Highlights of the NOAA Global Climate Report for July 2018 show warming did not let up -- and, in fact, conditions got downright toasty in the far northern latitudes. Would you believe 90 Fahrenheit in the Arctic Circle? It's true.
The July 2018 average temperature across the world's land and ocean surfaces was 0.75 degree Celsius (1.35 degree Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average of 15.8 deg C (60.4 deg F) and the fourth highest for July since global records began in 1880. Nine of the ten warmest Julys have occurred since 2005, with the last four years (2015-2018) among the four warmest on record. The record warmest July occurred in 2016, with a temperature departure from average of 0.88 deg C (1.58 deg F) above average. The year 1998 is the only year from the 20th Century among the ten warmest Julys on record, ranking as the fifth highest on record.
July 2018 was characterized by warmer to much-warmer-than-average temperatures across much of the global land and ocean surfaces. The most notable warm temperature departures from average occurred across the Northern Hemisphere, specifically the western contiguous U.S., eastern Canada, northern Africa, eastern China, and much of Europe and western Asia where temperature departures from average were 2.0 deg C (3.6 deg F) or more above average. Some of these locations also had record warm temperatures during July 2018, as well as some areas across the oceans. Cooler to much-cooler-than-average conditions were limited to central and eastern parts of Russia, northern Canada, southern South America and surrounding oceans, and parts of the Atlantic Ocean. However, no land or ocean areas had record cold July temperatures.
The globally averaged temperature across land surfaces was the fifth highest on record, while the global ocean temperature tied with 2013 as the sixth highest in the 139-year record. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) Regional Analysis, five of six continents had a July temperature that ranked among the nine highest since continental records began in 1910, with Europe and Africa having their second warmest July on record. Meanwhile, South America had its coolest July temperature since 2012.
Select national information is highlighted below. Please note that different countries report anomalies with respect to different base periods. The information provided here is based directly upon these data:
There were several episodes of intense heat waves during July 2018. According to NCEI's Daily Weather Records Tool, as of 31 July 2018 there were 183 (232) stations across the globe that recorded new high maximum (minimum) temperatures for July. There were 69 (96) stations across the globe that set during July 2018 new all-time high maximum (minimum) temperatures.
Warmer to much-warmer-than-average temperatures were present across much of Canada; however, some areas in central Canada had near to below-average conditions during July 2018. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, temperatures were as high as 4.0 deg C (7.2 deg F) above average across Ontario. Cornwall and Kapuskasing in Ontario had their highest July temperatures on record, while other locations had July temperatures that ranked among the four highest on record.
The contiguous U.S. had its 11th highest July temperature (tying with 1998). Several locations across California set new daily and monthly July temperature records. Of note, downtown Los Angeles set a new warm monthly July minimum (nighttime) temperature when temperatures dropped to only 26.1 deg C (79.0 deg F) on July 7, exceeding the previous record set on 30 July 1980 by 0.6 deg C (1.0 deg F). On the same day, the Burbank Airport recorded its highest minimum temperature for any month on record at 27.8 deg C (82.0 deg F), which is 2.8 deg C (5.0 deg F) higher than the previous record July temperature set in 2006, and is only 0.6 deg C (1.0 deg F) below the previous all-time record set in 2 September 2017. Also of note, according to NCEI's global records, the monthly average July temperature of 42.2 deg C (108.0 deg F) for Death Valley, California, was the highest for any station in the world.
Europe's July 2018 temperature departure from average of 2.33 deg C (4.19 deg f) above average was the second highest July temperature since continental records began in 1910, trailing behind 2010 by only 0.01 deg C (0.02 deg F). July 2018 marks the third time in the 109-year record that the European July temperature departure from average was 2.0 deg C (3.6 deg F) or higher.
Temperatures were much warmer than average during mid-July across Scandinavia, with several locations in the Arctic Circle recording maximum temperatures 30.0 deg C (86.0 deg F) or higher. According to the World Meteorological Organization, Norway set a new national maximum temperature record when temperatures soared to 33.5 deg C (92.3 deg F) on 17 July in Bardufoss. Similarly, Kevo, Finland had a maximum temperature of 33.4 deg C (92.1 deg F) on the same day. Minimum temperatures were also exceptionally warm, with Norway, setting a new warm national minimum temperature when temperatures dropped only to 25.2 deg C (77.4 deg F) on 18 July.
Norway's July 2018 national temperature was 4.3 deg C (7.7 deg F) above average—tying with 2014 as the warmest July since national records began in 1900.
Warmer-than-average temperatures engulfed much of Sweden during July 2018, with temperatures 3.0 to 5.0 deg C (5.4 to 9.0 deg F) above average and several locations setting new monthly temperature records. Of interest, the station located in Kvikkjokk observed its highest July maximum temperature at 32.5 deg C (90.5 deg F). The previous record for this location was 32.0 deg C (89.6 deg F) set on 17 July 1945.
