Global Climate Report - August 2016


Maps and Time Series

Temperature and Precipitation Maps

Temperature Anomalies Time Series



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.v4) anomaly analysis as described in Huang et al. (2016). Temperature anomalies for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis. For more information, please visit NCEI's Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page. The percentile map on the right provides 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.


Supplemental August 2016 Information


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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 August 2016 height and anomaly mapAugust 2016 and June - August 2016 height and anomaly mapJune–August 2016 maps—is generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.

August

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for August 2016 was the highest for August in the 137-year period of record, marking the 16th consecutive month of record warmth for the globe. The August 2016 temperature departure of 0.92°C (1.66°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F) surpassed the previous record set in 2015 by 0.05°C (0.09°F). August 2016 was also the highest monthly land and ocean temperature departure since April 2016 and tied with September 2015 as the eighth highest monthly temperature departure among all months (1,640) on record. Fourteen of the 15 highest monthly land and ocean temperature departures in the record have occurred since February 2015, with January 2007 among the 15 highest monthly temperature departures.

The average global temperature across land surfaces was 1.29°C (2.32°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F)—the highest August global land temperature on record, besting the previous record set in 2015 by 0.19°C (0.34°F). This was also the highest monthly global land temperature departure since April 2016.

Warmer- to much-warmer-than-average conditions were present across much of the world's land surface, with record warmth across the northeastern U.S., northern South America, central and southern Africa, and across parts of western Russia, southern India, China, Southeastern Asia and Indonesia, according to the Land & Ocean Temperature Percentiles map above. Near- to cooler-than-average conditions were observed across the central U.S., northern Mexico, Scandinavia, central and north-central Asia, and western Australia. No land areas experienced record cold temperatures during August 2016. According to NCEI's Global Regional analysis, five of the six continents had at least a top ten warm August, with Africa and Asia observing a record high average temperature for August since continental records began in 1910.

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:

  • Spain had its fifth warmest August since 1961, with an average temperature of 25.2°C (77.4°F) or 1.3°C (2.3°F) above the 1981–2010 average.
  • The Kingdom of Bahrain had its second highest mean August temperature since national records began in 1902, with a mean temperature of 36.4°C (97.5°F) or 2.4°C (4.3°F) above average. The nationally-averaged daytime (maximum) and nighttime (minimum) August temperatures were second highest and the highest on record, respectively, since 1946.
  • The United Kingdom had a mean temperature of 15.5°C (59.9°F) during August 2016, which is 0.6°C (1.1°F) above the 1981–2010 average. This was the highest August temperature since 2013.
  • According to El Centro Internacional para la Investigación del Fenómeno del Niño (CIIFEN), the average monthly temperature across much of South America was predominantly above normal, with temperature departures from average as high as 2.0°C (3.6°F) in eastern Brazil, western Argentina and on the border between Bolivia and Argentina.
  • Ontario, Canada, experienced warmer-than-average temperatures during August 2016, with temperature departures ranging between 2°–3°C (3°–5°F).

For the oceans, the August globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.4°F), the second highest for August on record, behind 2015 by 0.02°C (0.04°F). August 2016 tied with June 2016 as the 11th highest temperature departure from average among all 1,640 months in the record.

Most of the world's oceans experienced warmer- to much-warmer-than-average temperatures during August 2016, with record warmth present across the northwestern Atlantic Ocean (along the U.S. East coast), the central southern Atlantic Ocean, and across parts of western Indian Ocean and the western and southeastern Pacific Ocean. Cooler-than-average conditions were limited to small areas across the north, central, and southern Pacific Ocean, the southern Atlantic Ocean (southeastern of Argentina), and southeastern Indian Ocean (off the southwestern coast of Australia).

ENSO neutral conditions prevailed during August 2016 even though sea surface temperatures were below-average across the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, ENSO neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña) is slightly favored, with a 55–60 percent chance, to continue during late Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2016. This forecast focuses on the ocean surface temperatures between 5°N and 5°S latitude and 170°W to 120°W longitude, called the Niño 3.4 region.

August Anomaly Rank
(out of 137 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.29 ± 0.22 +2.32 ± 0.40 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +1.29 +2.32
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.43 -0.77
Ocean +0.77 ± 0.14 +1.39 ± 0.25 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2015 +0.79 +1.42
Coolest 136ᵗʰ 1907 -0.33 -0.59
Land and Ocean +0.92 ± 0.16 +1.66 ± 0.29 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +0.92 +1.66
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1887, 1890, 1893, 1913 -0.33 -0.59
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.28 ± 0.21 +2.30 ± 0.38 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +1.28 +2.30
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1875 -0.43 -0.77
Ocean +0.92 ± 0.13 +1.66 ± 0.23 Warmest 3ʳᵈ 2015 +1.03 +1.85
Coolest 135ᵗʰ 1890, 1910 -0.44 -0.79
Land and Ocean +1.06 ± 0.17 +1.91 ± 0.31 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +1.06 +1.91
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1890 -0.40 -0.72
Southern Hemisphere
Land +1.33 ± 0.17 +2.39 ± 0.31 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2009 +1.43 +2.57
Coolest 136ᵗʰ 1924 -0.54 -0.97
Ocean +0.66 ± 0.15 +1.19 ± 0.27 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +0.66 +1.19
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1909 -0.33 -0.59
Land and Ocean +0.77 ± 0.14 +1.39 ± 0.25 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +0.77 +1.39
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1902, 1923 -0.31 -0.56

