2010 Global Temps & Precip

Global Highlights From NCDC

2010 Global Significant Weather and Climate Events
2010 Global Significant Weather and Climate Events - Click for a larger and active image
  • For 2010, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature tied with 2005 as the warmest such period on record, at 0.62 ??C (1.12 ??F) above the 20th century average of 13.9 ??C (57.0 ??F). 1998 is the third warmest year-to-date on record, at 0.60 ??C (1.08 ??F) above the 20th century average.
  • The 2010 Northern Hemisphere combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the warmest year on record, at 0.73 ??C (1.31 ??F) above the 20th century average. The 2010 Southern Hemisphere combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the sixth warmest year on record, at 0.51 ??C (0.92??F) above the 20th century average.
  • The global land surface temperature for 2010 tied with 2005 as the second warmest on record, at 0.96 ??C (1.73 ??F) above the 20th century average. The warmest such period on record occurred in 2007, at 0.99 ??C (1.78 ??F) above the 20th century average.
  • The global ocean surface temperature for 2010 tied with 2005 as the third warmest on record, at 0.49 ??C (0.88 ??F) above the 20th century average.
  • In 2010 there was a dramatic shift in the El Ni??o???Southern Oscillation, which influences temperature and precipitation patterns around the world. A moderate-to-strong El Ni??o at the beginning of the year transitioned to La Ni??a conditions by July. At the end of November, La Ni??a was moderate-to-strong.

Please Note: The data presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may change as more complete data are received and processed. Effective with the July 2009 State of the Climate Report, NCDC transitioned to the new version (version 3b) of the extended reconstructed sea surface temperature (ERSST) dataset. ERSST.v3b is an improved extended SST reconstruction over version 2.

This report uses the ERSST.v3b dataset to assess the entire year. Therefore, values for individual months of January-June presented in this report may differ slightly from those reported when ERSST.v2 was the operational dataset.

For more information about the differences between ERSST.v3b and ERSST.v2 and to access the most current data, please visit NCDC’s Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.


Global Temperatures


The year 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year since records began in 1880. The annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.62 ??C (1.12 ??F) above the 20th century average.

The range associated with this value is plus or minus 0.07 ??C (0.13 ??F).

The 2010 combined land and ocean surface temperature in the Northern Hemisphere was also the warmest on record, while the combined land and ocean surface temperature in the Southern Hemisphere was the sixth warmest such period on record.

The annual globally averaged land temperature was 0.96 ??C (1.73 ??F) above average, which tied with 2005 as the second warmest year record. The range associated with this value is plus or minus 0.11 ??C (0.20 ??F).

The warmest year was 2007, at 0.99 ??C (1.78 ??F) above the 20th century average. The decadal global land and ocean average temperature anomaly for 2001???2010 was the warmest decade on record for the globe, with a surface global temperature of 0.56 ??C (1.01 ??F) above the 20th century average. This surpassed the previous decadal record (1991???2000) value of 0.36 ??C (0.65 ??F).

The El Ni??o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a periodic fluctuation in sea surface temperature (El Ni??o) and the air pressure of the overlying atmosphere (Southern Oscillation) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, affecting weather patterns in many parts of the world. The year began in a moderate-to-strong warm (El Ni??o) phase.

The globally averaged January ocean surface temperature was the second warmest on record, behind 1998???a year that also began with a strong El Ni??o. Temperature anomalies across the equatorial Pacific declined through the year, although the ENSO warm phase officially remained through April.

The global ocean surface temperatures for the period January???April were the second warmest on record, behind 1998.

In May, sea surface temperature anomalies in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean cooled below the El Ni??o threshold (0.5??C), signifying a return to ENSO-neutral conditions. By July, ENSO officially shifted into a cold (La Ni??a) phase as the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean continued to cool to below-average temperatures.

With La Ni??a firmly in place, and central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures continuing to cool, the globally averaged ocean temperature for the period September???November was tenth warmest on record.

For the period January???December, the shift from a warm phase to a cold phase ENSO contributed to a globally averaged ocean surface temperature anomaly of 0.49 ??C (0.88 ??F) above the 20th century average, tying with 2005 as the third warmest such period on record. The range associated with this value is plus or minus 0.06 ??C (0.11 ??F). 2003 and 1998 tied for the warmest years on record, at 0.51 ??C (0.92 ??F) above average.

