State of the Climate

The State of the Climate is a collection of monthly summaries recapping climate-related occurrences on both a global and national scale.

  • Global
  • Global Analysis — a summary of global temperatures and precipitation, placing the data into a historical perspective
  • Upper Air — tropospheric and stratospheric temperatures, with data placed into historical perspective
  • Global Snow & Ice — a global view of snow and ice, placing the data into a historical perspective
  • Global Hazards — weather-related hazards and disasters around the world
  • El Niño/Southern Oscillation — atmospheric and oceanic conditions related to ENSO
  • National
  • National Overview — a summary of national and regional temperatures and precipitation, placing the data into a historical perspective
  • Drought — drought in the U.S.
  • Wildfires — a summary of wildland fires in the U.S. and related weather and climate conditions
  • Hurricanes & Tropical Storms — hurricanes and tropical storms that affect the U.S. and its territories
  • National Snow & Ice — snow and ice in the U.S.
  • Tornadoes — a summary of tornadic activity in the U.S.
  • Synoptic Discussion — a summary of synoptic activity in the U.S.

Global Summary Information - October 2014

October global temperature highest on record

Year to date (January-October) also highest on record

The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for October 2014 was the highest on record for the month since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 38th consecutive October with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for October occurred in 1976.

The January-October combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the warmest such period on record, surpassing the previous record set in 1998 and 2010.

Global temperature highlights: October

    October 2014 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Percentiles
    October 2014 Blended Land & Sea Surface Temperature Percentiles
  • Land and Ocean Combined: The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for October 2014 was the highest on record for the month at 58.43°F (14.74°C) or 1.33°F (0.74°C) above the 20th century average of 57.1°F (14.0°C), beating the previous record of 2003 by 0.02°F (0.01°C). The margin of error is +/- 0.13°F (0.07°C). Five of the past six months have been record warm for their respective months; July was fourth warmest.
  • Land Only: The October global land temperature was the fifth highest on record for October at 1.89°F (1.05°C) above the 20th century average of 48.7°F (9.3°C), with a margin of error of +/- 0.20°F (0.11°C). Warmer-than-average temperatures were evident over most of the global land surface, except for large parts of central Asia. Record warmth was notable across a large area of southern South America, the US western coastal regions, Far East Russia, parts of southern and southeastern Asia, much of southern and western Australia, and parts of southern Europe.
  • Some national land temperature highlights include:
    • Australia observed its second warmest October since national records began in 1910, behind only 1998. This warmth was driven by record-high maximum (daytime) temperatures that averaged 4.97°F (2.75°C) above the 1961-1990 average.
    • Several countries in Europe reported October temperatures among their 10 warmest, including France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, and Austria.
    • The contiguous United States observed its fourth warmest October since national records began, at 3.0°F (1.7°C) above the 20th century average.
  • Ocean Only: The October global sea surface temperature was 1.12°F (0.62°C) above the 20th century average of 60.6°F (15.9°C), the highest on record for October and the sixth consecutive month with a record high monthly global sea surface temperature. This also ties with June 2014 for the third highest ocean temperature departure on average for any month; the second highest occurred in August 2014 and the highest occurred just last month. The margin of error is +/- 0.07°F (0.04°C). Record warmth was observed in parts of every major ocean basin. Nearly all of the Indian Ocean was record warm or much warmer than average.
  • There is close to a 60 percent chance for El Niño to officially develop across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during the Northern Hemisphere winter, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. The El Niño, should it occur, is favored to be weak and last into Northern Hemisphere spring 2015.

Snow and ice highlights: October

    October 2014 Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent
    October 2014 Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent
    Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent, from the October 2014 Global Snow & Ice Report
  • Arctic: The average Arctic sea ice extent for October was 3.11 million square miles, 330,000 square miles (9.5 percent) below the 1981-2010 average and the sixth smallest October extent since records began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sea ice extent was below average on the Pacific side of the Arctic and near-average on the Atlantic side.
  • Antarctic: Antarctic sea ice rapidly declined during October, ending a string of six consecutive months with record large Antarctic sea ice extent. The monthly sea ice extent was 7.41 million square miles, 330,000 square miles (4.8 percent) above the 1981-2010 average. This was still the second largest October Antarctic sea ice extent on record, smaller than the record large extent that occurred in 2013.
  • Snow Extent: According to data from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during October was 8.8 million square miles, 2.1 million square miles above the 1981-2010 average of 6.7 million square miles. This ranked as the third largest October Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent in the 47-year period of record, behind only 1976 and 2002. North America had its eighth largest October snow cover extent. Eurasia had its second largest October snow cover extent on record; only the October snow cover extent of 1976 was larger.

Precipitation highlights: October

  • As is typical, extreme wet and extreme dry conditions were scattered across the globe. Select notable events include the following:
    • Most of Japan observed above average rainfall during October, with much of eastern Japan reporting rainfall significantly above average. Typhoons Vongfong and Phanfone, which struck Japan within about a week of one another, contributed to the high precipitation totals.
    • Very Severe Cyclone Hudhud struck the coast of southeastern India in mid-October, bringing heavy rainfall to the region. One localized area in the state of Andhra Pradesh reported a 24-hour rainfall total of 15 inches (380 mm).

Global temperature highlights: January–October

  • Land and Ocean Combined: January-October was the warmest such period on record, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature 1.22°F (0.68°C) above the 20th century average of 57.4°F (14.1°C), surpassing the previous record set in 1998 and 2010 by 0.02°C (0.04°F). 2014 is currently on track to be the warmest year on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.20°F (0.11°C).
  • Land Only: The January-October worldwide land surface temperature was 1.75°F (0.97°C) above the 20th century average, tying with 1998 and 2002 as the fourth warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.40°F (0.22°C).
  • Ocean Only: The global ocean surface temperature for the year to date was 1.03°F (0.57°C) above average, the highest on record for this period, beating the previous of 1998 by 0.05°F (0.03°C). The margin of error is +/-0.07°F (0.04°C).