Global Analysis - February 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 February 2014 tied with 2001 as the 21st highest for February on record, at 0.41°C (0.74°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F).
  • The global land surface temperature was 0.31°C (0.56°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F), tying with 1943 as the 44th highest for February on record. For the ocean, the February global sea surface temperature was 0.45°C (0.81°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F), making it the seventh highest for February on record.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the December–February period was 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F), making it the eighth warmest such period on record.
  • The December–February worldwide land surface temperature was 0.87°C (1.57°F) above the 20th century average, the 10th warmest such period on record. The global ocean surface temperature for the same period was 0.46°C (0.83°F) above the 20th century average and tied with 2005 as the sixth warmest December–February on record.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–February period (year-to-date) was 0.54°C (0.97°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F), tying with 2009 as the 11th 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 February 2014 Global State of the Climate report introduces percentile maps that complement the information provided by the anomaly maps. These new 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.

[ 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 February 2014 height and anomaly mapFebruary 2014 and December 2013 - February 2014 height and anomaly mapDecember 2013–February 2014 maps—is generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.

February

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for February 2014 tied with 2001 as the 21st highest for February at 12.51°C (54.64°F), or 0.41°C (0.74°F), above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F) since record keeping began in 1880. This month marked the 29th consecutive February and 348th consecutive month (29 years) with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for February and for any month was February 1985.

The average global temperature across land surfaces was 0.31°C (0.56°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F), tying with 1943 as the 44th warmest February on record and the coldest February since 1994. This departure from average is also 1.02°C (1.84°F) lower than the departure from average for January 2014 (+1.19°C / +2.14°F) just one month ago. During February, the majority of the world's land surfaces experienced warmer-than-average monthly temperatures. Part of Far East Russia was record warm. This region, along with part of northern Scandinavia, observed temperatures more than 5°C (9°F) above their February averages. Conversely, other areas were colder than average. Central and northern North America and western Asia had temperatures more than 5°C (9°F) below their February averages. On a large scale, there were major differences between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The Northern Hemisphere land was 0.17°C (0.31°F) above average, tying with 1914 as the 53rd warmest February on record for the region and marking the coolest February in the past two decades. The land areas between 30°N and 60°N were 0.29°C (0.52°F) below the 20th century average, tying with 1957 as the 60th coolest (76th warmest) February on record and the coolest departures from average for land regions in the world during the month. The last February that was colder in this region occurred just two years ago in 2012. That month was 0.41°C (0.74°F) below average, ranking as 50th coolest (86th warmest) for February and was primarily due to cooler-than-average temperatures over most of Eurasia and northern Africa. Over the Southern Hemisphere land surface areas, this February was 0.68°C (1.22°F) above average, the 12th warmest on record, which was cooler than February 2013, but warmer than February 2012.

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):

  • In Scandinavia, many areas of Finland observed February temperatures 6°–8°C (11°–14° F) above average, with some regions in the north more than 9°C (16°F) above average. For central and northern Finland, it was the second warmest February in the 115-year period of record, behind only 1990. The February temperature for Norway was 6.0°C (11.0°F) higher than the 1981–2010 average, the second warmest February on record, also behind 1990.
  • The nationally-averaged temperature for Germany was 3.4°C (6.1°F) above the 1981–2010 average, marking the sixth warmest February since national records began in 1881.
  • In Canada, many regions in Ontario observed February temperatures among their 10 coldest on record and coldest in more than 30 years, with departures more than -5°C (-9°F) at some stations.

For the oceans, the February global sea surface temperature was 0.45°C (0.81°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F), the seventh highest for February on record and warmest February since 2010, when El Niño conditions were present. The average Northern Hemisphere ocean surface temperature outside the tropics (20°N–90°N) was record warm for February. Neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions were present across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during February 2014. In the tropics where ENSO conditions are monitored, the oceans between 20°N and 20°S latitude were 0.34°C (0.61°F) higher than average, the 18th warmest ocean temperatures for February in that region. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, there is about a 50 percent chance that El Niño conditions will develop during Northern Hemisphere summer or fall 2014. This forecast focuses on the ocean surface temperatures between 5°N and 5°S latitude and 170°W to 120°W longitude.