According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), La Ni??a was expected to peak during the end of 2010 into early 2011 and last at into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2011 with a lesser intensity.

Global Precipitation

201001-201012-global-precip
Global precipitation in 2010 was well above the 1961???1990 average, ranking as the wettest on record since 1900. Precipitation throughout the year was variable in many areas.

Regionally, drier than average conditions were widespread across much of French Polynesia, the Solomon Islands, Hawaiian Islands, northwestern Canada, extreme northwest and northeast Brazil, and southern Peru.

The wettest regions included most of Central America, much of India, southwestern China, east Asia, Borneo, and parts of Australia.

El Ni??o and La Ni??a, monsoonal rains, and tropical storms played large roles in some of the extreme precipitation patterns observed during the 2010 year-to-date.

During the year, numerous tropical cyclones brought copious amounts of rain to various regions around the world, including northern Australia, southern and eastern Asia, Mexico, and most of Central America.

Please visit NCDC’s Global Hazards and Hurricanes & Tropical Storms web pages for more detailed information about specific storms.

Canada experienced its driest winter (December 2009???February 2010) since national records began in 1948, with 22 percent below-average precipitation. According to Environment Canada, many locations across Ontario, Canada received no snow or traces of snow during March 2010, setting new low snowfall records.

Toronto, which typically receives 22 cm (8.7 inches) of snow during March recorded no snow this year. This broke the low snowfall record which dates as far back as 1898. To the west, Alaska had its third driest January on record since 1918.

Following its driest February and March on record, drought was declared for Auckland, New Zealand and surrounding areas. Dry conditions continued in New Zealand as the country as a whole experienced autumn (March???May; Northern Hemisphere spring) precipitation that was 50???80 percent below average.

The first half of 2010 was dry in parts of Europe as well. According to the UK Meteorological Office, the United Kingdom experienced its driest January???June period since 1953 and the second driest since 1929, receiving only 361 mm (14.2 inches) of precipitation. This is almost 30 percent below the long-term average of 512 mm (20.1 inches).

Near the end of July, the same blocking pattern that brought Russia its record-breaking heatwave contributed to a heavy deluge of rainfall in Pakistan. Over 300 mm (12 inches) of rain fell from July 28th???30th in Peshawar province, leading to extreme flooding that eventually submerged approximately 20 percent of the country.

An official of the Pakistani government reported the flooding was the worst since 1929. At least 1,500 people were killed due to flooding and landslides. Heavier-than-normal monsoon rains continued into September, affecting both Pakistan and India. Conversely, Bangladesh had its driest monsoon season since 1994.

A series of strong storms brought heavy rainfall to northeastern China and North Korea during August. Subsequent flooding was said to be the worst in that region in more than a decade. Heavy monsoon rains affected Vietnam, Thailand, and southeastern China in October. Thailand reportedly suffered its worst floods in decades.

By October, Brazil’s north and west Amazonia was in the midst of one of its worst droughts in 40 years. The Rio Negro???one of the most important tributaries of the Rio Amazonia???fell to its lowest level since record keeping began in 1902.

La Ni??a brought record rainfall to most of Australia toward the end of the year. The country had its wettest spring (September???November; Northern Hemisphere fall) on record.

Nationally averaged rainfall was 163.0 mm, which was 125 percent above normal for the period. However, it is noted that in contrast to the rest of the country, southwestern Western Australia had its driest spring on record.

With continued extreme wetness in December???particularly in the northeastern state of Queensland, which had its wettest December on record and experienced major flooding???the average precipitation for December was 99 percent above normal, ranking as Australia’s second wettest on record, behind December 1975.

For the year, 2010 was the country’s third wettest since records began in 1900 and the wettest since 2000. Southwest Western Australia reported its driest year on record.


References

Peterson, T.C. and R.S. Vose, 1997: An Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network Database. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., 78, 2837-2849.

Quayle, R.G., T.C. Peterson, A.N. Basist, and C. S. Godfrey, 1999: An operational near-real-time global temperature index. Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 333-335.

Smith, T.M., and R.W. Reynolds (2005), A global merged land air and sea surface temperature reconstruction based on historical observations (1880-1997), J. Clim., 18, 2021-2036.

Smith, et al (2008), Improvements to NOAA’s Historical Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (1880-2006), J. Climate., 21, 2283-2293.

SOURCE:

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for December 2010, published online January 2011, retrieved on January 14, 2011 from www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2010/13.