Hot & Cold: Monthly Temperature Anomalies in 2010
Videos, Tue, Aug 9th, 2011
Between January and April 2010, sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean were under the warming influence of a fading El Niño episode. Meanwhile, temperature patterns across the Northern Hemisphere were largely dominated by a strong negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation.
This movie shows maps of monthly temperature anomalies (differences from normal) from January through December 2010. Places where temperatures were up to 7 degrees Celsius warmer than average (1971-2000) are red, while places where temperatures were up to 7 degrees cooler than average are blue. Locations where temperatures were near the long-term average are white.
Between January and April 2010, sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean were under the warming influence of a fading El Niño episode. Meanwhile, temperature patterns across the Northern Hemisphere were largely dominated by a strong negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation. The dramatic differences from average temperatures on either side of the North Atlantic—unusually warm in Greenland and eastern Canada and unusually cool in Europe—weakened during the summer, and the early-year El Niño switched to La Niña in July and strengthened through the fall.
NOAA visualization by Ned Gardiner, based on Global Historical Climatology Network data from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.
Spring 2013 has brought something fairly unusual in recent years—colder-than-average temperature for the nation as a whole. NOAA’s Deke Arndt talks about how spring temperatures in three U.S. climate divisions compare to the local long-term trend.
During late winter, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas received sorely needed rain which helped reduce short-term impacts, like wildfire and dry topsoil. But it has taken months to develop deep and severe drought in the region, and a few wet weeks won’t erase that situation. It can take months of ideal conditions to bring soil, rivers, and vegetation back to health.
On any given day or any given month, somebody somewhere experiences colder-than-average temperature, even though the globe as a whole is warmer than average. We know this through climate monitoring, which entails measuring temperature on land and across the ocean.