Global Climate Report - February 2018


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 2018 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 2018 height and anomaly mapFebruary 2018 and December - February 2018 height and anomaly mapDecember–February 2018 maps—is generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.

February

February 2018 was characterized by near to cooler-than-average conditions across a large portion of the Northern Hemisphere land, while much of the Southern Hemisphere land had warmer- to much-warmer-than-average conditions. The most notable cool temperature departures from average were present across North America, where temperatures were 3.0°C (5.4°F) below average or lower for some locations. The most notable warm temperature departures from average were present across parts of the southeastern contiguous U.S., western Alaska, northeastern Africa, the Middle East, and Russia's Far East, where temperatures were 2.0°C (3.6°F) above average or higher. Much of the world's oceans had warmer- to much-warmer-than-average temperatures, with near- to cooler-than-average conditions across the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean, southeastern Pacific Ocean, eastern Indian Ocean, and across parts of the Atlantic Ocean. Record warmth was limited to small areas across the eastern contiguous U.S., southern Argentina, the Middle East, Russia's Far East, New Zealand, and scattered across all oceans. However, no land or ocean areas experienced record cold temperatures during February 2018. Regionally, Oceania and Africa had their fourth and tenth warmest February on record, respectively, while Europe had its coolest February since 2012.

Overall, the combined global land and ocean temperature for February 2018 was 0.65°C (1.17°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F) and the 11th highest February temperature in the 1880–2018 record. This value was also 0.57°C (1.03°F) cooler than the record high set in 2016 and was the smallest February temperature departure from average since 2014. February 2018 also marks the 42nd consecutive February and the 398th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average. The global land temperature of 1.01°C (1.82°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F) was also the smallest February land temperature since 2014 and the 15th highest in the 139-year record. Averaged as a whole, the global oceans had their lowest February temperature since 2013 and the seventh highest February temperature 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:

  • Portugal's mean temperature for February 2018 was 8.56°C (47.4°F), which is 1.42°C (2.56°F) below average and the third coolest February since 2000. Similarly, the national minimum temperature was the ninth lowest February minimum temperature at 2.42°C (4.36°F) below average.
  • Below-average conditions plagued much of Spain during February 2018, with a national mean temperature of 6.9°C (44.4°F) or 1.6°C (2.9°F) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the sixth coldest February since 1965.
  • The national average February 2018 mean temperature for the Kingdom of Bahrain was 19.8°C (67.6°F) or 1.9°C (3.4°F) above the 1961–1990 average and tied with 1979 and 2015 as the third highest February temperature since national records began in 1902. Only 1963 (21.5°C / 70.7°F) and 1999 and 2010 (20.4°C / 68.7°F) were warmer. The nation's maximum (daytime) February temperature was the fourth highest since maximum temperatures records began in 1946 at 2.4°C (4.3°F) above average.
  • Australia, as a whole, had a warmer-than-average February at 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 1961–1990 average. This was the 13th highest February temperature in Australia's 109-year record. Regionally, much of the eastern half of Australia had warmer-than-average conditions, while the western half had near- to cooler-than-average conditions. Queensland had the highest mean temperature departure from average for all regions at 1.38°C (2.48°F) above average and the eighth highest February temperature on record. Northern Territory had the highest February temperature (+1.20°C / +2.16°F) since 1992.

