacific, and the Southern Ocean south of South America were much cooler than average for April.

April Anomaly Rank
(out of 135 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.35 ± 0.11 +2.43 ± 0.20 Warmest 3rd 2007 +1.49 +2.68
Coolest 133rd 1905 -0.83 -1.49
Ocean +0.55 ± 0.05 +0.99 ± 0.09 Warmest 3rd 1998, 2010 +0.57 +1.03
Coolest 133rd 1911 -0.53 -0.95
Land and Ocean +0.77 ± 0.08 +1.39 ± 0.14 Warmest 1st 2010, 2014 +0.77 +1.39
Coolest 135th 1909 -0.54 -0.97
Ties: 2010
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.55 ± 0.11 +2.79 ± 0.20 Warmest 4th 2012 +1.80 +3.24
Coolest 132nd 1905 -1.07 -1.93
Ocean +0.53 ± 0.05 +0.95 ± 0.09 Warmest 2nd 2010 +0.59 +1.06
Coolest 134th 1911 -0.52 -0.94
Land and Ocean +0.92 ± 0.10 +1.66 ± 0.18 Warmest 1st 2012, 2014 +0.92 +1.66
Coolest 135th 1909 -0.62 -1.12
Ties: 2012
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.81 ± 0.11 +1.46 ± 0.20 Warmest 9th 2005 +1.16 +2.09
Coolest 127th 1917 -0.77 -1.39
Ties: 1992
Ocean +0.57 ± 0.05 +1.03 ± 0.09 Warmest 2nd 1998 +0.62 +1.12
Coolest 134th 1911 -0.53 -0.95
Ties: 2010
Land and Ocean +0.61 ± 0.07 +1.10 ± 0.13 Warmest 4th 1998 +0.67 +1.21
Coolest 132nd 1911 -0.52 -0.94

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

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Year-to-date (January–April)

The average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces for the first four months (January–April) of 2014 was the sixth highest for this period on record. The warmth was relatively evenly distributed between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, with each also observing their sixth warmest January–April on record (the Southern Hemisphere tied with 2004).

The average land surface temperature across the Northern Hemisphere was the eighth highest in the 135-year period of record, with record warmth for the year-to-date observed in parts of the western United States, regions of northern and southern Europe into northern Africa, parts of Far East Russia, and coastal western Alaska. The average temperature across Southern Hemisphere land areas was the 10th highest on average for January–April. In this hemoisphere, most of Australia and eastern and northwestern South America were much warmer than average, with part of eastern Brazil observing record warmth, as indicated by the Land & Ocean Temperature Percentiles map.

The globally-averaged ocean temperature for January–April was the third highest on record for the period, due in part to record warmth in parts of each of the major ocean basins, particularly notable in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, regions of the western North and South Atlantic, and the ocean waters south of South Africa.

January–April Anomaly Rank
(out of 135 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.05 ± 0.24 +1.89 ± 0.43 Warmest 6th 2007 +1.42 +2.56
Coolest 130th 1893 -1.04 -1.87
Ties: 2005
Ocean +0.49 ± 0.05 +0.88 ± 0.09 Warmest 3rd 1998, 2010 +0.56 +1.01
Coolest 133rd 1911 -0.51 -0.92
Ties: 2004
Land and Ocean +0.64 ± 0.10 +1.15 ± 0.18 Warmest 6th 1998, 2002, 2010 +0.72 +1.30
Coolest 130th 1911 -0.55 -0.99
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.16 ± 0.30 +2.09 ± 0.54 Warmest 8th 2002, 2007 +1.60 +2.88
Coolest 128th 1893 -1.27 -2.29
Ocean +0.50 ± 0.07 +0.90 ± 0.13 Warmest 3rd 2010 +0.55 +0.99
Coolest 133rd 1911 -0.47 -0.85
Land and Ocean +0.75 ± 0.16 +1.35 ± 0.29 Warmest 6th 2007 +0.90 +1.62
Coolest 130th 1893 -0.72 -1.30
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.77 ± 0.14 +1.39 ± 0.25 Warmest 10th 2010 +1.11 +2.00
Coolest 126th 1917 -0.82 -1.48
Ocean +0.50 ± 0.05 +0.90 ± 0.09 Warmest 5th 1998 +0.60 +1.08
Coolest 131st 1911 -0.53 -0.95
Ties: 2004
Land and Ocean +0.54 ± 0.07 +0.97 ± 0.13 Warmest 6th 1998, 2010 +0.66 +1.19
Coolest 130th 1911 -0.54 -0.97
Ties: 2004

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

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Precipitation

April

The maps below represent precipitation percent of normal (left) and precipitation percentiles (right) based on the GHCN dataset of land surface stations using a base period of 1961–1990. As is typical, precipitation anomalies during April 2014 varied significantly around the world, with many areas seeing either much below-average or much above-average precipitation. Notably, a few areas of western South America, northern Africa, and southeast Asia were record dry. Part of the southeastern United States, southern Argentina, and the southeastern tip of South Africa were record wet.

Some major storm systems brought heavy rainfall to isolated areas:

  • Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita made landfall in Queensland Australia north of Cooktown on April 11th. According to satellite data, rain was falling at a rate of 91 mm (3.6 inches) per hour near the center of the storm as it approached land. The storm also severely impacted the Solomon Islands, along with Papua New Guinea and nearby islands.
  • On April 29th and 30th, torrential rain fell across the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeastern United States. In Pensacola, Florida, the 2-day precipitation total was 520 mm (20.47 inches). With 395 mm (15.55) inches of the total falling on the 29th, this marked the all-time wettest calendar day in Pensacola since records began in 1880, breaking the previous record of 388 mm (15.29 inches), recorded on October 5th 1934 when an unnamed tropical storm impacted the area.

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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.

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

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Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for April 2014, published online May 2014, retrieved on November 26, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/4.