Temperature anomalies and percentiles are shown on the gridded maps below. The anomaly map on the left is a product of a merged land surface temperature (Global Historical Climatology Network, GHCN) and sea surface temperature (ERSST.v4) anomaly analysis as described in Huang et al. (2016). Temperature anomalies for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis. For more information, please visit NCEI's Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page. The percentile map on the right provides additional information by placing the temperature anomaly observed for a specific place and time period into historical perspective, showing how the most current month, season or year compares with the past.


In the atmosphere, 500-millibar height pressure anomalies correlate well with temperatures at the Earth's surface. The average position of the upper-level ridges of high pressure and troughs of low pressure—depicted by positive and negative 500-millibar height anomalies on the October 2018 map—is generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies, respectively, at the surface.


October 2018 was characterized by warmer-than-average temperatures across much of the world's land and ocean surfaces. The most notable warm temperature departures from average were observed across the Northern Hemisphere, specifically central and eastern Russia and Alaska, where temperatures were 5.0°C (9.0°F) above average or higher. Record warm temperatures were observed in these areas, but also in the Barents Sea, the Bering Strait, the waters along the eastern coast of the contiguous U.S., and across parts of Africa, the southern Atlantic Ocean, and northern Australia. Near- to cooler-than-average conditions were present across much of North America, Greenland and its surrounding ocean, parts of southern Asia, eastern Indian Ocean, and southern Atlantic Ocean. The most notable cool temperature departure from average was observed across much of Canada and parts of the contiguous U.S., where temperatures were 1.0°C (1.8°F) below average or lower.

According to NCEI's Regional Analysis, four of six continents had an October temperature that ranked among the four highest for October since regional records began in 1910. Of note, Asia and Europe had their third highest October temperature on record at 1.65°C (2.97°F) and 1.67°C (3.01°F) above average, respectively. Oceania had its fourth highest October temperature on record. South America and Africa had their ninth and tenth highest on record, respectively. Meanwhile, North America's October temperature was 0.07°C (0.13°F) below average, marking the first time October temperatures were below average since 2009. Regionally, the Caribbean Islands, the Atlantic Main Development Region (MDR), and the East North Pacific had their coolest October since 2008, 2001, and 2013, respectively. The Gulf of Mexico had its second highest October temperature (tied with 1941) at 1.05°C (1.89°F) above average, which is 0.40°C (0.72°F) less than the record set in 2016. The Hawaiian region had third warmest October since 1910 at 0.94°C (1.69°F) above average. The warmest October for the Hawaiian region was set in 1968 at 1.23°C (2.21°F) above average and 2015 ranks as the second warmest October at 1.21°C (2.18°F).

Averaged as a whole, the temperature across the global land and ocean surfaces was 0.86°C (1.55°F) above the 20th century average and placed as the second highest October temperature since global records began in 1880. The record warm October was set in 2015 at +0.99°C (+1.78°F). This marks the 42nd consecutive October and the 406th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th century average.

The globally-averaged land-only surface temperature during October 2018 was 1.24°C (2.23°F) above the 20th century average and was also the second highest October in the 139-year record, trailing behind 2015 by 0.10°C (0.18°F). The global oceans temperature tied with 2016 as the second highest October temperature since global records began in 1880 at 0.72°C (1.30°F) above average. This value is 0.15°C (0.27°F) less than the record set in 2015.

Select national information is highlighted below. Please note that different countries report anomalies with respect to different base periods. The information provided here is based directly upon these data:

  • Finland had warmer-than-average conditions during October 2018, with temperature departures from average as high as 1.0°C (1.8°F) above average in the central and southern parts of the nation. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institut, a new national warm October maximum temperature was set when temperatures soared to 20.9°C (69.6°F) on October 14 in Kruunupyy at Kokkola-Pietarsaari Airport. This new record surpasses the previous record set in 1985 in Helsinki at Malmi airfield by 1.5°C (2.7°F).
  • The Kingdom of Bahrain had its third highest mean October temperature since national records began in 1902 at 30.9°C (87.6°F) or 1.7°C (3.1°F) above average. This value falls behind 2015 (31.7°C / 89.1°F) and 2017 (31.1°C / 88.0°F). The national maximum and minimum temperatures were 1.0°C (1.7°F) and 2.4°C (4.3°F) above average, respectively. The national minimum temperature was the third highest for October since 1946, behind 2015 (+3.4°C / +6.1°F) and 2014 (+2.7°C / +4.9°F).
  • De Bilt, Netherlands had a total of 10 warm days (maximum temperature ≥ 20.0°C (68.0°F), which is 8 more than normal for October. This marks the fourth time since 1901 that October has seen so many warm days (1921, 1959, and 1969). Also of note, De Bilt had a maximum temperature of 13.3°C (55.9°F) on October 13—the highest temperature for the month of October so late in the year in over a century.
  • Near-average temperatures were present across much of New Zealand during October 2018. New Zealand's nationwide average temperature was 12.4°C (54.3°F) or 0.3°C (0.5°F) above the 1981–2010 average.
  • Australia's October 2018 mean temperature was 1.83°C (3.29°F) above the 1961–1990 average and the fourth highest since national temperature records began in 1910. The nation's above-average mean temperature was mainly driven by the warmer-than-average minimum temperature (+1.81°C / +3.3°F), which ranked as the second warmest October minimum temperature on record. The nation's record minimum temperature for October was set in 2015 (+2.34°C / +4.21°F). The nation's maximum temperature was also warmer than average at 1.84°C (3.31°F) above average and the ninth highest October maximum temperature in the nation's 109-year record. Regionally, Northern Territory had its second highest mean temperature at +2.03°C (+3.65°F), behind 1988 (+2.41°C / +4.34°F). Queensland and New South Wales had their third highest October temperature on record and Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia had an October temperature that ranked among the seven highest on record.