La Niña, present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, weakened during February 2018. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, a transition from La Niña to ENSO-neutral is most likely (~55% chance) during March–May 2018. 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 139 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.01 ± 0.11 +1.82 ± 0.20 Warmest 15ᵗʰ 2016 +2.32 +4.18
Coolest 125ᵗʰ 1893 -1.62 -2.92
Ocean +0.52 ± 0.14 +0.94 ± 0.25 Warmest 7ᵗʰ 2016 +0.81 +1.46
Coolest 133ʳᵈ 1911 -0.51 -0.92
Land and Ocean +0.65 ± 0.14 +1.17 ± 0.25 Warmest 11ᵗʰ 2016 +1.22 +2.20
Coolest 129ᵗʰ 1905 -0.61 -1.10
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.02 ± 0.12 +1.84 ± 0.22 Warmest 18ᵗʰ 2016 +2.69 +4.84
Coolest 122ⁿᵈ 1893 -1.96 -3.53
Ocean +0.63 ± 0.14 +1.13 ± 0.25 Warmest 4ᵗʰ 2016 +0.88 +1.58
Coolest 136ᵗʰ 1911 -0.48 -0.86
Land and Ocean +0.78 ± 0.13 +1.40 ± 0.23 Warmest 9ᵗʰ 2016 +1.57 +2.83
Coolest 131ˢᵗ 1893 -0.98 -1.76
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.97 ± 0.11 +1.75 ± 0.20 Warmest 10ᵗʰ 2016 +1.38 +2.48
Coolest 130ᵗʰ 1917 -0.99 -1.78
Ocean +0.44 ± 0.14 +0.79 ± 0.25 Warmest 18ᵗʰ 2016 +0.77 +1.39
Coolest 122ⁿᵈ 1911 -0.53 -0.95
Land and Ocean +0.52 ± 0.14 +0.94 ± 0.25 Warmest 12ᵗʰ 2016 +0.86 +1.55
Coolest 128ᵗʰ 1911 -0.55 -0.99
Ties: 2006, 2014

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Seasonal (December 2017–February 2018)

During the Northern Hemisphere winter/Southern Hemisphere summer, much of the world's land and ocean surfaces had warmer to much-warmer-than-average conditions. The most notable warm temperature departures from average were present across the Northern Hemisphere land, specifically across much of Alaska, the Middle East, and northern Russia (including the Far East), where temperatures were 3.0°C (5.4°F) above average or higher. Record warmth was present across northern and southeastern Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea, the west-central and southwestern Pacific Ocean, and scattered across all oceans and across parts of the Middle East and Russia's Far East. Near- to cooler-than-average conditions were present across Canada, the central contiguous U.S., central Asia, the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, and across parts of the northern and southern Atlantic, and western and eastern Indian Ocean. However, no land or ocean areas had record cold December–February temperatures. Regionally, five of six continents had a top 12 warm December–February, with Oceania having its warmest such period on record.

The December 2017–February 2018 average temperature across the global land and ocean surface was the smallest temperature departure from average since 2014 and the fifth highest December–February period since global records began in 1880 at 0.73°C (1.31°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F). This value is 0.41°C (0.74°F) cooler than the record high set in 2016. With La Niña conditions present across the tropical Pacific Ocean during the three-month period, the globally averaged ocean surface temperature of 0.55°C (0.99°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.5°F) was also the smallest temperature departure from average since 2014 and the sixth highest February temperature in the 139-year record. The global land surface temperature was the seventh highest in the 1880–2018 record at 1.21°C (2.18°F) above average.

