August 2015 Climate Digest



Each month, we will provide information regarding the previous month’s climate. August 2015 was the warmest August on record, with the combined average global land and ocean temperature at 1.58 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0.88 degrees Celsius, above the 20th century average.

Highlights Dataset

Dataset: 20150921 EarthNow: August 2015 Highlights

Dataset: 20150921 EarthNow: AUDIO August 2015 Highlights


This dataset shows some of the major August 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.


  • Asia: Temperatures in Mongolia rose to 5° Fahrenheit or (3° C) above normal. Cooler conditions occurred over Western Russia where temperatures fell to 3.5° Fahrenheit (2° C) below normal.
  • Europe: Extreme warm temperatures occurred over portions of North Central Europe. Germany was 5° Fahrenheit (2.8° C) above the average.
  • Africa: Monthly averaged temperature for August 2015 was 2.5° Fahrenheit (1.4° C), above the average.
  • South America: Above normal temperatures during August with some locations experiencing daily highs of 104° Fahrenheit (40° C).
  • United States: Extreme drought in the Northwest created the perfect scenario for fires which scorched over a million acres in August alone.
  • East Pacific Basin: Hurricanes Kilo, Ignacio, and Jimena formed simultaneously. This is the first time on record when three major hurricanes formed in the basin since records began in 1949.

Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies Dataset

Dataset: 20150921 EarthNow: August 2015 SST Anomaly

Dataset: 20150921 EarthNow: AUDIO August 2015 SST Anomaly



  • The real-time sea surface temperature anomaly dataset is a great way to visualize the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • The global sea surface temperature for August 2015 was the highest on record at 1.4° Fahrenheit (0.78° C) above the 20th century average.
  • According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, strong El Niño conditions were present during July 2015. There is a greater than 90 percent chance that El Niño will continue into the Northern Hemisphere 2015/2016 winter.
  • Remember blues indicate cooler than average temperatures and reds indicate warmer than average temperatures (white: average).

Snow and Ice Cover Dataset

Dataset: 20150921 EarthNow: August 2015 Snow and Ice Cover

Dataset: 20150921 EarthNow: AUDIO August 2015 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 for August 2015 was 22.3% below the 1981-2010 average, making it the 4th smallest August sea ice extent since satellite records began in 1979.
  • In Antarctica, the sea ice extent was 0.5% below the 1981-2010 average, the 9th smallest on record for the month of August.



Seasonal Outlooks

Be sure to check out the 3-month seasonal outlooks for October-December.

  • Global Temperature Outlook
  • Global Precipitation Outlook
  • U.S. Drought Outlook
Where do I find the datasets?
      • First, check your SOS system to make sure it’s not already in the EarthNow category.
      • In addition to the normal files, there is now a “digest” section. This section in the file structure has all of the normal files compiled into one video.
      • 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.
      • More detailed information here
Helpful Resources for More Information
EarthNow Team
NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for August 2015, published online September 2015, retrieved on September 21, 2015 from


Category: Climate Digest


Leave a Reply