September 2015 Climate Digest



Each month, we will provide information regarding the previous month’s climate. September 2015 was the warmest September on record with the combined average global land and ocean temperature 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0.90 degrees Celsius, above the 20th century average.

Highlights Dataset

Dataset: 20151021 EarthNow: September 2015 Highlights

Dataset: 20151021 EarthNow: AUDIO September 2015 Highlights


This dataset shows some of the major September 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.


  • Australia: Third driest September on record.
  • Eastern Asia: Above average precipitation. In some locations receiving nearly twice the monthly average.
  • Norway: Sixth warmest September.
  • Spain: Coldest September since 1996.
  • South America: Second warmest September on record.
  • United States: Extreme drought in the Northwest created the perfect scenario for fires which scorched over a million acres in August alone.


Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies Dataset

Dataset: 20151021 EarthNow: September 2015 SST Anomaly

Dataset: 20151021 EarthNow: AUDIO September 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 September 2015 was the highest on record for the month at 1.46° Fahrenheit (0.81° C) above the 20th century average.
  • According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, El Niño conditions will peak during the late fall/early winter with a 95 percent chance of continuing through the Northern Hemisphere winter. This year’s strong El Niño is expected to influence weather and climate patterns this winter by impacting the position of the jet stream.
  • Remember blues indicate cooler than average temperatures and reds indicate warmer than average temperatures (white: average).

Snow and Ice Cover Dataset

Dataset: 20151021 EarthNow: September 2015 Snow and Ice Cover

Dataset: 20151021 EarthNow: AUDIO September 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 28.9% below the 1981-2010 average, making it the 4th smallest September sea ice extent since satellite records began in 1979.
  • In Antarctica, the sea ice extent was 0.5% below the 1981-2010 average, the 16th smallest on record for the month of September.



Seasonal Outlooks

Be sure to check out the 3-month seasonal outlooks for November-January.

  • 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 September 2015, published online October 2015, retrieved on October 21, 2014 from


Category: Climate Digest


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