Global Climate Report - January 2010
Contents of this Section:
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January 2010 was 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average of 12.0°C (53.6°F). This is the fourth warmest January on record.
- The global land surface temperature for January 2010 was 0.83°C (1.49°F) above the 20th century average of 2.8°C (37.0°F)—the twelfth warmest January on record. Land areas in the Southern Hemisphere were the warmest on record for January. In the Northern Hemisphere, which has much more land, comparatively, land surface temperatures were 18th warmest on record.
- The worldwide ocean surface temperature for January 2010 was the second warmest—behind 1998—on record for January, 0.52°C (0.94°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.5°F). This can be partially attributed to the persistence of El Niño across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC), El Niño is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2010.
Please Note: The data presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may change as more complete data are received and processed. Effective with the July 2009 State of the Climate Report, NCDC transitioned to the new version (version 3b) of the extended reconstructed sea surface temperature (ERSST) dataset. ERSST.v3b is an improved extended SST reconstruction over version 2. For more information about the differences between ERSST.v3b and ERSST.v2 and to access the most current data, please visit NCDC's Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.
Temperature anomalies for January 2010 are shown on the dot maps below. The dot map on the left provides a spatial representation of anomalies calculated from the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) dataset of land surface stations using a 1961-1990 base period. The dot map on the right is a product of a merged land surface and sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly analysis developed by Smith et al. (2008). For the merged land surface and SST analysis, temperature anomalies with respect to the 1971-2000 average 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 combined global land and ocean surface temperature anomaly for January 2010 was 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average, resulting in the fourth warmest January since records began in 1880. The worldwide monthly averaged land surface temperature was the twelfth warmest January on record, with a temperature anomaly of 0.83°C (1.49°F) above the 20th century average. As shown in the dot maps above, warmer-than-average temperatures during the month of January were present across much of the world's land areas. The warmest anomalies occurred in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, specifically in Canada, the western contiguous U.S., and parts of northern Russia. Cooler-than-average conditions were present across western Alaska, the southeastern contiguous U.S., northern Australia, and most of Europe and Russia.
The United Kingdom experienced below-average temperatures during January 2010. According to the United Kingdom's Met Office, the U.K. as a whole had its coolest January since 1987 and the eighth coolest January since records began in 1914. Scotland had its coolest January since 1979. During the first two weeks of January, the Irish Republic experienced a spell of extreme cold weather that began in mid-December, resulting in the most extreme cold spell over Ireland since early 1963, according to the Irish Meteorological Service. Most places of the Irish Republic had its coolest January since 1985 and the coolest January since 1963 in the Dublin area.
According to the Beijing Climate Center (BCC), parts of China was hit by two cold waves. The first cold wave occurred during the first week of January. On January 6th, temperatures in Beijing dropped to -16.7°C (1.9°F)—the lowest minimum temperature in the first ten days of January since 1971. The second cold wave occurred during January 17th-23rd, in which temperatures were reported to have dropped 10°C-25°C (18°F-45°F) over this seven-day period across parts of northern China. Although parts of China had experienced below average temperatures during the month, the monthly mean temperature for the country as a whole was -4.5°C (23.9°F), 1.4°C (2.5 °F) above the 1971-2000 average. It was reported that the Sichuan, Yunnan, and Gansu provinces had their warmest January since records began in 1951, while the Chongqing, Guizhou, Shaanxi, and Qinghai provinces had their second warmest January.
The January 2010 average temperature for the Southern Hemisphere as a whole (land and ocean combined) was 0.58°C (1.04°F) above the 20th century average—the second warmest January on record, behind 1998. However, the Southern Hemisphere land temperature was the warmest on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2006 by 0.02°C (0.04°F).
The worldwide sea surface temperatures (SST) during January 2010 were warmer than average across most of the oceans, with the exception of cooler-than-average conditions across the Gulf of Alaska, the higher-latitude southern oceans, and along the South American western coast. The global ocean temperature represented the second warmest January on record, with an anomaly of 0.52°C (0.94°F) above the 20th century average—the second warmest January, behind 1998. El Niño remained across the equatorial Pacific Ocean during the month. Although SST anomalies slightly decreased during January 2010, they remained above average across much of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean. El Niño is expected to persist through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2010, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC).
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 January 2010 map, respectively) are generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively. For other Global products, please see the Climate Monitoring Global Products page.
Temperature Rankings and Graphics
(out of 131 years)
|(Next) Warmest on Record|
|Land and Ocean||+0.60||+1.08||4th warmest||2007||+0.81||+1.46|
|Land and Ocean||+0.63||+1.13||6th warmest||2007||+1.15||+2.07|
|Land and Ocean||+0.58||+1.04||2nd warmest||1998||+0.60||+1.08|
*Signifies a tie
The most current data may be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.
The maps below represent anomaly values based on the GHCN dataset of land surface stations using a base period of 1961-1990. The areas with the wettest anomalies during January 2010 included northern Australia, much of South America, and parts of southeastern Asia, and the Mascarene Islands. The driest anomalies during January 2010 were observed across the Hawaiian Islands, eastern Brazil, eastern Australia, northern Europe, and Alaska's panhandle.
According to the Beijing Climate Center, China's January average precipitation was 14.5 mm (0.6 inch), 2.4 mm (0.1 inch) above the 1971-2000 average. It was reported that the Guangxi and Xinjiang provinces experienced their wettest January since records began in 1951. Conversely, Sichuan and Shaanxi had their driest and second driest January on record, respectively. Drought continued to affect central and eastern Tibet, western Guizhou, and parts of Yunnan and southern Sichuan. The Yunnan province rainfall totals for September 2009 through January 2010 (a five-month period) were the lowest since 1951. These conditions along with high temperatures led to severe drought, affecting over 11 million people and causing 3.8 billion yuan (556 million U.S. dollars) in direct economic losses.
According to New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), heavy rain fell on January 31st across the eastern and central North Island, Waikato, and Coromandel. The copious rain caused floods and road closures. This single event produced most of the month's rainfall total in these regions. Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, the Wairarapa, and parts of Waikato received over twice their average January rainfall. Conversely, Northland experienced much-below-average precipitation during January 2010 (less than 50 percent of average) with severe soil moisture deficits.
In Ontario, Canada, a significant storm brought plentiful amounts of precipitation, resulting in a new record for the Ottawa airport. On January 25th, 43.6 mm (1.7 inches) of rain fell, surpassing the previous record of 33.6 mm (1.3 inches) of rain set on January 15th, 1995. The heavy rain prompted floods in portions of eastern Ontario (Environment Canada).
Other notable precipitation extremes during January 2010 included the heavy rain that triggered floods and mudslides across southeastern Brazil on January 1st and 2nd, resulting in 76 fatalities, 125 people left homeless, and up to 145 million U.S. dollars in losses.
Additional details on flooding and drought can also be found on the January 2010 Global Hazards page.
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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.