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 - September 2013

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September 2013 global temperature ties for fourth highest on record

September global ocean temperature ties for record highest

The globally-averaged temperature for September 2013 tied with 2005 as the fourth warmest September since record keeping began in 1880. September 2013 also marks the 35th consecutive September and 342nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.

Many areas of the world experienced higher-than-average monthly temperatures, including New Zealand, Australia, northern South America, western North America, Europe, much of eastern Asia, and most of the global ocean regions. Far eastern China, part of northeastern South America, part of the Barents Sea, sections of the western Pacific Ocean, and part of the south central Indian Ocean were record warm. Meanwhile, the southeastern United States, Far East Russia, northern South Africa, Paraguay, Bolivia, and the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean were cooler than average. No regions of the globe were record cold.

Global temperature highlights: September

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces during September tied with 2005 as the fourth highest on record for September, at 61.22°F (16.22°C) or 1.12°F (0.62°C) above the 20th century average. The margin of error associated with this temperature is ±0.22°F (0.12°C).
  • September Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Percentiles
    September 2013 Blended Land and Sea Surface
    Temperature Percentiles
    September 2013 Blended Land & Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in °C
  • September marked the 35th consecutive September and 342nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average temperature for September was September 1978 and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985.
  • The global land temperature was the 11th warmest September on record, at 1.39°F (0.77°C) above the 20th century average. The margin of error is ±0.41°F (0.23°C).
  • Some national highlights are included below:
    • New Zealand observed its warmest September since national records began in 1909, at 3.4°F (1.9°C) above the 1971–2000 monthly average.
    • Australia reported its second highest nationally-averaged September temperature since records began in 1910, at 2.88°F (1.60°C) above the 1961–1990 average. With the exception of the southernmost island state of Tasmania, all states and territories had average temperatures that were among their 10 highest for September.
    • For the ocean, the September global sea surface temperature was 1.03°F (0.57°C), above the 20th century average, tying with 1998, 2003, 2005, and 2009 as the record highest for September. The margin of error is ±0.09°F (0.05°C).
    • Neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions were present across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during September, with sea surface temperatures below average in the eastern equatorial Pacific. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, neutral conditions are favored through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2013/14.

    Precipitation highlights: September

    • Record wetness was observed over part of the central United States and far eastern India. Record dryness was scattered across different parts of the globe, including parts of the north central United States, northern Chile, small sections of Africa and eastern Europe, along with regions in both western and eastern Australia.
    • During the Asian Southwest Monsoon season, which occurs annually during June–September, India as a whole received 110 percent of the 1951–2000 average rainfall from June 1st through September 31st. Among the four main geographical regions, Central India received 128 percent of average rainfall, while Northeast India received just 72 percent of average rainfall during this period.
    • Very heavy rainfall during September 1st–12th brought 12 inches (300 mm) of rainfall to Far East Russia near the China border, leading to the worst flooding in more than a century in that region.

    Polar ice highlights: September and Seasonal

      September 2013 Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent
      September 2013 Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent
      Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent, from the September 2013 Global Snow & Ice Report
    • According to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the average September Arctic sea ice extent was 2.35 million square miles, 440,000 square miles (15.65 percent) below the 1981–2010 average of 2.79 million square miles. This was the sixth smallest September Arctic sea ice extent since satellite records began in 1979. Arctic sea ice extent during September 2013 was 533,000 square miles larger than the record low September extent of 2012.
    • The September Antarctic sea ice extent of 7.31 million square miles was 320,000 square miles (4.47 percent) above the 1981–2010 average of 6.99 million square miles. This was the largest September Antarctic sea ice extent on record, surpassing September 2010 when the sea ice extent was 7.28 million square miles.
    • The globally combined Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent during September was 9.66 million square miles, 120,000 square miles (1.26 percent) below the 1981–2010 average of 9.78 million square miles. This marked the 13th smallest September global sea ice extent in the 45-year period of record.

    Global temperature highlights: June–September

    • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for June–September tied with 2009 as the fifth highest on record for this period, at 1.12°F (0.62°C) above the 20th century average of 60.1°F (15.6°C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is ±0.20°F (0.11°C).
    • The global land temperature was the seventh highest for June–September on record, at 1.53°F (0.85°C) above the 20th century average of 56.9°F (13.8°C). The margin of error is ±0.36°F (0.20°C).
      • The fourth warmest July and a record warm September contributed to the warmest winter (June–September) on record for New Zealand, with a temperature 2.2°F (1.2°C) higher than the 1971–2000 average for the period.
      • Austria observed its sixth warmest summer (June–September) since national records began in 1767, at 2.2°F (1.2°C) above the 1981–2010 average for the period.
    • For the ocean, the June–September global sea surface temperature was 0.95°F (0.53°C), above the 20th century average of 61.5°F (16.4°C), the fifth highest for June–September on record. The margin of error is ± 0.09°F (0.05°C).

    Global temperature highlights: Year-to-date

    • The first eight months of 2013 tied with 2003 as the sixth warmest such period on record, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature of 1.06°F (0.59°C) above the 20th century average of 57.3°F (14.0°C). The margin of error is ±0.20°F (0.11°C).
    • The January–September worldwide land surface temperature was 1.67°F (0.93°C) above the 20th century average, marking the seventh warmest such period on record. The margin of error is ±0.40°F (0.22°C).
    • The global ocean surface temperature for the year-to-date was 0.85°F (0.47°C) above average, making it the eighth warmest such period on record. The margin of error is ±0.09°F (0.05°C).