Ag Weather Forum

NOAA: More Global Warmth in August

Bryce Anderson
By  Bryce Anderson , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
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Global January through August temperatures were the fourth-highest in the 139-year record. The last four years are among the four warmest such periods on record. (NOAA graphic)

Following are a few of the details in the August 2018 National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) state of the climate report. NCEI is a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

-- Bryce Anderson

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The first eight months of the year have been extremely warm, giving way to the fourth highest January-August in the 139-year record at plus .76 degree Celsius (plus 1.37 degree Fahrenheit). The value is .26 degree C (.47 degree F) less than the record set in 2016. Nine of the 10 warmest January-August periods have occurred since 2002, with the last four years (2015-2018) among the four warmest such periods on record. January-August 1998 is the only 20th century January-August among the 10 warmest years on record, ranking as the seventh warmest such period on record. Record warm temperatures were scattered across all oceans and across most continents. Based on three simple scenarios, 2018 will likely end up among the six warmest years on record.

Averaged separately, the global land surface temperature for January-August was 1.16 degrees C (2.09 degrees F) above average and also the fourth highest since global records began in 1880. The global ocean temperature for January-August was the fifth highest on record at .61 degree C (1.10 degree F) above average.

According to NCEI's Regional Analysis, five of six continents had a January-August temperature that ranked among the 10 warmest on record. Europe had its highest January-August temperature in the 109-year record at 1.83 degrees C (3.29 degrees F) above average. This value surpassed the previous record set in 2014 by plus 0.06 degree C (plus 0.11 degree F).

PRECIPITATION

August

As is typical, precipitation anomalies during August 2018 varied significantly around the world. August precipitation was generally drier than normal across the western half of the contiguous U.S., southern Canada, western Alaska, southern South America, Australia, central Europe, and across northern and southern Asia. Wetter-than-normal conditions were notable across the eastern half of the contiguous U.S., eastern Alaska, southern Brazil, Uruguay, Scandinavia, southwestern Australia, and central Asia.

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):

Drier-than-average conditions plagued the Island of Fiji during August 2018. According to Fiji's Meteorological Service, 24 of 25 stations had well-below-average precipitation during the month. Several stations (Nabouwalu, Laucala Bay, Monasavu, Vanuabalavu, and Tokotoko) had their lowest August precipitation totals since records began (1918, 1941, 1980, 1985, and 1992, respectively). Since little to no rainfall fell during the month, drought developed in some locations, affecting grasslands and small bodies of water.

Argentina had drier-than-average conditions during August 2018, resulting in the seventh driest August at 43.7% below average. Records began in 1961.

Much of Australia experienced drier-than-average conditions during the month, with a national average of 26% below the 1961-1990 average. Regionally, Northern Territory and Queensland had the largest monthly deficit at 76% and 68% below average, respectively. Tasmania and South Australia were the only regions that had above-average precipitation at 13% and 20% above average, respectively.

The full report is at this link: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/…

Bryce Anderson can be reached at bryce.anderson@dtn.com

Follow Bryce Anderson on Twitter @BAndersonDTN

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