Global Climate Report - May 2019

Maps and Time Series

Temperature and Precipitation Maps

Temperature Anomalies Time Series


May 2019 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events Map

Introduction

PLEASE NOTE: With the May 2019 global report and data release, the National Centers for Environmental Information transitioned to an improved version of NOAA's Global Temperature data set (NOAAGlobalTemp version 5), which includes the updated versions of its global land (GHCNm version 4.0.1) and ocean (ERSST version 5) data sets. Please note that anomalies and ranks reflect the historical record according to these updated versions. Historical months and years may differ from what was reported in previous years. Please visit our Commonly Asked Questions for additional information.

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 version 5) anomaly analysis. 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.


Temperature

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 May 2019 and March–May 2019 maps—is generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.

May Temperature

The global land and ocean surface temperature for May 2019 was 0.85°C (1.53°F) above the 20th century average and the fourth highest May temperature departure from average since global records began in 1880. Mays 2016 (+0.93°C / +1.67°F), 2015 (+0.89°C / +1.60°F), and 2017 (+0.87°C / +1.57°F) were warmer.

May 2019 was characterized by warmer-than-average conditions across much of the globe's land and ocean surfaces. The most notable warm temperature departures from average were present across parts of northern Canada and across parts of Antarctica, where temperatures were at least 4.0°C (7.2°F) above the 1981–2010 average. Record warm May temperatures were present across much of the southern half of Africa, western Indian Ocean, parts of New Zealand and its surrounding southern ocean, as well as parts of Asia, South America, and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Meanwhile, the most notable cool temperatures were present across much of the western half of the contiguous U.S., central and southeastern Canada, and northern and central Europe, with temperature departures from average at 2.0°C (3.6°F) below average or cooler. Although there were no areas that had record cold May temperatures, there were some locations where their May 2019 temperature departure from average ranked among the coldest 10 percent of the distribution. These locations include parts of the western contiguous U.S., the North Atlantic Ocean, parts of western South America, and the southern ocean off the southern coast of South America.

The global land-only temperature was the smallest (or least warm) since 2013; however, overall it was the eighth highest in the 140-year record at 1.16°C (2.09°F) above average. The Northern Hemisphere land-only temperature departure from average was the smallest (or least warm) since 2011. Meanwhile, the Southern Hemisphere land-only temperature departure from average tied with 2017 as the highest in the 140-year record, at 1.25°C (2.25°F). The global ocean-only surface temperature was 0.73°C (1.31°F) above the 20th century average, tying with 2015 as the second highest May global ocean surface temperature on record, behind 2016 (+0.80°C / +1.44°F).

Regionally, South America and Africa had a May temperature departure from average that ranked among the three highest Mays since continental records began in 1910. Of note, Africa had its second highest May temperature on record at 1.58°C (2.84°F) above average. This value is only 0.01°C (0.02°F) shy of tying the record set in 2015. In addition, the Hawaiian region had its warmest May on record at 1.13°C (2.03°F) above average and 0.07°C (0.13°F) higher than the previous record set in 1940.

Even though North America, Europe, and the Caribbean region had above-average May temperatures, this was their smallest May temperature departure from average since 2011, 2004, and 2009, respectively.

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:

  • Cooler-than-average conditions were present across Austria during May 2019. Austria's nationally averaged May temperature was 2.6°C (4.7°F) below the 1981–2010 average and the coolest May in 28 years.
  • According to Japan's Meteorological Agency, Japan set a new May national maximum temperature record when temperatures soared to 39.5°C (103.1°F) on 26 May 2019 in Saroma (located on the island of Hokkaido). This value surpassed the previous May record of 37.2°C (99.0°F), set in May 1993, by 2.3°C (4.14°F). Thirty-six stations across Japan set new all-time maximum temperature records. Of note, the station in Obihiro set a new all-time temperature of 38.8°C (101.8°F), exceeding the previous record set on 12 July 1924 by 1.0°C (1.8°F).
  • Israel experienced a heat wave that brought record-breaking temperatures during May 22–24. Several locations saw temperatures soar between 43.0°–45.0°C (109°–113°F). According to Israel's Meteorological Services, the most intense heat was observed on May 24th when maximum temperatures rose to 45°–48°C (113.0°–118.0°F) in the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea area, and the northern Arava.
  • Above-average temperatures were present across much of New Zealand during May 2019. The nation's May 2019 temperature was 12.5°C (54.5°F), which is 1.7°C (3.1°F) above the 1981–2019 average and the third highest May temperature in the nation's 111-year record. According to New Zealand's National Climate Centre, several stations had record or near-record warm mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures. One station that stands out was located in Hanmer Forest, where the maximum temperature for May 2019 was 18.1°C (64.6°F) or 4.0°C (7.2°F) above average. This was the highest May temperature for Hanmer Forest since its records began in 1906.

