Climate of 2003 – August in Historical Perspective Including Boreal Summer

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GLOBAL HIGHLIGHTS

*Global average combined land and sea surface temperature was the second warmest for August 2003 as well as for June-August 2003
*June-August 2003 temperatures were much above average throughout Europe and Russia with below average temperatures in Japan and eastern South Africa
*Precipitation during June-August 2003 was above average in Venezuela and eastern North America, with drier than average conditions throughout Europe and Nepal
*Near average SSTs indicative of near neutral ENSO conditions

Summer 2003 The June-August 2003 mean temperature was above the 1988-2002 average across France, Italy and western North America. Cooler than average temperatures occurred in Kazakhstan, much of the Sahel, and the eastern United States. The mean position of upper level ridges of high pressure and troughs of low pressure (depicted by positive and negative 500 millibar height anomalies) are generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.

August 2003 August temperature anomalies calculated from the Global Historical Climatology Network data set of land surface stations (using a 1961-1990 base period) show above average temperatures throughout Europe, eastern Brazil, the United States and India. Monthly temperatures were 3-5°C
(5.4-9.0°F) above the mean. Cooler than average temperatures were present throughout Argentina, the Korean Peninsula and Japan where monthly temperatures were as much as 1-4°C (1.8-7.2°F) below average.

TEMPERATURE

June-August

*For June-August 2003, the global average land and ocean surface temperature was 0.55°C (1.00°F) above the long term mean, second warmest for boreal summer.
*Ocean surface temperatures were 0.43°C (0.77°F) above the 1880-2002 mean, second warmest for June-August 2003.
*June-August 2003 temperatures averaged across the Northern Hemisphere were second warmest on record, 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the long term mean
*Temperatures averaged throughout the Southern Hemisphere were third warmest, 0.41°C (0.74°F) above average
*Globally averaged surface temperatures (land and ocean) have been warmer than the 1971-2000 average for the last 88 consecutive months

August

*For August 2003, the global average land and ocean surface temperature was
0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 1880-2002 average, ranking as the second warmest August in the period of record
*The warmest August occurred in 1998, when the global anomaly was +0.65°C
(+1.17°F)
*Globally averaged land temperatures were third warmest on record, 0.79°C
(1.42°F) above the long-term mean
*August 2003 temperatures averaged across the Northern Hemisphere were warmest on record, 0.79°C (1.42°F) above the long term mean
*Temperatures averaged throughout the Southern Hemisphere were eighth warmest, 0.31°C (0.56°F) above average

PRECIPITATION

*During June-August 2003, much above average precipitation fell across northwestern South America, Alaska and the Ukraine
*Below average precipitation was observed in South Africa, parts of southeast Asia and the north central United States
*During the month of August 2003 , unusually wet weather occurred in far western Russia, the majority of the eastern United States and the southern coast of


Australia while areas of India, Thailand and the United Kingdom experienced drier than average conditions.

ENSO SST Analysis

Sea surface temperatures were near normal over much of equatorial Pacific, indicative of neutral ENSO conditions. A warm anomaly emerged in the central equatorial Niño 3.4 region during August 2003. A comprehensive summary of August 2003 ENSO conditions can be found on the El Niño monitoring page lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2003/ENSO-monitoring.html