Global Climate Report - October 2010
Contents of this Section:
- The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for October 2010 was 0.54°C (0.97°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F) and was the eighth warmest on record. October 2003 is the warmest October on record.
- The October worldwide land surface temperature was 0.91°C (1.64°F) above the 20th century average of 9.3°C (48.7°F)—the sixth warmest October on record.
- The October worldwide ocean surface temperature was 0.40°C (0.72°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F) and was the tenth warmest October on record.
- For January–October 2010, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.4°F) and tied with 1998 as the warmest January–October period on record.
- The global average land surface temperature for the period January–October was the second warmest on record, behind 2007.
- The global average ocean surface temperature for the period January–October tied with 2003 as the second warmest on record, behind 1998.
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 October 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.
Please Note: The uncertainty (plus or minus) originally reported in this monthly report was incorrectly attributed as monthly uncertainty, when it was infact related to the year-to-date uncertainty. The incorrect language has been removed and the correct uncertainty information is reflected in the tables below.
Temperature anomalies for October 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 for October 2010 was 0.54°C (0.97°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F) and represents the eighth warmest October since records began in 1880. October 2003 is the warmest October on record.
Large portions of the global land surface were much warmer than average during October 2010. The areas with the most notable anomalous warmth were across western Alaska, Canada, northeastern Africa, the Middle East, Kazakhstan, and large portions of Russia. Cooler-than-average regions included most of Europe, Mongolia, and much of Australia. The worldwide land surface temperature was 0.91°C (1.64°F) above the 20th century average—this value represented the sixth warmest October on record.
The worldwide ocean surface temperature was 0.40°C (0.72°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F)—the tenth warmest October on record. Warmer-than-average SSTs were present across the Atlantic, western North Pacific, and much of the Indian Ocean. The warmth was most pronounced in the northen Atlantic and northwestern Pacific oceans. Cooler-than-average SSTs were present across the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean and the Southern oceans. La Niña remained moderate in October 2010, as SSTs remained below normal across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC), La Niña is expected to strengthen and last at least into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2011.
The Northern Hemisphere land surface temperature was the third warmest October on record, while the ocean temperature was the 11th warmest on record. The Northern Hemisphere as a whole—land and ocean combined—was the fifth warmest October on record.
The Southern Hemisphere land surface temperature tied with 1963 as the 21st warmest October on record. The Southern Hemisphere ocean surface temperature was the 9th warmest since records began in 1880. The Southern Hemisphere as a whole tied with 2007 as the 11th warmest October on record.
Of interest on a regional level, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Australia experienced its tenth coolest maximum temperatures on record for October. Nationally, the daytime maximum temperatures were 1.18°C (2.12°F) below average. Both Queensland (1.77°C, or 3.18°F, below normal) and the Northern Territory (2.40°C, or 4.32°F, below normal) had their third coolest maximum temperatures since records began in 1950.
The January–October 2010 map of temperature anomalies shows that anomalous warm temperatures were present over much of the world, with the exception of cooler-than-average conditions across the higher-latitude Southern oceans, the eastern equatorial and northern Pacific Ocean, parts of Argentina and Chile, central Russia, and Mongolia. The combined global average land and ocean surface temperature for the January–October period tied with 1998 as the warmest such period on record. This value is 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average. Separately, the average worldwide land surface temperature ranked as the second warmest January–October on record, behind 2007. The worldwide average ocean surface temperature tied with 2003 also as the second warmest such period on record, behind 1998.
The Northern Hemisphere land surface temperature was the second warmest on record for January–October. The ocean temperature was also the second warmest such period on record. The Northern Hemisphere as a whole—land and ocean combined—had its warmest January–October on record.
In the Southern Hemisphere, both the land surface temperature and ocean surface temperature ranked as the fourth warmest January–October since records began in 1880. The Southern Hemisphere as a whole tied with 2002 and 2003 as the second warmest January–October on record.
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 October 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.
Images of sea surface temperature anomalies are available for each week from 2004 to present on the weekly SST page.
Temperature Rankings and Graphics
(out of 131 years)
|Warmest on Record|
|Land||+0.91 ± 0.11||+1.64 ± 0.20||6th warmest||2005||+1.07||+1.93|
|Ocean||+0.40 ± 0.07||+0.72 ± 0.13||10th warmest||2003||+0.58||+1.04|
|Land and Ocean||+0.54 ± 0.08||+0.97 ± 0.14||8th warmest||2003||+0.71||+1.28|
|Land||+1.11 ± 0.15||+2.00 ± 0.27||3rd warmest||2003||+1.20||+2.16|
|Ocean||+0.40 ± 0.08||+0.72 ± 0.14||11th warmest||2006*||+0.64||+1.15|
|Land and Ocean||+0.67 ± 0.11||+1.21 ± 0.20||5th warmest||2003||+0.85||+1.53|
|Land||+0.39 ± 0.06||+0.70 ± 0.11||21st warmest*||2002||+1.09||+1.96|
|Ocean||+0.42 ± 0.06||+0.76 ± 0.11||9th warmest||1997||+0.59||+1.06|
|Land and Ocean||+0.41 ± 0.06||+0.74 ± 0.11||11th warmest*||1997||+0.61||+1.10|
*Signifies a tie
* Southern Hemisphere Land tied with 1963 as the 21st warmest October on record.
