Summary Information

The State of the Climate Summary Information is a synopsis of the collection of national and global summaries released each month.


Global Summary Information - January 2013

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January 2013 global temperatures were ninth highest on record

The globally-averaged temperature for January 2013 tied with 1995 as the ninth warmest January since record keeping began in 1880. January 2013 also marks the 37th consecutive January and 335th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.

Most areas of the world experienced higher-than-average monthly temperatures, including Alaska, the eastern United States, southern Greenland, Uzbekistan, and Australia. Meanwhile, far northwestern and central Canada, the western United States, and a large swath of northern Eurasia were most notably cooler than average.

Global temperature highlights

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for January tied with 1995 as the ninth highest on record for January, at 54.57°F (12.54°C) or 0.97°F (0.54°C) above the 20th century average. The margin of error associated with this temperature is ±0.14°F (0.08°C).
  • January 2013 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies
    January 2013 Blended Land & Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in °C
  • January marked the 37th consecutive January and 335th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average temperature January was January 1976 and the last below-average temperature month was February 1985.
  • The global land temperature was the 13th warmest January on record, at 1.62°F (0.90°C) above the 20th century average. The margin of error is ±0.29°F (0.16°C).
  • Some national highlights are included below:
    • The January nationally-averaged maximum temperature was the highest ever recorded for Australia, at 4.10°F (2.28°C) above the 1961–1990 average, besting the previous record set in 1932 by 0.20°F (0.11°C). The country set a new national record for the hottest day on January 7th, with an average maximum temperature of 104.6°F (40.33°C), surpassing the previous record set on December 21st, 1972. Every state and territory reported above average maximum and minimum temperatures for the month.

    • Iceland was also warmer than average. The capital city of Reykjavik was 5.9°F (3.3°C) above average, marking the warmest January since 1987 and the seventh warmest January since local records began in 1870.

    • The January temperature across Norway as a whole was close to average; however, the northern and southern regions of the country experienced contrasting conditions. Southern Norway was up to 7°F (4°C) below average while northern areas were up to 11°F (6°C) above average.
  • For the ocean, the January global sea surface temperature was 0.74°F (0.41°C) above the 20th century average of 60.5°F (15.8°C), the eighth warmest for January on record. The margin of error is ± 0.07°F (0.04°C).
  • Neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions were present across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during January, with sea surface temperatures slightly below average across the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, neutral conditions are favored over the next few months.

Precipitation highlights

  • Precipitation during January varied significantly around the world. Above-average precipitation fell across regions that included much of Europe, most of the eastern United States, and parts of central and southeastern Asia. Below-average precipitation was observed over the western United States, most of southern South America, southern Australia, and parts of southern and eastern Asia.
  • Precipitation was above average across Austria during January. Much of Lower Austria, Burgenland, and Vienna observed precipitation that was two to four times higher than their monthly averages.
  • It was drier than average across most areas of Fiji during January, with 19 of 26 stations reporting well-below- or below-average precipitation for the month. Viwa Island recorded just 2.20 inches (56 mm) of rainfall, its fourth lowest amount on record for January. Only one station reported above average rainfall.
  • Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan received rare snowfall on January 10th. Up to 8 inches (20 cm) of snow fell in Jerusalem, marking the biggest snowstorm in this area since 1992.

Snow cover and polar ice highlights

    January 2013 Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent
    January 2013 Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent
    Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent, from the January 2013 Global Snow & Ice Report
  • The Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent for January was the sixth largest in the 47-year record at 730,000 square miles above the 1967–2013 average. The North American monthly snow cover extent was above average, while the Eurasian snow cover was the sixth largest on record. The western United States, eastern China, and much of Europe had above-average January snow cover, while Turkey, Iran, and central China experienced below-average snow cover.
  • The January Arctic sea ice extent was 5.32 million square miles, 0.41 million square miles (7.2 percent) below the 1979–2000 average extent of 5.73 million square miles and the sixth smallest monthly extent on record. The last ten years, 2004 to present, have experienced the ten smallest January sea ice extent on record in the Arctic.
  • Antarctic sea ice extent was 2.23 million square miles, 0.28 million square miles (14.0 percent) above the 1979–2000 average extent of 1.95 million square miles, and the seventh largest January sea ice extent on record.