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 had its second warmest summer since national records began in 1910 at 1.00°C (1.80°F) above the 1961–1990 average. This value falls behind the record year set in 2013 by 0.12°C (0.22°F). The high mean temperature across the nation was mainly driven by very warm minimum (nighttime) temperatures, which were the highest on record for Australia, exceeding the previous record set in 1973 by +0.02°C (+0.04°F). The nation's maximum (daytime) temperature was also above average, ranking as the fourth highest on record. Regionally, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Northern Territory had a top seven warm summer on record.
  • Austral summer 2017/18 was the warmest on record for New Zealand at 2.1°C (3.8°F) above the 1981–2010 average and surpassing the previous record set in 1934/35 by +0.3°C (+0.5°F). This was also the first time New Zealand records a national summer temperature that was more than +2.0°C (+3.6°F). According to NIWA, there were over 50 stations across the nation that set a new mean summer temperature record, with many other locations experiencing near-record temperatures.
December–February Anomaly Rank
(out of 139 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.21 ± 0.15 +2.18 ± 0.27 Warmest 7ᵗʰ 2016 +1.93 +3.47
Coolest 133ʳᵈ 1893 -1.49 -2.68
Ocean +0.55 ± 0.16 +0.99 ± 0.29 Warmest 6ᵗʰ 2016 +0.84 +1.51
Coolest 134ᵗʰ 1911 -0.48 -0.86
Land and Ocean +0.73 ± 0.16 +1.31 ± 0.29 Warmest 5ᵗʰ 2016 +1.14 +2.05
Coolest 135ᵗʰ 1893 -0.58 -1.04
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.28 ± 0.19 +2.30 ± 0.34 Warmest 8ᵗʰ 2016 +2.16 +3.89
Coolest 132ⁿᵈ 1893 -1.83 -3.29
Ocean +0.67 ± 0.15 +1.21 ± 0.27 Warmest 4ᵗʰ 2016 +0.94 +1.69
Coolest 136ᵗʰ 1911 -0.45 -0.81
Land and Ocean +0.90 ± 0.17 +1.62 ± 0.31 Warmest 5ᵗʰ 2016 +1.40 +2.52
Coolest 135ᵗʰ 1893 -0.97 -1.75
Southern Hemisphere
Land +1.00 ± 0.14 +1.80 ± 0.25 Warmest 5ᵗʰ 2016 +1.36 +2.45
Coolest 135ᵗʰ 1904 -0.87 -1.57
Ocean +0.46 ± 0.16 +0.83 ± 0.29 Warmest 15ᵗʰ 2016 +0.78 +1.40
Coolest 125ᵗʰ 1911 -0.49 -0.88
Ties: 2005
Land and Ocean +0.54 ± 0.15 +0.97 ± 0.27 Warmest 9ᵗʰ 2016 +0.87 +1.57
Coolest 131ˢᵗ 1911 -0.51 -0.92
Ties: 2007

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Year-to-date (January–February)

The first two months of 2018 were characterized by warmer to much-warmer-than-average conditions across much of the world's land and ocean surface, with the most notable warm temperature departures from average across the Middle East and northern Asia, where temperatures were +4.0°C (+7.2°F) or higher. Record warmth was observed across New Zealand and its surrounding ocean, northern Australia, and scattered across all oceans, Asia, and southern Argentina. Near to cooler-than-average conditions were present across Canada, the central contiguous U.S., central Asia, the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, and across parts of northern Europe, the Atlantic, Indian, and southeastern Pacific oceans. However, no land or ocean areas had record cold temperatures during January–February 2018. Regionally, three of six continents had a top 14 warm January–February period, with Oceania having its warmest such period on record and South America observing its coolest such period since 2011.

Averaged as a whole, the January–February 2018 temperature departure from average was 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F). This was the smallest temperature departure from average since 2014 and ranked as the eighth highest January–February temperature in the 139-year record. This value is also 0.46°C (0.83°F) cooler than the record set in 2016.

The global land temperature was 1.06°C (1.91°F) above average and the 11th highest in the 1880–2018 year record, while the global ocean temperature was 0.54°C (0.97°F) above average and the sixth highest on record.

