Climate of 2003 – September in Historical Perspective

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Global Highlights:
* Global average combined land and sea surface temperature was warmest on record for September 2003
* Temperatures were much above average across Asia, the western U.S. and eastern Canada with below average temperatures across western Australia, Mexico and Alaska
* Precipitation during September 2003 was above average in the northeastern U.S. and Venezuela, with drier than average conditions over southern India and Japan
* Near average equatorial Pacific SSTs were indicative of near-neutral ENSO conditions

Temperature

September

* For September 2003, the global average land and ocean surface temperature was 0.58°C (1.04°F) above the 1880-2002 average, ranking as the warmest September in the period of record
* Globally averaged land temperatures were second warmest on record,
0.68°C (1.22°F) above the long-term mean
* Globally averaged ocean surface temperatures were 0.53°C (0.95°F) above the 1880-2002 mean, warmest on record for September 2003.
* September 2003 temperatures averaged across the Northern Hemisphere were warmest on record, 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the long term mean
* Temperatures averaged throughout the Southern Hemisphere were third warmest, 0.50°C (0.90°F) above average larger image

January-September

* For January-September 2003, the global average land and ocean surface temperature was 0.60°C (1.00°F) above the long term mean, third warmest
* Globally averaged land temperatures were third warmest on record,
0.84°C (1.51°F) above the long-term mean
* Globally averaged ocean surface temperatures were 0.43°C (0.77°F) above the 1880-2002 mean, second warmest for January-September 2003.
* January-September 2003 temperatures averaged across the Northern Hemisphere were third warmest on record, 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the long term mean
* Temperatures averaged throughout the Southern Hemisphere were third warmest, 0.46°C (0.83°F) above average
* Globally averaged surface temperatures (land and ocean) have been warmer than the 1971-2000 average for the last 89 consecutive months

Precipitation
* During September 2003, much above average precipitation fell across Mexico, portions of central India, southern Brazil and Uruguay, and the northeastern U.S.
* Below average precipitation was observed in eastern Australia, the United Kingdom and the Carribean

ENSO SST Analysis

* Sea surface temperatures were near normal over much of the equatorial Pacific, indicative of neutral ENSO conditions.

Extreme events

* In India, heavy rains at the early September produced flooding across much of the state of Orissa. Flooding affected over 3,500 villages and resulted in 14 deaths (UNDP).
* Across China, landslides and floods in the northwestern province of Shaanxi killed at least 38 people by early September, and forced a half-million people from their homes (Reuters). Flooding was extensive along the Weihe, the largest tributary of the Yellow River.
* Hurricane Isabel developed in the tropical Atlantic ocean as a tropical storm on September 6. Isabel reached hurricane intensity by the
7th, and strengthened to Category 5 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Isabel


was the first category-5 hurricane in the Atlantic since Mitch in
1998.
* Hurricane Marty developed as a tropical depression in the eastern Pacific Ocean on the 19th. Marty made landfall along Mexico’s Baja Peninsula on the 22nd near San Jose del Cabo with maximum sustained winds near 160 km/hr (85 knots or 100 mph).