Each month, we will provide information regarding the previous month’s climate. Overall, preliminary data analysis suggests that December 2012 was the 18th warmest on record (since 1880). Major stories include warmer than normal United States and cooler than normal Eurasia. More detailed information follows.
Dataset Name: 20130117 EarthNow: December 2012 Highlights
- This dataset shows some of the major December weather and climate highlights from the National Climatic Data Center’s (NCDC) monthly global climate analysis, and serves as an overview of what can be discussed in the datasets that follow. Highlights are noted below with more information.
- United States: Tenth warmest December on record (since 1895).
- Argentina: Severe storms and flooding.
- Australia: Fourth highest maximum temperature on record.
- Eurasia: Cooler-than-normal temperature for much of eastern Europe and northern Asia. Temperatures in Russia were 10-15˚C below average, creating the coolest winter since 1938. Norway had its 11th coolest December since 1900.
- United Kingdom: Heavy rain resulted in the wettest December since 1999.
- Arctic Sea Ice Extent: Second smallest on record, at 8.7% below the 1979-2000 average.
- Antarctic Sea Ice Extent: 16th smallest (18th largest) on record, at 1.5% above the 1979-2000 average.
Global Temperature Anomalies Dataset
Dataset Name: 20130117 EarthNow: RT Monthly Temperature Anomalies
- Using the real-time Monthly Temperature Anomalies dataset is a great way to convey where some of the warmer and cooler than average areas were in December, including those mentioned above in the highlights.
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for December was the 18th warmest on record (since 1880).
Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies Dataset
Dataset Name: 20130117 EarthNow: RT SST Anomalies
- The real-time sea surface temperature anomaly dataset is a great way to visualize the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle in the eastern tropical Pacific ocean. This helps show the moderate water waters, indicating an ENSO Neutral period.
- Remember that the blues indicate cooler than average temperatures and reds indicate warmer than average temperatures (white: average).
Snow and Ice Cover Dataset
Dataset Name: 20130117 EarthNow: RT Snow and Ice Cover
- Aside from helping to illustrate seasonal changes, the real-time Snow and Ice Cover dataset is a great way to convey sea ice change through time, including discussing how the current sea ice extent compares to other noteworthy years.
- The Arctic sea ice extent in December was the second smallest on record. The extent was 8.7% below the 1979-2000 average.
- In Antarctica, the sea ice extent was the 16 smallest (18th largest) on record, at 1.5% above the 1979-2000 average.
Where do I find the datasets?
First, check your SOS system to make sure it’s not already in the EarthNow category.
If not, you can download the datasets and playlist files from this FTP Site.
Then download and use playlist files at the top of the page (or create your own) and make sure they are in /home/sos/sosrc or /home/sosdemo/sosrc.
Helpful Resources for More Information
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/ncdc.html National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/teleconnections/enso/enso-tech.php About ENSO (El Niño/La Niña)
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/ NCDC’s Global Climate Report