Climate of 2004 January in Historical Perspective



– Based on preliminary data for January 2004, global average combined land and sea surface temperature was fourth warmest on record (1880-2003) – Temperatures were much above average across most of Asia, western Europe and South America with below average temperatures across the northeastern U.S., Alaska and Central America – Precipitation during January 2004 was above average across Europe, Brazil and Malaysia with drier than average conditions across the northeastern U.S., Japan and Mozambique – Slightly warmer than normal SSTs remained across the equatorial Pacific basin but do not indicate that the warm episode will transition into an El Niño event.


January Anomaly: Temperature Rankings (1880-2003)

Global Land: +0.81°C (+1.46°F) – 8th warmest – (1st warmest: 2002) Global Ocean: +0.43°C (+0.77°F) – 3rd warmest – (1st warmest: 1998) Global Land and Ocean: +0.54°C (+0.97°F) – 4th warmest – (1st warmest: 2002)

Northern Hemisphere : 4th warmest – (1st warmest:2002) Southern Hemisphere: 6th warmest – (1st warmest: 1998)
90N-20N: 7th warmest – (1st warmest: 2002 )
20N-20S: 4th warmest – (1st warmest:1998)


The anomaly values are based on the GHCN data set of land surface stations using a base period of 1961-1990. During January 2004, much above average precipitation fell across the Mississippi Valley in the U.S., most of Europe, Malaysia, most of Brazil and eastern Australia. Below average precipitation was observed in Alaska, northeastern U.S., Argentina, Portugal and Spain.

ENSO SST Analysis

Although sea surface temperatures were slightly above average over much of the equatorial Pacific, a consensus of indices does not indicate a transition into an El Niño event.

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