06.02.2020 - 08:54

Surface air temperature for January 2020

For Europe, it was the warmest January on record

Temperatures in January 2020 were above the 1981-2010 average over most of Europe. They were exceptionally high for the time of year in the north and east, in a band spreading eastward and south-eastward from Norway to Russia, with values more than 6ºC above average in many places. Norway experienced its warmest January day on record early in the month, and the month was the second warmest since 1900 for the country as a whole. Skiers and reindeer herders were among those affected by mild conditions in Sweden. Observing stations in central and southern Finland recorded their warmest January in the period since at least 1961.

Global temperatures were substantially above average in January 2020. The month was:

- 0.77°C warmer than the average January from 1981-2010, becoming by a narrow margin the warmest January in this data record;

- warmer by 0.03°C than January 2016, which was previously the warmest January;

- close to 0.2°C warmer than January 2017, which is now the third warmest January;

- exceeded in anomalous warmth only by February and March 2016.

European-average temperature anomalies are generally larger and more variable than global anomalies, especially in winter, when they can change by several degrees from one month to the next. The European-average temperature for January 2020 was particularly high. The month was:

- 3.1°C warmer than the average January in the period 1981-2010;

- warmer than any other January in this data record, by about 0.2ºC in the case of January 2007, the previous warmest January.
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