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

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Seasonal (June–August)

The June–August seasonal global land and ocean temperature was 0.89°C (1.60°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F)—the highest temperature departure from average for June–August in the 1880–2016 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.04°C (0.07°F). June–August 2016 also marks the tenth highest three-month departure for any three-month period on record. The 10 highest three-month temperature departures in the record have all occurred since August–October 2015, when a strong El Niño episode was in place in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

The globally-averaged temperature across land surfaces for June–August was also the highest on record for June–August, at 1.21°C (2.18°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F). This surpasses the previous record set in 2015 by 0.11°C (0.20°F). Across the world's oceans, the June–August average sea surface temperature was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F)—the highest for June–August on record, besting the previous record set in 2015 by only 0.01°C (0.02°F). This was also the tenth highest three-month ocean temperature departure from average for any three-month period on record. The ten highest three-month departures from average in the record have occurred since July–September 2015, when a strong El Niño episode was in place in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

The three-month period was characterized by warmer- to much-warmer-than-average temperatures across much of the global land and ocean surfaces. Record warmth was scattered across parts of western and southern Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, western Alaska, northern South America, central and southern Africa, the Middle East, northwestern and Far East Russia, China, Indonesia, New Zealand and the oceans surrounding New Zealand. Meanwhile, very limited land and ocean areas experienced cooler-than-average conditions, including northeastern Russia and the southern Oceans. No land areas observed record cold temperatures for the June–August period, however, the only ocean area with record cold temperatures was east of the Drake Passage off the southern tip of South America. According to NCEI's Global Regional analysis, all six continents had at least a top seven warm June–August period, with Africa and Asia observing a record high average temperature for June–August and North America having its second warmest June–August period since continental records began in 1910.

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):

  • Australia's mean temperature during June–August 2016 (Southern Hemisphere winter) was 0.91°C (1.64°F) above the 1961–1990 average—tying as the sixth highest June–August period. The region with the highest temperature departure was the Northern Territory with a temperature departure for the three-month period of 1.34°C (2.41°F) above average and the eighth highest since records began in 1910. Queensland, New South Wales, and Tasmania had a top ten June–August period. Nighttime (minimum) temperatures were unusually warm, resulting in the nation experiencing its fourth warmest June–August minimum temperature at 1.49°C (2.68°F) above average. All regions, with the exception of South Australia, had a top seven warm minimum temperature for the three-month period, with New South Wales tying 1973 as the highest minimum temperature on record.
  • The United Kingdom had its warmest summer since 2013, with an average temperature for June–August 2016 of 14.9°C (58.8°F) or 0.6°C (1.1°F) above the 1981–2010 average.
  • Most of Ireland experienced above average June–August conditions, with temperature departures ranging between -0.4°C (-0.7°F) to 1°C (1.8°F). The Dublin Airport had its warmest summer since 2006 with a temperature of 15.1°C (59.2°F) or 0.4°C (0.7°F) above average.

June–August Anomaly Rank
(out of 137 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.21 ± 0.18 +2.18 ± 0.32 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +1.21 +2.18
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1908 -0.42 -0.76
Ocean +0.77 ± 0.15 +1.39 ± 0.27 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +0.77 +1.39
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1907, 1916 -0.31 -0.56
Land and Ocean +0.89 ± 0.16 +1.60 ± 0.29 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +0.89 +1.60
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1892 -0.33 -0.59
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.26 ± 0.17 +2.27 ± 0.31 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +1.26 +2.27
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1895 -0.41 -0.74
Ocean +0.92 ± 0.14 +1.66 ± 0.25 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2015 +0.93 +1.67
Coolest 136ᵗʰ 1890, 1912 -0.36 -0.65
Land and Ocean +1.05 ± 0.17 +1.89 ± 0.31 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +1.05 +1.89
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1884 -0.37 -0.67
Southern Hemisphere
Land +1.06 ± 0.15 +1.91 ± 0.27 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2015 +1.14 +2.05
Coolest 136ᵗʰ 1925 -0.51 -0.92
Ocean +0.67 ± 0.16 +1.21 ± 0.29 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +0.67 +1.21
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1903, 1910, 1916 -0.30 -0.54
Land and Ocean +0.73 ± 0.15 +1.31 ± 0.27 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +0.73 +1.31
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1922 -0.30 -0.54

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

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Year-to-date (January–August)

The first eight months of the year were characterized by much-warmer-than-average conditions across much of the globe's surface, resulting in the highest January–August period on record at 1.01°C (1.82°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.3°F). This value exceeded the previous record set in 2015 by 0.16°C (0.29°F).

