Global Climate Report - February 2017


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 February 2017 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 February 2017 height and anomaly mapFebruary 2017 and December - February 2017 height and anomaly mapDecember–February 2017 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 2017 was 0.98°C (1.76°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F)—the second highest for February in the 138-year period of record, trailing behind the record set in 2016 (+1.20°C / +2.16°F) and ahead of 2015 by +0.10°C (+0.18°F). February 2017 was the highest monthly temperature departure from average since April 2016 (+1.07°C / +1.93°F) and the seventh highest monthly temperature departure among all months (1646) on record. This was the 41st consecutive February and the 386th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average. The February global land and ocean temperature has increased at an average rate of +0.07°C (+0.13°F) per decade since 1880; however, the average rate of increase is twice as great since 1980.

The average global temperature across land surfaces was 1.78°C (3.20°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F) and the second highest February global land temperature on record, trailing behind 2016 by 0.50°C (0.90°F) and ahead of 2015 by 0.09°C (0.16°F). This was also the highest monthly temperature departure from average since April 2016 (+1.86°C / +3.35°F) and the seventh highest among all months on record.

Warmer- to much-warmer-than-average conditions were present across much of the world's land surfaces, with the most notable warm temperature departures from average (3°C–5°C above the 1981–2010 average) across much of the contiguous U.S., southeastern Canada, and across much of central and eastern Russia. Record warmth was limited to parts of the eastern contiguous United States and northern and southern Mexico, according to the February 2017 Land and Ocean Temperature Percentiles Map. Near- to cooler-than-average conditions were observed across Alaska, western parts of Canada and the contiguous U.S., northeastern Africa, the Middle East, and much of central and western Australia, with monthly temperatures between 0.50°C–2.50°C (0.90°F–4.50°F) below average. No land area had a record cold February temperature. According to NCEI's Regional Analysis, four of the six continents had at least a top 10 warm February since continental records began in 1910. North America had the warmest February since 2000 and the fourth warmest February on record. South America had its third warmest February on record, while Europe had the coldest February since 2013 and the 17th warmest February on record.

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:

  • Much of Canada had warmer- to much-warmer-than-average temperatures during February 2017, with a small area in the West experiencing near- to below-average conditions. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the province of Ontario experienced temperatures between 2.0°–5.0°C above the 1981–2010 average. Windsor International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Ridgetown, London, and Sarnia had their warmest February on record. Ontario experienced spring-like temperatures during mid-February, setting several new daily maximum temperatures. Many of the previous records occurred in 1954.
  • The United Kingdom observed its ninth warmest February since national records began in 1910, at 1.6°C (2.9°F) above the 1981–2010 average. Mean minimum temperatures were more than 2.0°C (3.6°F) above average across central and southern parts of the nation, while much of the country had mean maximum temperatures ranging between 1.0°C–1.5°C (1.8°F–2.7°F) above average.
  • February 2017 was warmer than average across much of France, with a national temperature average 2.5°C (4.5°F) above the 1981–2010 average. This value ranked among the 10 warmest Februaries in the 118-year record. February 1990 was the warmest February with a temperature departure of +4.4°C (+7.9°F).
  • Spain had a warmer-than-average February with a national average temperature of 10.2°C (50.36°F) or 1.6°C (2.88°F) above the 1981–2010 average. This was the eighth warmest February since 1965.
  • Austria's February temperature was 2.8°C (5.0°F) above average and ranks among the 15 warmest Februaries in the 250-year record. Several locations had their warmest February on record.
  • Australia also experienced warmer-than-average temperatures, with a national average temperature 0.33°C (0.59°F) above the 1961–1990 average. Regionally, New South Wales and Queensland had their highest temperature departure from average since 2004 and 2006, respectively, and the fifth highest in the 108-year record. South Australia also had above average conditions, while Victoria, Tasmania, and Western Australia had below-average conditions.

For the oceans, the February globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F), the second highest for February on record, behind the record-breaking year 2016 (+0.80°C / +1.44°F) and surpassing 2015 by +0.08°C (+0.14°F). February 2017 was the highest monthly temperature departure from average since October 2016 (+0.72°C / +1.30°F) and the 22nd highest among all months on record.

Much of the world's oceans had warmer- to much-warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures during February 2017. Record warmth was confined to parts of western equatorial Pacific Ocean, southwestern Indian Ocean, and scattered across the Atlantic Ocean, central and eastern Pacific Ocean, and southern oceans. Near- to cooler-than-average conditions were observed in parts of the North, Central, and southeastern Pacific Ocean, a region of the Atlantic south of Greenland, parts of the southern Atlantic Ocean, and eastern Indian Ocean.

