Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Extent

November 2023Snow Cover ExtentAnomaly
1991-2020
Trend
per decade
Rank
(58 years)
Record
million km²million mi²million km²million mi²million km²million mi²Year(s)million km²million mi²
Northern Hemisphere35.5913.74+0.54+0.21+0.51+0.20Largest17th199338.6014.90
Smallest42nd197928.2810.92
North America13.595.25-0.28-0.11+0.19+0.07Largest28th201815.726.07
Smallest31st197911.484.43
Eurasia21.998.49+0.81+0.31+0.31+0.12Largest16th199324.139.32
Smallest43rd197916.806.49

Data Source: Global Snow Laboratory, Rutgers University. Period of record: 1966–2023 (58 years)

The Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent for November 2023 was 35.59 million square kilometers (13.74 million square miles), which was 540,000 square kilometers (210,000 square miles) above the 1991–2020 average.

This ranked as the 17th-largest Northern Hemisphere November snow extent on record.

The North America and Greenland snow cover extent for November was 13.59 million square kilometers (5.25 million square miles), which was 280,000 square kilometers (110,000 square miles) below the 1991–2020 average. This ranked as a near-normal November snow cover extent (28th largest, 31st smallest) for the region.

Above-average November snow cover extent was observed across eastern and southern parts of the U.S. Midwest, as well as parts of the northeastern U.S., southern Alaska, and central and eastern Canada. Parts of the western and central U.S. and the Nova Scotia region in Canada had below-average extent.

Snow cover extent over Eurasia in November was 21.99 million square kilometers (8.49 million square miles), which was 810,000 square kilometers (310,000 square miles) above the 1991–2020 average. This was the 16th-largest November Eurasian snow cover extent on record.

Most of northern Europe, northwestern and eastern Russia, northeastern China, Mongolia, and parts of central China and southeastern Europe had above-average snow cover extent this month. Parts of Turkey, southwestern Russia, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan had below-average extent for November.


Sea Ice Extent

The sea ice extent data for the Arctic and Antarctic are provided by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and are measured from passive microwave instruments onboard NOAA Satellites. The sea ice extent period of record is from 1979–2023 for a total of 45 years.

November 2023Sea Ice ExtentAnomaly
1991-2020
Trend
per decade
Rank
(45 years)
Record
million km²million mi²Year(s)million km²million mi²
Northern Hemisphere9.663.73-4.73%-4.83%Largest39th198211.634.49
Smallest8th20168.663.34
Ties: 2006
Southern Hemisphere14.275.51-10.08%-0.57%Largest44th201316.876.51
Smallest2nd201614.225.49
Globe23.939.24-8.00%-2.23%Largest44th198027.5110.62
Smallest2nd201622.888.83

Data Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Period of record: 1979–2023 (45 years)

November 2023 global sea ice extent ranked second lowest on record for the month at 23.93 million square kilometers (9.24 million square miles). November 2016 holds the record for smallest November sea ice extent on record (22.88 million square kilometers or 8.83 million square miles). After six months of record-breaking low levels of sea ice extent in the Antarctic, this month ranked second smallest on record for the region.

The Arctic sea ice extent for November 2023 tied 2006 as the eighth smallest in the satellite record at 9.66 million square kilometers (3.73 million square miles). This was 480,000 square kilometers (190,000 square miles) below the 1991–2020 average.

Sea ice extent was below average in the Baffin and Hudson Bays, and the Barents, Bering, Kara, and Chukchi Seas. The central Arctic Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk had near-normal extents for November. The Greenland Sea and the Sea of Japan had slightly above-average sea ice extent for November.

The November 2023 Antarctic sea ice extent ranked second lowest on record at 14.27 million square kilometers (5.51 million square miles), or 1.60 million square kilometers (620,000 square miles) below the 1991–2020 average. This was about 50,000 square kilometers (20,000 square miles) above the record-low November from 2016.


Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Monthly Global Snow and Ice Report for November 2023, published online December 2023, retrieved on April 19, 2024 from https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global-snow/202311.