Selected significant global climate anomalies and events, March 2013. Graphic: NCDC

Global Highlights

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for March 2013 tied with 2006 as the 10th warmest on record, at 0.58°C (1.04°F) above the 20th century average of 12.3°C (54.1°F).
  • The global land surface temperature was 1.06°C (1.91°F) above the 20th century average of 5.0°C (40.8°F), the 11th warmest March on record. For the ocean, the March global sea surface temperature was 0.41°C (0.74°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.7°F), making it the ninth warmest March on record.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–March period (year-to-date) was 0.58°C (1.04°F) above the 20th century average of 12.3°C (54.1°F), the eighth warmest such period on record. […]

Select national information is highlighted below:

  • Above-average temperatures continued for Australia during March. The monthly nationally-averaged maximum temperature was 0.66°C (1.18°F) above the 1961–1990 average. The state of Tasmania was record warm (2.86°C / 5.15°F above average), shattering the previous record of +1.94°C (+3.49°F) set in 1971. For the eighth month in a row (since August 2012), every state and territory across the country had an above-average monthly maximum temperature. The nationally-averaged March minimum temperature was 0.82°C (1.47°F) above average, with Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and the Northern Territory observing their top 10 warmest Marches on record.
  • High pressure systems brought above-average March temperatures to most of New Zealand. The nationally-averaged March temperature was 0.9°C (1.6°F) above the 1971–2010 average, with temperatures more than 1.2°C (2.2°F) above average across northern and central areas of the North Island and southern and western parts of the South Island.
  • The UK experienced its coldest March since 1962 (tied for second coldest since records began in 1910), with the average temperature 3.3°C (5.9°F) below the 1981–2010 average. It was also the coolest of any month since December 2010. No region was warmer than average for the the month.
  • In Norway, the average March temperature was 3.0°C (5.4°F) below the 1971–2000 average. The largest negative departures of 4°–6°C (7°–11°F) occurred at the higher altitudes of southern Norway and Finnmark plateau, according to Meteorologisk institutt.
  • Germany observed its fifth coolest March since records began in 1881 and second coolest in the past 50 years, with the monthly average temperature 4.2°C (7.6°F) below the 1981–2010 average.
  • March was cooler than average across all of Hungary, with temperatures up to 3°C (5.4°F) below normal for the month. The coolest anomalies were observed across the northern tier of the country.
  • It was the second warmest March for China, behind 2008, since records began in 1961. According to the Beijing Climate Center, the provinces of Chongqing, Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, and Yunnan reported record warmth for the month. Northern and eastern Xinjiang, Gansu, far western Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, western, eastern Sichuan, and Guizhou provinces observed temperatures that were 4°–6°C (7°–11°F) above the 1981–2010 average.
  • March was generally warmer than average across Japan. Eastern and western Japan, along with Okinawa and Amami, had temperatures that were "significantly above normal", according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. [more]

State of the Climate, March 2013

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