February Anomaly Rank
(out of 135 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +0.31 ± 0.32 +0.56 ± 0.58 Warmest 44th 2002 +1.70 +3.06
Coolest 92nd 1893 -1.61 -2.90
Ties: 1943
Ocean +0.45 ± 0.04 +0.81 ± 0.07 Warmest 7th 1998, 2010 +0.56 +1.01
Coolest 129th 1911 -0.52 -0.94
Land and Ocean +0.41 ± 0.12 +0.74 ± 0.22 Warmest 21st 1998 +0.86 +1.55
Coolest 115th 1893 -0.65 -1.17
Ties: 2001
Northern Hemisphere
Land +0.17 ± 0.34 +0.31 ± 0.61 Warmest 53rd 2002 +2.25 +4.05
Coolest 83rd 1893 -1.94 -3.49
Ties: 1914
Ocean +0.46 ± 0.04 +0.83 ± 0.07 Warmest 5th 2010 +0.56 +1.01
Coolest 131st 1904, 1911 -0.47 -0.85
Land and Ocean +0.35 ± 0.17 +0.63 ± 0.31 Warmest 28th 2002 +1.10 +1.98
Coolest 108th 1893 -0.96 -1.73
Ties: 2001
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.68 ± 0.12 +1.22 ± 0.22 Warmest 12th 2010 +1.21 +2.18
Coolest 124th 1904, 1917 -1.06 -1.91
Ocean +0.45 ± 0.06 +0.81 ± 0.11 Warmest 11th 1998 +0.59 +1.06
Coolest 125th 1911 -0.56 -1.01
Ties: 2013
Land and Ocean +0.48 ± 0.07 +0.86 ± 0.13 Warmest 11th 2010 +0.67 +1.21
Coolest 125th 1911 -0.58 -1.04

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

[ top ]

Seasonal (December–February)

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for December–February was the eighth highest on record for this period, at 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F). The Northern Hemisphere had its eighth warmest winter and the Southern Hemisphere tied with 2005 and 2013 for its sixth warmest summer in the 135-year period of record.

The globally-averaged temperature across land surfaces was the 10th highest for December–February on record and highest for the period since 2009, at 0.87°C (1.57°F) above the 20th century average of 8.1°C (46.4°F). The Northern Hemisphere land was 11th warmest on record for the period, with some sharp north-south patterns in the polar jet stream that contributed to below-average temperatures in some regions and above-average temperatures in others. Parts of Far East Russia were record warm, with some regions having temperatures more than 5°C (9°F) above their averages. On the other hand, parts of the central and northern United States and southern Canada had cooler to much-cooler-than-average temperatures, according to the Land & Ocean Temperature Percentiles map above. The Southern Hemisphere land overall was fourth warmest, with the land areas in the 30°S–60°S latitude belt record warm for austral summer, at 1.02°C (1.84°F) above average. Much of South America, central Australia, and large parts of central Africa were much warmer than average.

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):

  • Summer 2013/14 was warmer than average for Australia, with a nationally-averaged temperature that was 0.45°C (0.81°F) above the 1961–90 average. This marks the 15th warmest summer for the country since records began in 1910 and is cooler compared with last year's record-setting summer that was 1.44°C (2.59°F) above average. This summer, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia all observed summer temperatures among their eight warmest on record, while the Northern Territory had its 28th coldest (77th warmest) average summer temperature on record.
  • Austria observed its second warmest winter in the country's 247-year period of record, behind only the winter of 2006/07, at 2.7°C (4.9°F) above the 1981–2010 average.
  • It was Germany's fourth warmest winter since national records began in 1881, at 3.1°C (5.6°F) above the 1981–2010 average.
  • Switzerland had its third warmest winter since national records began in 1864, while winter 2013/14 in the Netherlands tied with 1990 as its second warmest since national records began in 1706.
  • In northern Europe, Denmark reported its fifth warmest winter for 2013/14 since records began in 1874, at 3.7°C (6.7°F) above average.
  • The United States, conversely, had its 34th coldest winter in its 119-year period of record, at 0.6°C (1.0°F) below average, the coldest winter since 2009/10.

Across the world's oceans, the December–February sea surface temperature was 0.46°C (0.83°F) above the 20th century average of 16.0°C (60.7°F), tying with 2005 as the sixth highest for December–February on record. Parts of the western Atlantic, northeastern and tropical western Pacific, and the Southern Ocean south of Africa were record warm, while part of the central North Atlantic and the Southern Ocean south of South America were much cooler than average. No regions were record cold for the season.

December–February Anomaly Rank
(out of 135 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +0.87 ± 0.22 +1.57 ± 0.40 Warmest 10th 2007 +1.45 +2.61
Coolest 126th 1893 -1.47 -2.65
Ocean +0.46 ± 0.04 +0.83 ± 0.07 Warmest 6th 1998, 2010 +0.57 +1.03
Coolest 130th 1911 -0.48 -0.86
Ties: 2005
Land and Ocean +0.57 ± 0.10 +1.03 ± 0.18 Warmest 8th 2007 +0.75 +1.35
Coolest 128th 1893 -0.62 -1.12
Northern Hemisphere
Land +0.86 ± 0.25 +1.55 ± 0.45 Warmest 11th 2007 +1.68 +3.02
Coolest 125th 1893 -1.82 -3.28
Ocean +0.47 ± 0.07 +0.85 ± 0.13 Warmest 5th 2010 +0.57 +1.03
Coolest 131st 1910 -0.47 -0.85
Ties: 2005
Land and Ocean +0.62 ± 0.14 +1.12 ± 0.25 Warmest 8th 2007 +0.97 +1.75
Coolest 128th 1893 -0.95 -1.71
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.91 ± 0.14 +1.64 ± 0.25 Warmest 4th 2010 +1.02 +1.84
Coolest 132nd 1904 -0.90 -1.62
Ocean +0.46 ± 0.05 +0.83 ± 0.09 Warmest 7th 1998 +0.60 +1.08
Coolest 129th 1911 -0.50 -0.90
Ties: 2005, 2006
Land and Ocean +0.53 ± 0.07 +0.95 ± 0.13 Warmest 6th 1998, 2010 +0.65 +1.17
Coolest 130th 1911 -0.52 -0.94
Ties: 2005, 2013