El Niño continued across the tropical Pacific Ocean during May 2019. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, El Niño will persist (66% chance) through the Northern Hemisphere summer (Southern Hemisphere winter). 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.

May Anomaly Rank
(out of 140 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.16 ± 0.11 +2.09 ± 0.20 Warmest 8th 2012 +1.32 +2.38
Coolest 133rd 1917 -0.94 -1.69
Ocean +0.73 ± 0.14 +1.31 ± 0.25 Warmest 2nd 2016 +0.80 +1.44
Coolest 139th 1911 -0.54 -0.97
Ties: 2015
Land and Ocean +0.85 ± 0.13 +1.53 ± 0.23 Warmest 4th 2016 +0.93 +1.67
Coolest 137th 1917 -0.57 -1.03
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.13 ± 0.11 +2.03 ± 0.20 Warmest 11th 2012 +1.54 +2.77
Coolest 130th 1907 -0.98 -1.76
Ocean +0.81 ± 0.14 +1.46 ± 0.25 Warmest 3rd 2016 +0.90 +1.62
Coolest 138th 1911, 1917 -0.54 -0.97
Land and Ocean +0.93 ± 0.13 +1.67 ± 0.23 Warmest 5th 2016 +1.08 +1.94
Coolest 136th 1917 -0.64 -1.15
Ties: 2012
Southern Hemisphere
Land +1.25 ± 0.15 +2.25 ± 0.27 Warmest 1st 2017, 2019 +1.25 +2.25
Coolest 140th 1917 -1.27 -2.29
Ties: 2017
Ocean +0.68 ± 0.15 +1.22 ± 0.27 Warmest 2nd 2016 +0.73 +1.31
Coolest 139th 1911 -0.53 -0.95
Land and Ocean +0.77 ± 0.14 +1.39 ± 0.25 Warmest 2nd 2016 +0.79 +1.42
Coolest 139th 1911 -0.54 -0.97
Ties: 2017

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

Seasonal Temperature

The period of March–May is defined as the Northern Hemisphere's spring and the Southern Hemisphere's autumn.

Global land and ocean surface temperatures during the March–May period were warmer than average across much of the world's land and ocean surfaces. The most notable warm temperature departures from average were present across much of the high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, specifically across much of Alaska, northwestern Canada, and north-central and Far East Russia. The temperature departures from average in these locations were at least +3.0°C (+5.4°F). Record-warm March–May temperatures were present across parts of Alaska and western Canada, the Barents Sea, New Zealand and surrounding southern ocean, southern half of Africa, parts of South America, western Indian Ocean (including Madagascar), and across the Atlantic Ocean, as well as parts of the northern and southern Pacific Ocean. Cooler-than-average conditions were limited to the central contiguous U.S., the North Atlantic Ocean, and across parts of the southern oceans. No land or ocean area had record cold March–May temperatures.

This was the second warmest March–May period for the global land and ocean surfaces in the 140-year record at 0.96°C (1.73°F) above the 20th century average and 0.15°C (0.27°F) less than the record set in 2016 (+1.11°C / +2.00°F). The five warmest March–May periods have occurred since 2015. The yearly global land and ocean surface temperature for the three-month season has increased at an average rate of 0.08°C (0.14°F) per decade since 1880; however, the average rate of increase is more than twice as great (0.18°C / 0.32°F per decade) since 1981.

The global land-only temperature was also second highest on record for the three-month season, trailing behind 2016 (+1.90°C / +3.42°F). The global ocean-only temperature was 0.74°C (1.33°F) above average and was also the second highest in the 140-year record, behind 2016 (+0.82°C / +1.48°F).

