Global Climate Report - November 2012
Note: GHCN-M Data Notice
An omission in processing a correction algorithm led to some small errors on the Global Historical Climatology Network-Monthly dataset (GHCN-M v3.2.0). This led to small errors in the reported land surface temperatures in the October, November, December and Annual U.S. and global climate reports. On February 14, 2013, NCDC fixed this error in its software, included an additional improvement (described below), and implemented both changes as GHCN-M version 3.2.1. With this update to GHCN-M, the Merged Land and Ocean Surface Temperature dataset also is subsequently revised as MLOST version 3.5.3.
The net result of this new version of GHCN-M reveals very small changes in temperature and ranks. The 2012 U.S. temperature is 0.01°F higher than reported in early January, but still remains approximately 1.0°F warmer than the next warmest year, and approximately 3.25°F warmer than the 20th century average. The U.S. annual time series from version 3.2.1 is almost identical to the series from version 3.2.0 and that the 1895-2012 annual temperature trend remains 0.13°F/decade. The trend for certain calendar months changed more than others (discussed below). For the globe, ranks of individual years changed in some instances by a few positions, but global land temperature trends changed no more than 0.01°C/century for any month since 1880.
NCDC uses two correction processes to remove inhomogeneities associated with factors unrelated to climate such as changes in observer practices, instrumentation, and changes in station location and environment that have occurred through time. The first correction for time of observation changes in the United States was inadvertently disabled during late 2012. That algorithm provides for a physically based correction for observing time changes based on station history information. NCDC also routinely runs a .pairwise correction. algorithm that addresses such issues, but in an indirect manner. It successfully corrected for many of the time of observation issues, which minimized the effect of this processing omission.
The version 3.2.1 release also includes the use of updated data to improve quality control and correction processes of other U.S. stations and neighboring stations in Canada and Mexico.
Compared to analyses released in January 2013, the trend for certain calendar months has changed more than others. This effect is related to the seasonal nature of the reintroduced time-of-observation correction. Trends in U.S. winter temperature are higher while trends in summer temperatures are lower. For the globe, ranks of individual years changed in some instances by a few positions, but global temperature trends changed no more than 0.01°C/century for any month since 1880.
More complete information about this issue is available at this supplemental page.
NCDC will not update the static reports from October through December 2012 and the 2012 U.S and Global annual reports, but will use the current dataset (GHCN-M v. 3.2.1 and MLOST v. 3.5.3) for the January 2013 report and other comparisons to previous months and years.
- The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for November 2012 was 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (60.4°F). This is the fifth warmest November since records began in 1880. Including this November, the 10 warmest Novembers have occurred in the past 12 years.
- The globally-averaged land surface temperature for November 2012 was the sixth warmest November on record, at 1.13°C (2.03°F) above average. The globally-averaged ocean surface temperature was also sixth warmest on record, at 0.50°C (0.90°F) above average.
- ENSO-neutral conditions continued in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during November 2012. Neutral conditions are expected to last through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2012/13 and into spring 2013.
- The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September–November 2012 was 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F), marking the second warmest September–November on record, behind 2005.
- The globally-averaged land surface temperature for September–November 2012 was the third warmest September–November on record, at 1.03°C (1.85°F) above average. The Southern Hemisphere land temperature was record warm for the period.
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January–November 2012 was the eighth warmest such period on record, at 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average.
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 November 2012 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.
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 November 2012 and the September–November 2012 maps—are generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.
The average November temperature across land and ocean surfaces around the world was 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average, marking the fifth warmest November since records began in 1880. Monthly global temperature anomalies have been among the five highest for their respective months for eight consecutive months, since April 2012. Including this November, the 10 warmest Novembers have occurred in the past 12 years. The 10 coolest Novembers on record all occurred prior to 1920. November 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive November and 333rd consecutive month with global temperature higher than the long-term average. The last month with a below average temperature was February 1985, nearly 28 years ago.
Most of the world's ocean surfaces were warmer than average, with record warmth observed in regions of the southeastern and northeastern North Atlantic Ocean and several Arctic seas. Most of the Indian Ocean was much warmer than average. In keeping with a years-long negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the northeastern Pacific Ocean remained cooler than average. Part of the central South Atlantic Ocean and west central Pacific Ocean were also cooler than average. ENSO neutral conditions were present across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, with temperatures slightly above average. On balance, the global ocean temperature was 0.50°C (0.90°F) above the 20th century average, marking the sixth warmest November on record. ENSO-neutral conditions are favored through winter 2012/13 and into spring 2013, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
The globally-averaged land surface temperature for November was the sixth warmest on record, at 1.13°C (2.03°F) above average. The greatest anomalous warmth was observed across parts of far eastern Russia, where temperatures were at least 5°C (9°F) above average for the month. Much warmer-than-average November temperatures, and even record warmth in several regions, were observed across the western United States, Mexico, Central and South America, eastern Russia, southeastern and western Asia, Australia, and most of Africa and Europe. Due to the near universal anomalous warmth in the Southern Hemisphere (with the exception of New Zealand), that region of the world observed its warmest November on record. In the Northern Hemisphere, cooler-than-average temperatures occurred across parts of central Asia, part of the eastern United States, and much of Alaska and western Canada. Nonetheless, the Northern Hemisphere land surface temperature ranked as the eighth warmest on record for November.
