March 2015 Climate Digest



Each month, we will provide information regarding the previous month’s climate. March 2015’s combined average global land and ocean temperature was the warmest since records began in 1880, surpassing the previous record by 0.09°Fahrenheit (0.05°C) set in March 2010.


Highlights Dataset

Dataset: 20150421 EarthNow: March 2015 Highlights

Dataset: 20150421 EarthNow: AUDIO March 2015 Highlights


This dataset shows some of the major March 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.


  • Scandinavia: Temperatures ranged between 5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit (3°to 5°C) warmer than average.
  • United States: The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 3.9°Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, making March 2015 the 12th warmest March on record.
  • Argentina: Significant precipitation values, contributing to numerous floods in the region.
  • Australia: Observed its eighth warmest March since national records began in 1910.
  • Africa: Much of Africa had warmer than average temperatures during March 2015.

Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies Dataset

Dataset: 20150421 EarthNow: March 2015 SST Anomaly

Dataset: 20150421 EarthNow: AUDIO March 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 average March temperature for the global waters was the third highest for the month, at 0.55°C (0.99°F) above the 20th century average.
  • According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, weak El Niño conditions were present during March 2015. There is a 70% chance that these weak-phase El Niño conditions will continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer.
  • Remember blues indicate cooler than average temperatures and reds indicate warmer than average temperatures (white: average).

Snow and Ice Cover Dataset

Dataset: 20150421 EarthNow: March 2015 Snow and Ice Cover

Dataset: 20150421 EarthNow: AUDIO March 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 February 2015 was 7.3% below the 1981-2010 average, making it the smallest March sea ice extent since satellite records began in 1979.
  • In Antarctica, the sea ice extent was 24.3% above the 1981-2010 average, the second largest on record for the month of March.



Seasonal Outlooks

Be sure to check out the 3-month seasonal outlooks for May – July.

  • 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.
      • 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 2014, published online September 2014, retrieved on September 29, 2014 from


Category: Climate Digest


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