The Southern Hemisphere land had its warmest March–May period on record at 1.30°C (2.34°F) above average, surpassing the previous record set in 2016 by just 0.01°C (0.02°F). The Northern Hemisphere land had its third warmest March–May period on record. Regionally, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Hawaiian region had a March–May temperature departure from average that ranked among the nine highest on record. Of note, Africa and Asia had their third highest three-month season on record. North America had its 15th highest spring temperature on record. The Caribbean region had its smallest March–May temperature departure from average 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 March–May 2019 temperature for Hong Kong was 23.7°C (74.7°F) or 1.2°C (2.2°F) above average. This was one of Hong Kong's five highest spring temperatures on record.
  • Australia's March–May 2019 mean temperature was 1.36°C (2.45°F) above the 1961–1990 average and the third highest autumn mean temperature departure from average since national records began in 1910 (110 years of records). This value is 0.63°C (1.13°F) less than the record warm autumn set in 2016. All Australian regions had above-average temperatures during the autumn season, with Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory having a March–May temperature that ranked among the 10 highest on record.
  • New Zealand had its fourth highest autumn temperature since national records began in 1909 at 14.4°C (57.9°F), which is 1.17°C (2.11°F) above the 1981–2010 average since.
March–May Anomaly Rank
(out of 140 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.56 ± 0.12 +2.81 ± 0.22 Warmest 2nd 2016 +1.90 +3.42
Coolest 139th 1917 -0.86 -1.55
Ocean +0.74 ± 0.15 +1.33 ± 0.27 Warmest 2nd 2016 +0.82 +1.48
Coolest 139th 1911 -0.52 -0.94
Land and Ocean +0.96 ± 0.14 +1.73 ± 0.25 Warmest 2nd 2016 +1.11 +2.00
Coolest 139th 1917 -0.56 -1.01
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.66 ± 0.15 +2.99 ± 0.27 Warmest 3rd 2016 +2.14 +3.85
Coolest 138th 1884 -0.93 -1.67
Ocean +0.82 ± 0.14 +1.48 ± 0.25 Warmest 2nd 2016 +0.89 +1.60
Coolest 139th 1904, 1911, 1917 -0.49 -0.88
Land and Ocean +1.14 ± 0.14 +2.05 ± 0.25 Warmest 3rd 2016 +1.37 +2.47
Coolest 138th 1917 -0.62 -1.12
Southern Hemisphere
Land +1.30 ± 0.14 +2.34 ± 0.25 Warmest 1st 2019 +1.30 +2.34
Coolest 140th 1917 -0.97 -1.75
Ocean +0.69 ± 0.16 +1.24 ± 0.29 Warmest 3rd 2016 +0.78 +1.40
Coolest 138th 1911 -0.53 -0.95
Land and Ocean +0.79 ± 0.15 +1.42 ± 0.27 Warmest 2nd 2016 +0.86 +1.55
Coolest 139th 1911 -0.55 -0.99

Year-to-date Temperature

The January–May 2019 global land and ocean temperature was the third highest on record at 0.93°C (1.67°F) above the 20th century average. This falls behind 2016 (+1.14°C / +2.05°F) and 2017 (+0.97°C / +1.75°F). According to NCEI's global annual temperature rankings outlook, it is virtually certain (or 99.9% chance) that 2019 will end among the top 5 warm years.

During the five-month period, warmer-than-average temperatures were present across much of the world's land and ocean surfaces. The most notable warm temperature departures from average were present across much of Alaska, northwestern Canada, and central and Far East Russia, where temperature departures from average were +3.0°C (+5.4°F) or higher. Record-warm temperatures were present across parts of the southern half of Africa, Australia, southeastern Brazil, northwestern North America, Asia, as well as across parts of the southern oceans, the Barents Sea, and parts of the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, the most notable cooler-than-average temperatures were present across much of the contiguous U.S. and the southern half of Canada, where temperatures were 2.0°C (3.6°F) below average or cooler. No land or ocean areas had record-cold temperatures during January–May 2019.

The global land-only temperature during the first five months of the year was 1.49°C (2.68°F) above average and also the third highest on record. Only January–May in 2016 and 2017 were warmer. Similarly, the global ocean-only temperature was also third highest on record for the year-to-date at +0.72°C (+1.30°F), behind 2016 and 2017.

Regionally, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania had a January–May temperature that ranked among their ten highest on record, with Oceania having its second warmest year-to-date period on record. Only January–May 2016 was warmer for Oceania. Meanwhile, the Caribbean and the Hawaiian region had their coolest January–May temperature since 2013.