Select national information is highlighted below:
- According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the average November maximum temperature was the fourth highest in the 63-year period of record, at 1.73°C (3.11°F) above the 1961–1990 average, while the average minimum temperature was the eighth highest on record, at 0.83°C (1.49°F) above average. No state or territory had a maximum or minimum monthly temperature below the long-term average. The maximum temperature in South Australia was the second warmest November on record, at 3.07°C (5.53°F) above average, just 0.03°C (0.05°F) below the record warmth of 1982.
- In New Zealand, the national average temperature for November 2012 was 0.9°C (1.6°F) below the 1971–2000 monthly average, with records dating back to 1909. It was the coldest November on record for Te Kuiti on the North Island and for Cape Campbell on South Island.
- The November monthly temperature ranged from 1.7 to 2.7°C (3.1 to 4.9°F) above average across the Republic of Moldova, a 1-in-5 year event according to the country's national meteorological service, Serviciul Hidrometeorologic de Stat.
- November temperatures across Hungary ranged from about 2 to 4°C above average, with the greatest anomalous warmth observed in the southeast and western half of the country.
- Austria was 2.3°C (4.1°F) warmer than the 1971–2000 average. The regions of Lower Carinthia, southern Styria, and Burgenland were 3 to 4°C (5 to 7°F) above average. No region in Austria was cooler than average for the month.
- Temperatures ranged from 2.4 to 4.4°C (4.3 to 7.9°F) above the 1961–1990 average across Croatia during November. Northwestern and eastern Croatia were "very warm" (91st–98th percentile) while most of central and southern Croatia were "extremely warm" (greater than 98th percentile), as categorized by the country's national meteorological service, Drzavni hidrometeoroloski zavod (DHMZ).
- Temperatures were below average in South Korea during November. The nationally averaged maximum temperature was 1.9°C (3.4°F) below the 1981–2010 average, marking the fifth lowest November maximum temperature since national records began in 1973.
(out of 133 years)
|Land||+1.13 ± 0.11||+2.03 ± 0.20||Warmest||6th||2010||+1.62||+2.92|
|Ocean||+0.50 ± 0.04||+0.90 ± 0.07||Warmest||6th||1997||+0.56||+1.01|
|Land and Ocean||+0.67 ± 0.07||+1.21 ± 0.13||Warmest||5th||2004||+0.75||+1.35|
|Land||+1.11 ± 0.12||+2.00 ± 0.22||Warmest||8th||2010||+2.05||+3.69|
|Ocean||+0.55 ± 0.05||+0.99 ± 0.09||Warmest||4th||2006||+0.67||+1.21|
|Ties: 1997, 2009|
|Land and Ocean||+0.76 ± 0.08||+1.37 ± 0.14||Warmest||6th||2010||+1.05||+1.89|
|Land||+1.15 ± 0.11||+2.07 ± 0.20||Warmest||2nd||2009||+1.18||+2.12|
|Ocean||+0.48 ± 0.04||+0.86 ± 0.07||Warmest||4th||1997||+0.57||+1.03|
|Land and Ocean||+0.58 ± 0.06||+1.04 ± 0.11||Warmest||3rd||2009||+0.64||+1.15|
The average September–November seasonal temperature across the world's land and ocean surfaces was second warmest on record, behind 2005, at 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average. With ENSO-neutral conditions present during all three months in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean, the globally-averaged ocean temperature was the fourth warmest for September–November, with record warm temperatures observed in parts of the northeastern and southern North Atlantic Ocean and parts of the western Indian Ocean.
Globally, the average land surface temperature was the third warmest September–November on record, behind 2005 and 2010. The Southern Hemisphere spring temperature was record warm, while the average Northern Hemisphere fall land temperature was fifth warmest. Record high temperatures for the period were observed in parts of both hemispheres, including the southwestern United States, part of northern Africa and southern Europe, regions in far eastern Russia, part of north central Australia, and swaths of central and northern South America. No seasonal record cold temperatures were observed during this period.
Select national information is highlighted below:
- Nationally, Australia reported its second warmest September–November (Southern Hemisphere spring) maximum temperature, behind 2006, since records began in 1950, at 1.73°C (3.11°F) above the 1961–1990 average. South Australia and the Northern Territory were both record warm.
- The United Kingdom observed its coolest fall since 1993, with the average temperature 0.8°C (1.4°F) below the 1981–2010 average.
- Owing to a warmer-than-normal September and November and a near-average October, the September–November period was 1.2°C (2.2°F) above the long-term average across Austria, according to the country's national meteorological agency, ZAMG. The country's mountain regions were 1.9°C (3.4°) above average, marking the third warmest such period in this area since records began in 1851.
