Upper Air - February 2013


Troposphere

Lower Troposphere

February Lower Troposphere
February Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.18 +0.32 Coolest 27th 1985 -0.32 -0.58 +0.12 +0.22
Warmest 8th 1998 +0.65 +1.17
Ties: 2002
RSS +0.09 +0.16 Coolest 25th 1985 -0.38 -0.68 +0.11 +0.19
Warmest 10th 1998 +0.63 +1.13
Ties: 1981
December-February Lower Troposphere
December–
February
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.30 +0.54 Coolest 31st 1984 -0.37 -0.67 +0.13 +0.23
Warmest 3rd 2010 +0.46 +0.83
Ties: 2007
RSS +0.15 +0.27 Coolest 26th 1985 -0.40 -0.72 +0.11 +0.20
Warmest 9th 1998 +0.43 +0.77
Year-to-Date Lower Troposphere
January–
February
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.34 +0.61 Coolest 32nd 1989 -0.37 -0.67 +0.13 +0.24
Warmest 3rd 2010 +0.57 +1.03
Ties: 2007
RSS +0.21 +0.38 Coolest 29th 1985 -0.38 -0.68 +0.12 +0.21
Warmest 7th 1998 +0.53 +0.95

Mid-troposphere

February Mid-troposphere
February Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.05 +0.09 Coolest 22nd 2012 -0.32 -0.58 +0.02 +0.03
Warmest 13th 1998 +0.65 +1.17
Ties: 2006
RSS +0.13 +0.23 Coolest 28th 1986 -0.36 -0.65 +0.08 +0.14
Warmest 7th 1998 +0.61 +1.10
Ties: 2007
UW-UAH +0.06 +0.11 Coolest 22nd 1984 -0.31 -0.56 +0.06 +0.12
Warmest 14th 1998 +0.74 +1.33
UW-RSS +0.19 +0.34 Coolest 28th 1986 -0.40 -0.72 +0.13 +0.23
Warmest 7th 1998 +0.69 +1.24
Ties: 2006
December-February Mid-troposphere
December–
February
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years*)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.17 +0.31 Coolest 31st 1984 -0.27 -0.49 +0.01 +0.03
Warmest 3rd 1998 +0.44 +0.79
Ties: 1988
RSS +0.22 +0.40 Coolest 30th 1984 -0.29 -0.52 +0.06 +0.11
Warmest 4th 1998 +0.42 +0.76
Ties: 2004
UW-UAH +0.22 +0.40 Coolest 32nd 1984 -0.38 -0.68 +0.07 +0.12
Warmest 3rd 1998 +0.52 +0.94
UW-RSS +0.28 +0.50 Coolest 31st 1984 -0.38 -0.68 +0.11 +0.20
Warmest 3rd 1998 +0.48 +0.86
Ties: 2004
RATPAC* +0.45 +0.81 Coolest 55th 1965 -1.02 -1.84 +0.15 +0.27
Warmest 2nd 2010 +0.56 +1.01

*RATPAC rank is based on 56 years of data

Year-to-Date Mid-troposphere
January–
February
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years*)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.22 +0.40 Coolest 33rd 2012 -0.30 -0.54 +0.02 +0.04
Warmest 3rd 1998 +0.56 +1.01
RSS +0.28 +0.50 Coolest 32nd 1984 -0.32 -0.58 +0.08 +0.14
Warmest 4th 1998 +0.53 +0.95
UW-UAH +0.25 +0.45 Coolest 33rd 1984 -0.38 -0.68 +0.07 +0.13
Warmest 3rd 1998 +0.66 +1.19
UW-RSS +0.34 +0.61 Coolest 33rd 1984 -0.40 -0.72 +0.13 +0.23
Warmest 3rd 1998 +0.62 +1.12
RATPAC* +0.52 +0.94 Coolest 55th 1965 -0.97 -1.75 +0.15 +0.27
Warmest 2nd 2010 +0.76 +1.37

*RATPAC rank is based on 56 years of data

Stratosphere

February Stratosphere
February Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.36 -0.65 Coolest 8th 2012, 2006 -0.57 -1.03 -0.34 -0.62
Warmest 27th 1983 +1.32 +2.38
Ties: 2010
RSS -0.39 -0.70 Coolest 6th 2012 -0.61 -1.10 -0.32 -0.57
Warmest 30th 1983 +1.26 +2.27
December-February Stratosphere
December–
February
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.36 -0.65 Coolest 10th 2009, 2006 -0.53 -0.95 -0.37 -0.66
Warmest 23rd 1983 +1.40 +2.52
Ties: 2008, 1997
RSS -0.41 -0.74 Coolest 5th 2006 -0.52 -0.94 -0.33 -0.59
Warmest 29th 1983 +1.31 +2.36
Ties: 2004
Year-to-Date Stratosphere
January–
February
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.36 -0.65 Coolest 11th 2006 -0.57 -1.03 -0.36 -0.65
Warmest 25th 1983 +1.38 +2.48
RSS -0.41 -0.74 Coolest 5th 2006 -0.58 -1.04 -0.33 -0.59
Warmest 30th 1983 +1.30 +2.34
Ties: 2001

Background Information

Temperatures above the Earth's surface are measured within the lower troposphere, middle troposphere, and stratosphere using in-situ balloon-borne instruments (radiosondes) and polar-orbiting satellites (NOAA's TIROS-N). The radiosonde and satellite records have been adjusted to remove time-dependent biases (artificialities caused by changes in radiosonde instruments and measurement practices as well as changes in satellite instruments and orbital features through time). Global averages from radiosonde data are available from 1958 to present, while satellite measurements date back to 1979.

The mid-troposphere temperatures are centered in the in the atmospheric layer approximately 3–10 km [2–6 miles] above the Earth's surface, which also includes a portion of the lower stratosphere. (The Microwave Sounding Unit [MSU] channel used to measure mid-tropospheric temperatures receives about 25 percent of its signal above 10 km [6 miles].) Because the stratosphere has cooled due to increasing greenhouse gases in the troposphere and losses of ozone in the stratosphere, the stratospheric contribution to the tropospheric average, as measured from satellites, creates an artificial component of cooling to the mid-troposphere temperatures. The University of Washington (UW) versions of the UAH and RSS analyses attempt to remove the stratospheric influence from the mid-troposphere measurements, and as a result the UW versions tend to have a larger warming trend than either the UAH or RSS versions. For additional information, please see NCDC's Microwave Sounding Unit page.

The radiosonde data used in this global analysis were developed using the Lanzante, Klein, Seidel (2003) ("LKS") bias-adjusted dataset and the First Difference Method (Free et al. 2004) (RATPAC). Additional details are available. Satellite data have been adjusted by the Global Hydrology and Climate Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). An independent analysis is also performed by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and a third analysis has been performed by Dr. Qiang Fu of the University of Washington (UW) (Fu et al. 2004)** to remove the influence of the stratosphere on the mid-troposphere value. Global averages from radiosonde data are available from 1958 to present, while satellite measurements began in 1979.

References

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Upper Air for February 2013, published online March 2013, retrieved on November 23, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/upper-air/2013/2.