According to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, the January–May mean temperature for Australia was the highest in the 110-year record. The nation's maximum and minimum temperature was highest and second highest for the year-to-date period, respectively.

January–May Anomaly Rank
(out of 140 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.49 ± 0.15 +2.68 ± 0.27 Warmest 3rd 2016 +1.95 +3.51
Coolest 138th 1893 -0.97 -1.75
Ocean +0.72 ± 0.16 +1.30 ± 0.29 Warmest 3rd 2016 +0.84 +1.51
Coolest 138th 1904, 1911 -0.50 -0.90
Land and Ocean +0.93 ± 0.16 +1.67 ± 0.29 Warmest 3rd 2016 +1.14 +2.05
Coolest 138th 1917 -0.56 -1.01
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.56 ± 0.19 +2.81 ± 0.34 Warmest 4th 2016 +2.20 +3.96
Coolest 137th 1893 -1.14 -2.05
Ties: 2007
Ocean +0.81 ± 0.16 +1.46 ± 0.29 Warmest 2nd 2016 +0.94 +1.69
Coolest 139th 1904 -0.52 -0.94
Land and Ocean +1.10 ± 0.16 +1.98 ± 0.29 Warmest 3rd 2016 +1.42 +2.56
Coolest 138th 1893 -0.71 -1.28
Southern Hemisphere
Land +1.30 ± 0.14 +2.34 ± 0.25 Warmest 2nd 2016 +1.31 +2.36
Coolest 139th 1917 -0.91 -1.64
Ocean +0.67 ± 0.17 +1.21 ± 0.31 Warmest 3rd 2016 +0.77 +1.39
Coolest 138th 1911 -0.52 -0.94
Land and Ocean +0.77 ± 0.16 +1.39 ± 0.29 Warmest 2nd 2016 +0.86 +1.55
Coolest 139th 1911, 1917 -0.53 -0.95

Precipitation

May Precipitation

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 May 2019 varied significantly around the world. May precipitation was generally drier than normal across Mexico, western Europe, southern Argentina, Japan, Australia, South Africa, and parts of Canada and Asia. Wetter-than-normal conditions were notable across much of the contiguous U.S., Alaska, eastern Brazil, southern South America, eastern Europe, Scandinavia, northern China, and parts of Russia and Mongolia.

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):

  • May 2019 was one of Austria's top ten wettest Mays in the last 162 years. Several stations across Austria had near-record May precipitation totals.
  • Drier-than-average conditions engulfed much of Spain during May 2019. The nationally averaged precipitation was 24 mm (0.9 inch), which is 39% of May's normal precipitation of 61 mm (2.4 inches) and the fourth driest May since national records began in 1965. Several stations across central and southern Spain reported no rain for the month.
  • Australia had drier-than-average conditions during May 2019 at 45% below average. Overall, most regions had below-average conditions, with Western Australia having the largest deficit at 83% below average—Western Australia's third driest May since national precipitation records began in 1901. Victoria and the Northern Territory had near to above average May conditions.
  • Heavy rainfall fell across parts of Argentina's Santiago del Estero Province, located in northern Argentina, in early May. The torrential rain prompted floods that damaged nearly 600,000 hectares of crops and about 700 people had to evacuate their homes.

Seasonal Precipitation

As is typical, precipitation anomalies during March–May 2019 varied significantly around the world. During March–May 2019, above-average seasonal precipitation was observed across much of the contiguous U.S., Paraguay, northern Argentina, Scandinavia, eastern Europe, and Russia. Drier-than-average conditions were notable across Canada, southern South America, Hawaii, central and western Europe, India, Australia, Japan and southeast Asia.

  • According to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, much of Australia had drier-than-average conditions during March–May 2019, with the most notable deficit in South Australia (50% below average). Queensland was the only region with above average conditions (+11%). As a whole, Australia's precipitation total for autumn 2019 was 22% below the 1961–1990 average. According to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, several stations along the coast of Western Australia had their driest autumn on record. Of note, the town of Denham reported receiving only 1.6 mm (0.06 inch) of precipitation during the three-month season, which is 62.4 mm (2.5 inches) less than the average March–May precipitation total. Denham's previous record was 2.3 mm (0.09 inch) set in 1914.

References


Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Climate Report for May 2019, published online June 2019, retrieved on July 16, 2019 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201905.

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