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

[ top ]

Year-to-date (January–February)

The first two months of 2014 were the 11th warmest such period across the world's land and ocean surfaces, at 0.54°C (0.97°F) above the 20th century average. The average global sea surface temperature was the seventh warmest for January–February in the 135-year period of record, while the average land surface temperature was 18th warmest; departures from average over land in February were above average but much lower compared to January. Record warmth was observed in parts of the western United States, sections of eastern Brazil, much of the northeastern Pacific Ocean, parts of the western Pacific, parts of the western North and South Atlantic Ocean, along with parts of the Southern Ocean south of Africa. Parts of the north central United States, sections of northern Siberia, part of the northern Atlantic Ocean, and the Southern Ocean south of South America were much cooler than average.

January–February Anomaly Rank
(out of 135 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +0.75 ± 0.26 +1.35 ± 0.47 Warmest 18th 2002 +1.55 +2.79
Coolest 118th 1893 -1.78 -3.20
Ocean +0.45 ± 0.04 +0.81 ± 0.07 Warmest 7th 1998, 2010 +0.56 +1.01
Coolest 129th 1911 -0.49 -0.88
Ties: 2002
Land and Ocean +0.54 ± 0.10 +0.97 ± 0.18 Warmest 11th 2002, 2007 +0.75 +1.35
Coolest 125th 1893 -0.69 -1.24
Ties: 2009
Northern Hemisphere
Land +0.70 ± 0.29 +1.26 ± 0.52 Warmest 24th 2002 +2.01 +3.62
Coolest 112nd 1893 -2.23 -4.01
Ocean +0.48 ± 0.07 +0.86 ± 0.13 Warmest 4th 2010 +0.55 +0.99
Coolest 132nd 1904 -0.49 -0.88
Ties: 2004
Land and Ocean +0.56 ± 0.15 +1.01 ± 0.27 Warmest 12th 2002 +1.00 +1.80
Coolest 124th 1893 -1.11 -2.00
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.88 ± 0.14 +1.58 ± 0.25 Warmest 8th 2010 +1.10 +1.98
Coolest 128th 1904 -0.96 -1.73
Ocean +0.45 ± 0.05 +0.81 ± 0.09 Warmest 11th 1998 +0.59 +1.06
Coolest 125th 1911 -0.52 -0.94
Land and Ocean +0.52 ± 0.07 +0.94 ± 0.13 Warmest 8th 2010 +0.66 +1.19
Coolest 128th 1911 -0.54 -0.97
Ties: 2013

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

[ top ]

Precipitation

February

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 February 2014 varied significantly around the world. As indicated by the February precipitation percentiles map below, extreme wetness was observed during February over sections of west central Argentina, part of the northwestern United States, eastern Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, and western France. Extreme dryness was scattered across different parts of the globe, including much of Chile, parts of southern Alaska, northern Norway, western Poland, northern Africa, much of southeastern Asia, part of eastern Australia, and much of New Zealand.

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):

  • Wet and stormy weather continued to impact the United Kingdom during February, particularly during the first half of the month. Following its third wettest January on record, the UK observed its fourth wettest February in the 105-year national period of record, receiving 184 percent of average precipitation. Some areas, including Herefordshire and Sussex, England received nearly three times their monthly average.
  • Most of New Zealand's North Island received less than 50 percent of average rainfall during February. As of March 1st, soils were much drier than normal across the region. Soil moisture deficits were not as extensive compared to the 2013 drought a year ago, but may have been as severe in isolated regions.

Seasonal (December–February)

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 December 2013–February 2014 varied significantly around the world.

  • At least 12 major winter storms impacted the United Kingdom from mid-December through mid-February, resulting in its wettest winter on record. It was the wettest winter for both England and Wales, with their records dating back to 1766.
  • Winter 2013/14 was marked by dry and wet extremes in Austria. Average rainfall was just 50 to 60 percent of average in the north, with the region from Salzburg to Eisenstadt seeing its lowest winter rainfall since 1857/58. The south observed precipitation 250 percent of average, with some localized regions observing four to five times their typical winter precipitation.

[ 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 February 2014, published online March 2014, retrieved on April 16, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global.