Above-average conditions were present across much of Finland during July 2018, giving way to its warmest July since national records began at 19.6 deg C (67.3 deg F). The previous record was 19.2 deg C (66.6 deg F) set in 1941. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, there were 27 hot days (maximum temperature greater or equal to 25.0 deg C [77.0 deg F])—the most number of hot days for July since 2010 which had a total of 30 hot days.
The July 2018 temperature of 17.3 deg C (63.1 deg F) for the United Kingdom was 2.2 deg C (4.0 deg F) above the 1981-2010 average -- tying with 1983 as the second highest July temperature since national records began in 1910. The record July temperature was set in 2006. Provisionally, England also had its second highest July temperature departure from average on record at +2.6 deg C (+4.7 deg F); Wales had its third highest July on record (2.0 deg or 3.6°F above average); Scotland had its fourth highest at 1.7 deg C or 3.1 deg F above average); and Northern Ireland had its sixth highest July temperature on record at 1.2 deg C or 2.2 deg F above average.
Germany had its fifth warmest July since national records began in 1881. The July 2018 national temperature was 2.2 deg C (4.0 deg F) above the 1981-2010 average. Germany's four warmest Julys are 2006, 1994, 1983, and 2010.
France had its third warmest July since national records began in 1900 at 2.5 deg C (4.5 deg F) above the 1981-2010 average. This value falls behind 2006 (3.6 deg C or 6.5 deg F above average) and 1983 (2.6 deg C or 4.7 deg F above average).
Austria's July 2018 temperature was 1.3 deg C (2.3 deg F) above average and was among the 15 warmest Julys in the nation's 252-year record. Although the average monthly temperature for the month was above average, the month began relatively cool with the lowest temperature for July 2018 being 2.3 deg C (36.1 deg F) observed in Zwettl. This was the lowest July temperature since 1984 (1.8 deg C or 35.2 deg F). At the end of the month, a heat wave affected Austria. Several locations across Austria had above average number of hot days (maximum temperature greater or equal to 30.0 deg C or 86.0 deg F).
Armenia also had temperatures that were 4.0 to 7.0 deg C (7.2 to 12.6 deg F) above average and, in some instances, temperatures were as high as 9.0 deg C (16.2 deg F) above average. The village of Areni set a new maximum temperature of 42.6 deg C (108.7 deg F) on 12 July.
Switzerland had its fifth warmest July since national records began in 1864 at 2.0 deg C (3.6 deg F) above the 1981-2010 average.
South Korea had its second warmest mean and maximum July temperatures on record. According to Korea Meteorological Administration, several locations set new maximum July temperature records when temperatures soared above 35.0 deg C (95 deg F). The highest temperature observed during the month was 39.9 deg C (103.8 deg F) in Uiseoung.
A heat wave also affected Japan during mid- to late-July. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), 200 of 927 stations across the nation observed maximum (daytime) temperatures exceeding 35.0 deg C (95.0 deg F) on 15 July. Several stations set new records. Of note, the city of Kumagaya in the Saitama Prefecture set a new maximum daily temperature record of 41.1 deg C (106.0 deg F) on 23 July.
On July 5, the city of Ouargla in Algeria recorded a maximum temperature of 51.3 deg C (124.3 deg F) -- possibly the highest temperature ever on record in Algeria. According to the World Meteorological Organization's Weather and Climate Extremes Archive, Africa's highest maximum temperature of 55.0 deg C (131.0 deg F) was set in Kebili, Tunisia in July 1931.
Morocco also set a new maximum temperature record on 3 July when temperatures soared to 43.4 deg C (110.1 deg F).
Australia observed its fifth highest July mean temperature in the nation's 109-year record at 1.24 deg C (2.23 deg F) above the 1961-1990 average. The high mean temperature value across the nation was mainly driven by very warm maximum (daytime) temperatures. The nation's maximum temperature for July 2018 was 2.22 deg C (4.00 deg F) above average and the second highest July maximum temperature since records began in 1910. This value falls behind 2017 by 0.41 deg C (0.74 deg F). All regions, with the exception of Tasmania, had a July maximum temperature that ranked among the six highest on record. The region with the highest maximum temperature departure from average was Northern Territory at 2.55 deg C or 4.59 deg F above average, and the third highest on record.
New Zealand also had its fifth highest July temperature on record at 8.9 deg C (48.0 deg F) or 1.1 deg C (2.0 deg F) above the 1981-2010 average. This value falls behind 1998, 2000, 2005, and 2013. Several locations had record or near-record mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures.
Bryce Anderson can be reached at Bryce.email@example.com
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