- The September–November temperature for the Republic of Belarus was 1.8°C (3.2°F) above the long-term average, a 1-in-20 year event according to the nation's meteorological agency, Pagoda.
- Temperatures ranged from 1.4 to 2.6°C (2.5 to 4.7°F) above the 1961–1990 average across Croatia during September–November. Most of the country was "very warm" (91st–98th percentile) while some areas in northeastern and central Croatia were "extremely warm" (greater than 98th percentile), as categorized by the country's national meteorological service, Drzavni hidrometeoroloski zavod (DHMZ).
(out of 133 years)
|Land||+1.03 ± 0.18||+1.85 ± 0.32||Warmest||3rd||2005||+1.20||+2.16|
|Ocean||+0.53 ± 0.04||+0.95 ± 0.07||Warmest||4th||2003||+0.57||+1.03|
|Land and Ocean||+0.67 ± 0.09||+1.21 ± 0.16||Warmest||2nd||2005||+0.69||+1.24|
|Land||+1.04 ± 0.18||+1.87 ± 0.32||Warmest||5th||2005||+1.36||+2.45|
|Ocean||+0.58 ± 0.04||+1.04 ± 0.07||Warmest||4th||2006||+0.65||+1.17|
|Land and Ocean||+0.75 ± 0.11||+1.35 ± 0.20||Warmest||3rd||2005||+0.87||+1.57|
|Land||+1.02 ± 0.15||+1.84 ± 0.27||Warmest||1st||2012||+1.02||+1.84|
|Ocean||+0.50 ± 0.04||+0.90 ± 0.07||Warmest||4th||1997||+0.58||+1.04|
|Land and Ocean||+0.59 ± 0.07||+1.06 ± 0.13||Warmest||2nd||1997||+0.62||+1.12|
The average global temperature across land and ocean surfaces for the year to date (January–November) resulted in the eighth warmest such period on record, at 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average. This anomaly is slightly higher than last month's year-to-date value (January–October). The 2012 year-to-date temperature departure from average has increased each month since February. The warmth is due in large part to the monthly land surface temperatures throughout most of the year. Since April, each month has ranked among the top eight for its respective month, with May and June having record high temperatures. Additionally, the weak-to-moderate La Niña that was present at the beginning of the year had dissipated by April, with above-average ENSO neutral conditions prevailing by July. If this anomalous warmth continues through the end of the year, 2012 will surpass 2011 as the warmest La Niña year since at least 1950, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
Very few regions of the world were cooler than average for the year to date, primarily most of Alaska and parts of the northeastern and central Pacific Ocean. These cool ocean temperatures are associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which has been in a persistent negative (cold) phase since mid-2010.
(out of 133 years)
|Land||+0.96 ± 0.20||+1.73 ± 0.36||Warmest||5th||2010||+1.12||+2.02|
|Ocean||+0.45 ± 0.03||+0.81 ± 0.05||Warmest||9th||1998||+0.53||+0.95|
|Ties: 1997, 2001|
|Land and Ocean||+0.59 ± 0.09||+1.06 ± 0.16||Warmest||8th||2010||+0.68||+1.22|
|Land||+1.06 ± 0.26||+1.91 ± 0.47||Warmest||5th||2007, 2010||+1.24||+2.23|
|Ocean||+0.46 ± 0.04||+0.83 ± 0.07||Warmest||8th||2005||+0.56||+1.01|
|Land and Ocean||+0.69 ± 0.14||+1.24 ± 0.25||Warmest||4th||2010||+0.81||+1.46|
|Land||+0.69 ± 0.12||+1.24 ± 0.22||Warmest||8th||2005||+0.90||+1.62|
|Ocean||+0.45 ± 0.03||+0.81 ± 0.05||Warmest||11th||1998||+0.55||+0.99|
|Land and Ocean||+0.49 ± 0.06||+0.88 ± 0.11||Warmest||9th||1998||+0.60||+1.08|
The most current data November be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.
Images of sea surface temperature conditions are available for all weeks during 2012 from the weekly SST page.
The maps below represent anomaly values based on the GHCN dataset of land surface stations using a base period of 1961–1990. As is typical, precipitation anomalies during November 2012 and September–November 2012 varied significantly around the world.
- As a whole, the United Kingdom observed precipitation that was 111 percent of the 1981–2010 average during November. Parts of southwest to northeast England saw more than 150 percent of average precipitation, primarily due to a series of low pressure systems that brought heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding to the area within a one-week period.
- Spain was also wetter than average for November, receiving 150 percent of average total precipitation for the month.
- According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia was drier than average during September–November, with only Western Australia reporting above-average rainfall. The Indian Ocean dipole, a climate pattern that influences precipitation patterns across the continent, was positive during much of the period. This phase is generally associated with below-average rainfall across parts of southern, central, and northern Australia, as was observed.
- South Korea received its fourth highest September–November precipitation total since records began in 1973. Rainfall was 142 percent of normal for the period.
Additional details on flooding and drought events around the world can also be found on the November 2012 Global Hazards page.
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.