07.10.2020 - 12:57

Surface air temperature for September 2020

Globally and in Europe, September 2020 was the warmest September on record

Europe in September 2020 was predominantly warmer than the 1981-2010 average for September. Temperatures were most above average in countries bordering the Black Sea, but relatively warm conditions were also experienced over the western Balkans, the Baltic States and France. Temperatures over France were particularly warm in a record-breaking period in the middle of the month. Elsewhere it was cooler than average in a few places, most notably Iceland.

Temperatures were exceptionally high for September over northern Siberia and the Laptev and East Siberian Seas. September 2020 continues a run of months in which large parts of Siberia have had considerably above average temperatures. It was also generally warmer than usual over the Arctic Ocean as a whole. In contrast, it was especially cold over northern Greenland.

September 2020 was extremely warm in the Middle East. New high temperature records were reported for Turkey, Israel and Jordan. Israel experienced its warmest September on record, and the intensity and length of the September heatwave in Jordan was exceptional. Parts of North Africa and Tibet also had much above-average temperatures for the month. Temperatures over western North America continued to be much higher than average: maximum daytime values reached 49°C in Los Angeles County early in September. Record high temperatures were reported late in the month for Paraguay and southern Brazil. It was Australia’s second warmest September on record, after 2013.

Temperatures were predominantly above average over the Antarctic, although it was colder than usual over parts of the ice-covered Ross Sea, as well over a sector westward of it, and over a region centred on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Elsewhere, surface air temperatures over land were for the most part higher than the 1981-2010 average. There were nevertheless several regions where monthly average temperatures were a little below average, notably over and to the south west of the Central Asian highlands, over southern China, and over much of the eastern half of North America.

Air temperatures remained relatively high over the north-eastern Pacific Ocean and over the ocean east of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and Japan. Marine air temperatures elsewhere were largely above the 1981-2010 average. Relatively cool temperatures continued to extend westward over the tropical eastern Pacific as a La Niña event continued to develop. Temperatures over the extratropical oceans of the Southern Hemisphere were cooler than normal in several places. It was slightly cooler than average over parts of the North Atlantic and North Pacific.

Global-mean temperatures were substantially above average in September 2020. The month was:

- 0.63°C warmer than the 1981-2020 average for September
- the warmest September in this data record
- warmer by 0.05°C than September 2019, the previous warmest September
- warmer by 0.08°C than September 2016, the third warmest September.

European-average temperature anomalies are generally larger and more variable than global anomalies. The European-average temperature for September 2020 was:

- the highest on record for September
- 1.8°C above the 1981-2010 average
- 0.2°C above the value for September 2018, the previous warmest September.

Source: ECMWF
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