Thursday, October 15, 2009

September 2009 Global Climate Update:
Second Warmest on Record

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Just in time for Blog Action Day's focus on climate, NOAA's National Climatic Data Center earlier this afternoon released its preliminary analysis of global climate for September 2009. The combined land and sea surface temperature was the second warmest September on record, 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th Century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F). The September average was only 0.04°C (0.07°F) below the 2005 record. This is now the 33rd consecutive September since 1976 with an above-average temperature.

The land surface temperature was also the second warmest for September, and the sea surface average was tied with 2004 as the fifth warmest. Warm ocean temperatures were widespread, with the Southern Ocean near Antarctica and the Gulf of Alaska the major exceptions. A weak El Niño persisted across the tropical Pacific. For the year to date, the combined land and sea average is the sixth-warmest January to September period on record.

Regionally, Canada, Europe, the northern and western contiguous U.S., eastern Brazil, and most of Asia and Australia were warmer than average. The warmest departures from average occurred in Canada, the northern and western contiguous U.S., western Russia, and parts of Australia, where temperature anomalies ranged from 3-5°C (5-9°F) above the 1961-1990 average. For the contiguous 48 states, the U.S. average was the 32nd warmest on record. Temperatures were particularly warm in the West, where the region as a whole, as well as the states of California and Nevada, had their warmest September on record.

Images (click to enlarge): September 2009 global temperature departures from average, historical departures since 1880, and U.S. statewide temperature ranks for September; from NOAA/National Climatic Data Center

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Seasonal Outlook

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