January–February Anomaly Rank
(out of 139 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.06 ± 0.17 +1.91 ± 0.31 Warmest 11ᵗʰ 2016 +1.96 +3.53
Coolest 129ᵗʰ 1893 -1.79 -3.22
Ocean +0.54 ± 0.15 +0.97 ± 0.27 Warmest 6ᵗʰ 2016 +0.84 +1.51
Coolest 134ᵗʰ 1911 -0.47 -0.85
Land and Ocean +0.68 ± 0.16 +1.22 ± 0.29 Warmest 8ᵗʰ 2016 +1.14 +2.05
Coolest 132ⁿᵈ 1893 -0.64 -1.15
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.09 ± 0.21 +1.96 ± 0.38 Warmest 12ᵗʰ 2016 +2.21 +3.98
Coolest 128ᵗʰ 1893 -2.25 -4.05
Ties: 2003
Ocean +0.65 ± 0.15 +1.17 ± 0.27 Warmest 4ᵗʰ 2016 +0.92 +1.66
Coolest 136ᵗʰ 1894 -0.45 -0.81
Land and Ocean +0.82 ± 0.17 +1.48 ± 0.31 Warmest 6ᵗʰ 2016 +1.41 +2.54
Coolest 134ᵗʰ 1893 -1.12 -2.02
Ties: 1995
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.98 ± 0.14 +1.76 ± 0.25 Warmest 6ᵗʰ 2016 +1.32 +2.38
Coolest 134ᵗʰ 1904 -0.92 -1.66
Ocean +0.46 ± 0.15 +0.83 ± 0.27 Warmest 15ᵗʰ 2016 +0.79 +1.42
Coolest 125ᵗʰ 1911 -0.49 -0.88
Land and Ocean +0.54 ± 0.15 +0.97 ± 0.27 Warmest 11ᵗʰ 2016 +0.87 +1.57
Coolest 129ᵗʰ 1911 -0.51 -0.92

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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 2018 varied significantly around the world. February precipitation was generally drier than normal across the southeastern and western contiguous U.S., southern South America, central Europe, eastern Australia, and central and southern Asia. Wetter-than-normal conditions were notable across western Alaska, the eastern half of the contiguous U.S., eastern parts of Brazil, eastern Europe, northern Asia, and parts of western 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):

  • Precipitation varied greatly across Australia, with much of the area experiencing below-average conditions. Tasmania and the Western Australia were the only regions with above-average precipitation at +12% and +43%, respectively. Much of Western Australia's precipitation was associated to tropical cyclone Kelvin, which brought moderate to heavy rain. Some locations in Queensland set new February rainfall records. Broome Airport set a new daily February rainfall record when a total of 376.8 mm (14.8 inches) of rain fell on 17 February, shattering the previous record of 181.6 mm (7.1 inches) set on 22 February 1991. Broome Airport also set a new February total rainfall record (614.0 mm / 24.2 inches), surpassing the previous record of 495.6 mm (19.5 inches) set in 1999.
  • Two extra-tropical cyclones impacted New Zealand during February 2018, resulting in significant precipitation totals. Some locations received more than triple their February normal precipitation total. Of note, the Akaroa station had a total of 240 mm (9.4 inches) of precipitation for the month, which is 455% of normal and the wettest February on record.
  • Precipitation totals across the Island of Fiji were average to well above average, with only 3 of 24 stations experiencing drier-than-average conditions. Ono-I-Lau set a new record for maximum daily total precipitation, recording a total of 270.7 mm (10.7 inches) on February 13, surpassing the previous record of 198.4 mm (7.8 inches) set in 2017. Meanwhile, Nacocolevu set a new February precipitation record of 727.4 mm (28.6 inches), exceeding the previous record of 576.6 mm (22.7 inches) set in 2017.

Seasonal (December–February)

December 2017–February 2018 precipitation was generally drier than normal across the western half of the contiguous U.S., northeastern Brazil, central and southern Argentina, southeastern Europe, southern Asia, and eastern Australia. Wetter-than-normal conditions were notable across the U.S. Midwest and Northeast, northern Argentina, Paraguay, Europe, and 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):

  • Austral summer precipitation varied across Australia, with the nation experiencing near-average conditions. Western Australia had above-average precipitation at 175% of normal precipitation and the tenth highest in the 118-year record. However, several stations across the north and southwest of Western Australia had their wettest summer on record. Of note, Country Downs had a total of 1848.0 mm (72.8 inches) of precipitation during summer 2017/18, surpassing the previous record set in 1972/73 (1527.0 mm / 60.1 inches).

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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 2018, published online March 2018, retrieved on June 20, 2018 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201802.

Metadata