Global Highlights:

  • Based on preliminary data, globally averaged combined land and sea surface temperature was 13th warmest on record for January 2006.
  • January temperatures were above average in North America, Scandinavia and parts of Australia. Colder-than-average conditions occurred in Alaska, Eastern Europe and a large part of Asia.
  • Precipitation during January was above average in the Amazon Basin, western Australia and the U.S. Great Lakes, with drier-than-average conditions in Europe, eastern Brazil and the southeastern U.S.
  • ENSO transitioned to a cool phase as sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were slightly below normal across the equatorial Pacific during January, indicative of La Niña conditions.

Contents of this Section:

The data presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may change as more complete data are received and processed. The most current data may be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

Top of PageIntroduction

Temperature anomalies for January 2006 are shown on the two maps below. The dot map on the left provides a spatial representation of anomalies calculated from the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) data set of land surface stations using a 1961-1990 base period. The map on the right is a product of a merged land surface and sea surface temperature anomaly analysis which is based on data from the GHCN of land temperatures and the Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (COADS) of Sea-Surface Temperature (SST) data. Temperature anomalies with respect to 1961-1990 for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis. Additional information on this product is available.

During January 2006, temperatures were more than 3°C above average across Canada, the U.S., Scandinavia and the majority of China. Cooler than average temperatures were observed in the Iberian Peninsula, Algeria, Alaska, Eastern Europe, and most of Asia with some anomalies exceeding -5°C.

Warmer than average SSTs occurred over the North Atlantic and South Pacific. Cooler than average conditions were observed in the Niño 3.4 region and off the coast of western Australia.
Current month's Land Surface Temperature Dot map
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Current month's blended Land and sea surface Temperature Dot map
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The mean position of upper level ridges of high pressure and troughs of low pressure (depicted by positive and negative 500 millibar height anomalies on the January 2006 map) are generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively. For other Global products see the Climate Monitoring Global Products page.

Images of sea surface temperature conditions are available for all weeks during 2006 at the weekly SST page.

Top of Page Temperature Rankings and Graphics

Effective with the January 2006 report, NCDC transitioned from the use of the Operational Global Surface Temperature Index (Quayle et al. 1999) to the blended land and ocean dataset developed by Smith and Reynolds (2005). The differences between the two methods are discussed in Smith et al. 2005.
Current Month
January Anomaly Rank Warmest Year on Record


Land and Ocean

+0.28°C (+0.50°F)
+0.38°C (+0.68°F)
+0.36°C (+0.65°F)

34th warmest
6th warmest
13th warmest

2002 (+1.44°C/2.59°F)
1998 (+0.52°C/0.94°F)
2002 (+0.69°C/1.24°F)

Northern Hemisphere

Land and Ocean

+0.11°C (+0.20°F)
+0.32°C (+0.58°F)
+0.24°C (+0.43°F)

52nd warmest
7th warmest
30th warmest

2002 (+1.87°C/3.37°F)
1998 (+0.51°C/0.92°F)
2002 (+0.93°C/1.67°F)

Southern Hemisphere

Land and Ocean

+0.78°C (+1.40°F)
+0.44°C (+0.79°F)
+0.49°C (+0.88°F)

7th warmest
4th warmest

2nd - 1977 (+0.76°C/1.37°F)
1998 (+0.55°C/0.99°F)
1998 (+0.58°C/1.04°F)

Global Land and Ocean Triad plot
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Global Hemisphere Triad plot
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The most current data may be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

Top of Page Precipitation

The maps below represent anomaly values based on the GHCN data set of land surface stations using a base period of 1961-1990. During January 2006, above average precipitation fell over areas that include the Amazon Basin, Iceland, southern Chile, eastern Australia and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes and Northeast regions. Below average precipitation was observed in western Brazil, the majority of Europe, the western coast of Canada, along the U.S. Gulf Coast and parts of Indonesia.

Precipitation Dot map in Millimeters for January
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Percent Precipitation Dot map for January
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Top of Page ENSO SST Analysis

Last week of the month's ENSO condtions Map
Click here for animated loop

  • SSTs were below average in the equatorial Pacific Ocean during January, indicative of La Niña conditions (shown in the adjacent animation of weekly sea surface temperature anomalies). A comprehensive summary of January 2006 ENSO conditions can be found on the ENSO monitoring page. For the latest advisory on ENSO conditions go to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and the CPC ENSO Diagnostic Discussion

  • Images of sea surface temperature conditions are available for all weeks during 2006 at the weekly SST page

Top of Page References

Peterson, T.C. and R.S. Vose, 1997: An Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network Database. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., 78, 2837-2849.

Quayle, R. G., T. C. Peterson, A. N. Basist, and C. S. Godfrey, 1999: An operational near-real-time global temperature index. Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 333-335.

Smith, T. M., and R. W. Reynolds (2005), A global merged land air and sea surface temperature reconstruction based on historical observations (1880-1997), J. Clim., 18, 2021-2036.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Monthly Global Climate Report for January 2006, published online February 2006, retrieved on July 21, 2024 from