ENSO-neutral conditions were present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean during February 2017. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, ENSO-neutral conditions are favored to persist through the Northern Hemisphere spring (Southern Hemisphere fall) 2017. 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.

February Anomaly Rank
(out of 138 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.78 ± 0.12 +3.20 ± 0.22 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +2.28 +4.10
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1893 -1.68 -3.02
Ocean +0.69 ± 0.14 +1.24 ± 0.25 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.80 +1.44
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.51 -0.92
Land and Ocean +0.98 ± 0.13 +1.76 ± 0.23 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +1.20 +2.16
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1893, 1905 -0.62 -1.12
Northern Hemisphere
Land +2.07 ± 0.15 +3.73 ± 0.27 Warmest 3ʳᵈ 2016 +2.67 +4.81
Coolest 136ᵗʰ 1893 -1.99 -3.58
Ocean +0.70 ± 0.14 +1.26 ± 0.25 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.86 +1.55
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.48 -0.86
Land and Ocean +1.22 ± 0.13 +2.20 ± 0.23 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +1.55 +2.79
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1893 -0.99 -1.78
Southern Hemisphere
Land +1.01 ± 0.11 +1.82 ± 0.20 Warmest 8ᵗʰ 2016 +1.27 +2.29
Coolest 131ˢᵗ 1917 -1.04 -1.87
Ocean +0.69 ± 0.14 +1.24 ± 0.25 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.77 +1.39
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.53 -0.95
Land and Ocean +0.74 ± 0.14 +1.33 ± 0.25 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.85 +1.53
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.56 -1.01

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

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Seasonal (December–February)

The December–February seasonal global land and ocean temperature was 0.89°C (1.60°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F)—the second highest temperature departure from average for December–February in the 1880–2017 record, behind 2015/2016 by 0.23°C (0.41°F). This was the highest three-month temperature departure since July–September 2016 (+0.89°C / +1.60°F) and tied with May–July 2016, June–August 2016, and July–September 2016 as the tenth highest three-month temperature departure from average since 1880. The global land and ocean temperature during the three-month period of December–February has increased at an average rate of +0.07°C (+0.13°F) per decade since 1880; however, the average rate of increase is twice as great since 1980.

The globally-averaged temperature across land surfaces for December–February was also the second highest on record for the season, at 1.52°C (2.74°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F), behind 2015/2016 by 0.39°C (0.70°F). This was the highest three-month temperature departure from average since March–May 2016 (1.81°C / 3.26°F) and the eighth highest in the 138-year record. Across the world's oceans, the December–February average sea surface temperature was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.5°F)—the second highest for December–February on record, trailing 2015/2016 by 0.17°C (0.31°F).

December 2016–February 2017 was characterized by warmer- to much-warmer-than-average temperatures across much of the global land and ocean surfaces. Record warmth was limited to small areas across the globe, including the Barents Sea, Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico, and scattered across parts of western, central, and eastern Pacific Ocean, central and eastern Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, southern and eastern Asia, eastern Australia, and western South Indian Ocean. Near- to cooler-than-average conditions were limited to parts of northern Asia, southeastern Europe, northern parts of the Middle East, northern and southern Atlantic Ocean, northern and central Pacific Ocean, northern and western Australia, central and eastern Indian Ocean, and western parts of North America. No global surface observed record cold temperatures for the three-month period. According to NCEI's Global Regional analysis, four of the six continents had a top eight warm December–February in the 107-year continental record, with South America and Africa having their second and third warmest such period on record, respectively. Europe had its coldest December–February period since 2013.

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 December 2016–February 2017 average temperature across New Zealand was 16.3°C (61.3°F) or 0.4°C (0.7°F) above the 1981–2010 average—this was the coldest December–February since 2011/2012 and the fifth coldest such period in the last 20 years.
  • Australia had a warmer-than-average summer 2016/2017. Averaged as a whole, the national temperature was 0.61°C (1.10°F) above the 1961–1990 average and the 12th highest in the nation's 107-year record. Regionally, New South Wales had its warmest summer (+2.57°C / +4.63°F) on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2006 by +0.13°C (+0.23°F). Queensland had its second highest summer (+1.55°C / +2.79°F) behind 2006 (+2.07°C / +3.72°F).
December–February Anomaly Rank
(out of 138 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.52 ± 0.16 +2.74 ± 0.29 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +1.91 +3.44
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1893 -1.56 -2.81
Ocean +0.66 ± 0.15 +1.19 ± 0.27 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.83 +1.49
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.48 -0.86
Land and Ocean +0.89 ± 0.16 +1.60 ± 0.29 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +1.12 +2.02
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1893 -0.60 -1.08
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.71 ± 0.20 +3.08 ± 0.36 Warmest 3ʳᵈ 2016 +2.15 +3.87
Coolest 136ᵗʰ 1893 -1.88 -3.38
Ties: 2007
Ocean +0.70 ± 0.15 +1.26 ± 0.27 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.93 +1.67
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.45 -0.81
Land and Ocean +1.08 ± 0.17 +1.94 ± 0.31 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +1.39 +2.50
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1893 -0.99 -1.78
Ties: 2015
Southern Hemisphere
Land +1.04 ± 0.14 +1.87 ± 0.25 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +1.29 +2.32
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1904 -0.93 -1.67
Ocean +0.63 ± 0.16 +1.13 ± 0.29 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.77 +1.39
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.50 -0.90
Ties: 2010
Land and Ocean +0.69 ± 0.15 +1.24 ± 0.27 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.85 +1.53
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.52 -0.94

