Upper Air - May 2013


Troposphere

Lower Troposphere

May Lower Troposphere
May Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.08 +0.14 Coolest 22nd 1985 -0.33 -0.59 +0.10 +0.19
Warmest 11th 1998 +0.56 +1.01
Ties: 2009, 1991, 1980
RSS +0.06 +0.11 Coolest 24th 1985 -0.41 -0.74 +0.11 +0.19
Warmest 12th 1998 +0.58 +1.04
March-May Lower Troposphere
March–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.12 +0.22 Coolest 26th 1993 -0.35 -0.63 +0.12 +0.22
Warmest 10th 1998 +0.55 +0.99
RSS +0.08 +0.14 Coolest 24th 1985 -0.41 -0.74 +0.12 +0.22
Warmest 11th 1998 +0.60 +1.08
Ties: 2006
Year-to-Date Lower Troposphere
January–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.21 +0.38 Coolest 30th 1993 -0.34 -0.61 +0.13 +0.23
Warmest 6th 1998 +0.55 +0.99
RSS +0.13 +0.23 Coolest 28th 1985 -0.40 -0.72 +0.12 +0.22
Warmest 8th 1998 +0.57 +1.03

Mid-troposphere

May Mid-troposphere
May Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.01 +0.02 Coolest 21st 1989 -0.33 -0.59 +0.03 +0.05
Warmest 14th 1998 +0.58 +1.04
Ties: 1981
RSS +0.04 +0.07 Coolest 21st 1989 -0.32 -0.58 +0.05 +0.09
Warmest 14th 1998 +0.60 +1.08
Ties: 2012
UW-UAH +0.03 +0.05 Coolest 19th 1989 -0.41 -0.74 +0.08 +0.14
Warmest 17th 1998 +0.67 +1.21
UW-RSS +0.06 +0.11 Coolest 19th 1989 -0.37 -0.67 +0.10 +0.17
Warmest 15th 1998 +0.68 +1.22
Ties: 2011, 2000
March-May Mid-troposphere
March–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years*)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.01 +0.02 Coolest 21st 1993 -0.32 -0.58 +0.02 +0.04
Warmest 14th 1998 +0.58 +1.04
Ties: 1981
RSS +0.06 +0.11 Coolest 23rd 1993 -0.33 -0.59 +0.06 +0.11
Warmest 13th 1998 +0.58 +1.04
UW-UAH +0.04 +0.07 Coolest 21st 1993 -0.39 -0.70 +0.08 +0.14
Warmest 15th 1998 +0.67 +1.21
UW-RSS +0.10 +0.18 Coolest 25th 1993 -0.39 -0.70 +0.11 +0.20
Warmest 11th 1998 +0.65 +1.17
RATPAC* +0.19 +0.34 Coolest 51st 1965 -0.93 -1.67 +0.14 +0.25
Warmest 6th 1998 +0.58 +1.04

*RATPAC rank is based on 56 years of data

Year-to-Date Mid-troposphere
January–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years*)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.09 +0.16 Coolest 26th 1993, 1989 -0.28 -0.50 +0.02 +0.04
Warmest 10th 1998 +0.57 +1.03
RSS +0.15 +0.27 Coolest 27th 1993, 1989 -0.30 -0.54 +0.07 +0.12
Warmest 9th 1998 +0.56 +1.01
UW-UAH +0.13 +0.23 Coolest 27th 1993 -0.36 -0.65 +0.07 +0.13
Warmest 8th 1998 +0.66 +1.19
Ties: 1983
UW-RSS +0.20 +0.36 Coolest 28th 1993 -0.38 -0.68 +0.12 +0.21
Warmest 8th 1998 +0.64 +1.15
RATPAC* +0.34 +0.61 Coolest 52nd 1965 -0.94 -1.69 +0.14 +0.26
Warmest 5th 2010 +0.64 +1.15

*RATPAC rank is based on 56 years of data

Stratosphere

May Stratosphere
May Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.22 -0.40 Coolest 13th 2011 -0.64 -1.15 -0.32 -0.58
Warmest 23rd 1992 +0.92 +1.66
RSS -0.21 -0.38 Coolest 11th 2011 -0.60 -1.08 -0.25 -0.45
Warmest 25th 1992 +0.89 +1.60
March-May Stratosphere
March–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.21 -0.38 Coolest 16th 2012 -0.49 -0.88 -0.32 -0.58
Warmest 19th 1983 +1.05 +1.89
Ties: 2010
RSS -0.22 -0.40 Coolest 11th 2012 -0.48 -0.86 -0.26 -0.46
Warmest 25th 1992 +1.02 +1.84
Year-to-Date Stratosphere
January–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.26 -0.47 Coolest 14th 2012 -0.50 -0.90 -0.33 -0.60
Warmest 20th 1983 +1.18 +2.12
Ties: 2005, 1997
RSS -0.29 -0.52 Coolest 7th 2012 -0.51 -0.92 -0.29 -0.52
Warmest 27th 1983 +1.09 +1.96
Ties: 2011, 2004

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 May 2013, published online June 2013, retrieved on December 19, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/upper-air/2013/5.