Much-warmer-than-average conditions engulfed the vast majority of the world's land surfaces, resulting in a record warm January–August period at 1.62°C (2.92°F) above the 20th century average of 9.0°C (48.1°F), besting the previous record set in 2015 by 0.33°C (0.59°F). Record warmth during the first eight months was present across Alaska, western Canada, northern South America, central and southern Africa, southern Europe, Indonesia, and across parts of Central America, the Caribbean, northern and central Asia and Australia. According to NCEI's Global Regional analysis, all six continents had at least a top three warm January–August period, with North America, Asia, and Oceania experiencing a record high average temperature for January–August since continental records began in 1910. No land areas experienced cooler-than-average conditions during January–August 2016.

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):

  • The January–August 2016 average temperature for New Zealand was the highest such period since national temperature records began in 1909, at 1.1°C (2.0°C) above the 1981–2010 average.

The average global sea surface temperature for the year-to-date was the highest for January–August in the 137-year period of record, at 0.79°C (1.42°F) above average, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.11°C (0.20°F). Record warm sea surface temperature during January–August 2016 was present across much of the Indian Ocean and Southwest Pacific Ocean, with scattered areas across the Atlantic Ocean and the tropical Pacific Ocean. The only ocean area with record cold temperatures was east of the Drake Passage off the southern tip of South America

January–August Anomaly Rank
(out of 137 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.62 ± 0.16 +2.92 ± 0.29 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +1.62 +2.92
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1888 -0.57 -1.03
Ocean +0.79 ± 0.18 +1.42 ± 0.32 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +0.79 +1.42
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1890, 1894, 1929 -0.28 -0.50
Land and Ocean +1.01 ± 0.17 +1.82 ± 0.31 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +1.01 +1.82
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1905, 1910, 1917 -0.35 -0.63
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.78 ± 0.18 +3.20 ± 0.32 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +1.78 +3.20
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1886, 1888 -0.61 -1.10
Ocean +0.87 ± 0.17 +1.57 ± 0.31 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +0.87 +1.57
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1903 -0.30 -0.54
Land and Ocean +1.22 ± 0.18 +2.20 ± 0.32 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +1.22 +2.20
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1895 -0.38 -0.68
Southern Hemisphere
Land +1.20 ± 0.15 +2.16 ± 0.27 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +1.20 +2.16
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1909 -0.53 -0.95
Ocean +0.73 ± 0.18 +1.31 ± 0.32 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +0.73 +1.31
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1890, 1921, 1928 -0.27 -0.49
Land and Ocean +0.81 ± 0.17 +1.46 ± 0.31 Warmest 1ˢᵗ 2016 +0.81 +1.46
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1890, 1898, 1917, 1925 -0.29 -0.52

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

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Precipitation

August

The maps below represent precipitation percent of normal (left, using a base period of 1961–1990) and precipitation percentiles (right, using the period of record) based on the GHCN dataset of land surface stations. As is typical, precipitation anomalies during August 2016 varied significantly around the world. August precipitation generally was drier than normal across parts of the western contiguous U.S., northern, northeastern and southern South America, central Europe, southern Africa, and central, eastern and southern Asia. Wetter than normal conditions were present across the contiguous U.S. Midwest and Lower Mississippi Valley, northern Mexico, southern Brazil, southern Argentina, the Scandinavia region, western Africa, northern Russia, northern Japan, northwestern India, and across parts of Australia.

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):

  • According to El Centro Internacional para la Investigación del Fenómeno del Niño (CIIFEN), precipitation was above normal in eastern Colombia and southern Chile, with 30–40% above-average precipitation. A stretch from the northeastern region of Bolivia to south-central Brazil received as much as 150% above-average precipitation. In contrast, Venezuela, central Chile, and central Argentina had rainfall deficits during the month.
  • Drier-than-average conditions were present across much of Ireland during August 2016, with the exception of several stations across parts of the West, Southwest, and East that had near- to above-average precipitation. Belmullet, Co Mayo had its driest August in a decade at 55% of average, meanwhile Shannon Airport, Co Clare had its wettest August in seven years.
  • Precipitation totals across the Island of Fiji were above- to much-above-average. According to Fiji's Meteorological Service, 18 out of 26 stations recorded twice their normal monthly precipitation total during August 2016, with five stations receiving triple the amount and four stations receiving as much as four times their monthly normal. The much needed precipitation helped provide relief from the dry conditions that plagued the region in the past months. The much-above-average amounts of precipitation received in several stations were not enough to set new rainfall records.

Seasonal (June–August)

As is typical, precipitation anomalies during June–August 2016 varied significantly around the world. During June–August 2016, above-average precipitation was observed across much of the contiguous U.S. Midwest and Lower Mississippi Valley, Alaska, British Isles, central Europe, northern Argentina, Asia, and across Australia. Drier-than-average conditions were present across the western contiguous U.S., northern, northeastern, and southern South America, western Europe, and central Asia.

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References

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Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Climate Report for August 2016, published online September 2016, retrieved on May 25, 2017 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201608.

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