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

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Year-to-date (January–February)

The global temperature for the first two months of the year was 0.94°C (1.69°F) above the 20th century average and the second highest such period since global records began in 1880. This value is 0.18°C (0.32°F) less than the record set in 2016, but 0.09°C (0.16°F) higher than 2015.

The global land surface temperature during the first two months of the year was also the second highest such period on record at 1.66°C (2.99°F) above the 20th century average, behind the record warm 2016 by 0.26°C (0.47°F). Warmer- to much-warmer-than-average conditions were observed across much of the land surface, with near- to cooler-than-average conditions limited to western parts of North America, central Europe, the Middle East, and central and western Australia. According to NCEI's Global Regional analysis, four of the six continents had a top nine warm January–February in the 107-year continental record, with North America and South America having their second and third warmest such period on record, respectively. Europe had its coldest January–February period since 2012.

The average global sea surface temperature for the year-to-date was also the second highest in the 137-year record, at 0.67°C (1.21°F) above average, behind 2016 by 0.16°C (0.29°F).Record high average sea surface temperatures for the January–February period were scattered across all oceans, including but not limited to the western Pacific Ocean, western Indian Ocean, and parts of the Atlantic Ocean. No ocean areas had record cold sea surface temperatures.

January–February Anomaly Rank
(out of 138 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.66 ± 0.18 +2.99 ± 0.32 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +1.92 +3.46
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1893 -1.87 -3.37
Ocean +0.67 ± 0.15 +1.21 ± 0.27 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.83 +1.49
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.48 -0.86
Land and Ocean +0.94 ± 0.16 +1.69 ± 0.29 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +1.12 +2.02
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1893 -0.66 -1.19
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.91 ± 0.24 +3.44 ± 0.43 Warmest 3ʳᵈ 2016 +2.19 +3.94
Coolest 136ᵗʰ 1893 -2.29 -4.12
Ocean +0.71 ± 0.15 +1.28 ± 0.27 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.90 +1.62
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1894 -0.46 -0.83
Land and Ocean +1.17 ± 0.18 +2.11 ± 0.32 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +1.39 +2.50
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1893 -1.14 -2.05
Southern Hemisphere
Land +1.00 ± 0.14 +1.80 ± 0.25 Warmest 4ᵗʰ 2016 +1.25 +2.25
Coolest 135ᵗʰ 1904 -0.98 -1.76
Ocean +0.65 ± 0.15 +1.17 ± 0.27 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.78 +1.40
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.49 -0.88
Land and Ocean +0.71 ± 0.15 +1.28 ± 0.27 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2016 +0.85 +1.53
Coolest 137ᵗʰ 1911 -0.52 -0.94

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

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Precipitation

February

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 February 2017 varied significantly around the world. February precipitation was generally drier than normal across eastern parts of the contiguous U.S., central Mexico, southeastern Europe, southern and eastern parts of Asia, and eastern Australia. Wetter-than-normal conditions were notable across Alaska, northern and western half of the contiguous U.S., northern and southern parts of South America, northern Europe, western Australia, and across northern Asia.

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):

  • Precipitation totals across the Island of Fiji were above average to much above average. According to Fiji's Meteorological Service, 12 out of 23 stations received twice their normal monthly rainfall, with Matuku and Ono-i-lau in the southern Lau Group recorded triple their normal monthly rainfall. Several stations across the Lau Group set new daily high rainfall for February; Ono-i-Lau received a total of 198.4 mm (7.8 inches) on February 5.

Seasonal (December–February)

As is typical, precipitation anomalies during December–February 2017 varied significantly around the world. During December–February 2017, above-average seasonal precipitation was observed across the northern and western United States, parts of southern South America, northern Asia, and western Australia. Drier-than-average conditions were notable across southern and southeastern contiguous U.S., northeastern Brazil, across much of Argentina, central and eastern Europe, India, and eastern Australia.

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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 February 2017, published online March 2017, retrieved on April 27, 2017 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201702.