* Southern Hemisphere Land and Ocean tied with 2007 as the 11th warmest October on record.
(out of 131 years)
|(Next) Warmest on Record|
|Land||+0.98 ± 0.07||+1.76 ± 0.13||2nd warmest||2007||+1.00||+1.80|
|Ocean||+0.51 ± 0.04||+0.92 ± 0.07||2nd warmest*||1998||+0.53||+0.95|
|Land and Ocean||+0.63 ± 0.05||+1.13 ± 0.09||Warmest*||(2005)||+0.61||+1.10|
|Land||+1.07 ± 0.10||+1.93 ± 0.18||2nd warmest||2007||+1.16||+2.09|
|Ocean||+0.53 ± 0.05||+0.95 ± 0.09||2nd warmest||2005||+0.55||+0.99|
|Land and Ocean||+0.74 ± 0.07||+1.33 ± 0.13||Warmest||(2007)||+0.71||+1.28|
|Land||+0.72 ± 0.03||+1.30 ± 0.05||4th warmest||2005||+0.83||+1.49|
|Ocean||+0.51 ± 0.03||+0.92 ± 0.05||4th warmest||1998||+0.56||+1.01|
|Land and Ocean||+0.54 ± 0.03||+0.97 ± 0.05||2nd warmest*||1998||+0.60||+1.08|
*Signifies a tie
*Global Ocean tied with 2003 as the second warmest January–October on record.
*Global Land and Ocean tied with 1998 as the warmest January–October on record. The second warmest such period occurred in 2005.
*Southern Hemisphere Land and Ocean tied with 2002 and 2003 as the second warmest January–October on record.
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. Precipitation anomalies on a month-to-month basis are often highly variable across the globe and even within regions.
Precipitation was quite variable on a global scale. The areas with the wettest anomalies during October 2010 included the southwestern coast of Canada, most of Central America, northern South America, northern Scandinavia, parts of the west coast of Africa, much of southern and southeastern Asia, southern Japan, parts of Micronesia and the Philippines, and southeastern Australia. The driest anomalies were present the northwestern coast of Canada, parts of the southern United Statees, northern Mexico, Colombia, eastern Peru, and parts of southern India.
Of interest on a regional level, extreme wetness continued in Australia. Following its wettest September on record, October 2010 was Australia's third wettest October of its 111-year period of record. Rainfall averaged across the country was 52.6 mm (2.07 inches)—more than two times higher the long-term average, due largely to well-above average rainfall in the tropical north and central portions of the country. The Northern Territory had its wettest October on record, 73.0 mm (2.87 inches) on average, breaking the previous record of 68.7 mm (2.70 inches) set in 2000, while South Australia and Western Australia each had their fifth wettest Ocotber. The rainfall was associated with the development of moderate to strong La Niña conditions earlier in 2010.
Tropical storm systems brought heavy rainfall to much of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Indonesia, and the southern Chinese island of Hainan, from the beginning to the middle of October. A reported 1,300 mm (51 inches) of rain fell in central Vietnam during the first week in October. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, La Niña conditions bring enhanced convection in the region. To the northwest, Super Typhoon Megi struck the northern Philippine island of Luzon on October 18th, bringing large amounts of rain to the region. Rainbands from the storm also brought heavy precipitation to Taiwan and Japan before making a second landfall over southeastern China's Fujian province.
According to Mexico's National Weather Service (Servicio Meteorolológico Nacional), following a very wet summer, Mexico experienced its driest October since 1941. While several tropical systems affected the country earlier in the hurricane season (see the NCDC Hurricane and Tropical Storms monthly reports for more information), only Hurricane Richard brought rainfall to the country in October, and only to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Continued dryness in Brazil's north and west Amazonia brought the worst drought conditions in the past 40 years to the region. In the jungle city of Manaus, the Rio Negro (Black River)—one of the most important tributaries of the Rio Amazonia (Amazon River)—fell to its lowest level of 44.7 feet (13.6 meters) since record keeping began in 1902.
Additional details on extreme climate events and flooding and drought conditions can also be found on the October 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.