ENSO-neutral conditions continued across the tropical Pacific Ocean during October 2018. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, El Niño is expected to develop and continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter (Southern Hemisphere summer). This forecast focuses on the ocean surface temperatures between 5°N and 5°S latitude and 170°W to 120°W longitude, called the Niño 3.4 region.

October Ranks and Records
(out of 139 years)
Land+1.24 ± 0.19+2.23 ± 0.34Warmest2nd2015+1.34+2.41
Ocean+0.72 ± 0.15+1.30 ± 0.27Warmest2nd2015+0.87+1.57
Ties: 2016
Land and Ocean+0.86 ± 0.15+1.55 ± 0.27Warmest2nd2015+0.99+1.78
Northern Hemisphere
Land+1.25 ± 0.21+2.25 ± 0.38Warmest2nd2011+1.33+2.39
Ties: 2015
Ocean+0.83 ± 0.14+1.49 ± 0.25Warmest4th2015+1.06+1.91
Land and Ocean+0.99 ± 0.19+1.78 ± 0.34Warmest2nd2015+1.13+2.03
Southern Hemisphere
Land+1.21 ± 0.16+2.18 ± 0.29Warmest3rd2015+1.57+2.83
Ocean+0.62 ± 0.15+1.12 ± 0.27Warmest3rd2015+0.73+1.31
Land and Ocean+0.72 ± 0.14+1.30 ± 0.25Warmest2nd2015+0.86+1.55
Ties: 2014
Land and Ocean+2.16 ± 0.38+3.89 ± 0.68Warmest1st2018+2.16+3.89

The most current data can be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

Year-to-date (January–October)

The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the first ten months of 2018 was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average and the fourth highest January–October period in the 139-year record. The warmest January–October global land and ocean surface temperature occurred in 2016 at +0.98°C (+1.76°F). The global land-only and the global ocean-only surface temperatures were also fourth warmest on record. Warmer-than-average temperatures were observed across much of the world's surface, with record warm temperatures across much of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea and across parts of Russia, the Barents Sea, New Zealand and its surrounding ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, the contiguous U.S., and Australia.

Based on three simple scenarios, the 2018 global land and ocean temperature will likely end up among the five highest temperatures on record.

According to NCEI's Regional Analysis, five of six continents had a January–October temperature that ranked among the seven highest such period on record. Of note, Europe had its highest January–October temperature on record at 1.84°C (3.31°F) above average. This value exceeded the previous record set in 2014 by 0.13°C (0.23°F).

Regionally, the January–October period ranked as the second warmest on record for the Gulf of Mexico region at 0.84°C (1.51°F), trailing behind 2016 by 0.03°C (0.05°F). The Hawaiian region had its fourth warmest such period on record. Meanwhile, the Caribbean Islands had its lowest January–October temperature since 2012 and the 12th highest such period since records began in 1910. The Atlantic MDR had its coolest such period since 2009.

January–October Ranks and Records
(out of 139 years)
Land+1.13 ± 0.16+2.03 ± 0.29Warmest4th2016+1.50+2.70
Coolest136th1885, 1893-0.59-1.06
Ocean+0.64 ± 0.18+1.15 ± 0.32Warmest4th2016+0.79+1.42
Ties: 2014
Land and Ocean+0.77 ± 0.17+1.39 ± 0.31Warmest4th2016+0.98+1.76
Northern Hemisphere
Land+1.19 ± 0.19+2.14 ± 0.34Warmest5th2016+1.65+2.97
Ocean+0.73 ± 0.17+1.31 ± 0.31Warmest5th2016+0.89+1.60
Coolest135th1904, 1908, 1909-0.48-0.86
Land and Ocean+0.91 ± 0.17+1.64 ± 0.31Warmest4th2016+1.18+2.12
Southern Hemisphere
Land+0.97 ± 0.13+1.75 ± 0.23Warmest4th2017+1.14+2.05
Ties: 2005
Ocean+0.56 ± 0.18+1.01 ± 0.32Warmest4th2016+0.71+1.28
Ties: 2010, 2014
Land and Ocean+0.63 ± 0.17+1.13 ± 0.31Warmest4th2016+0.78+1.40
Land and Ocean+1.32 ± 0.14+2.38 ± 0.25Warmest8th2016+2.21+3.98

The most current data can be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.



The maps below represent precipitation percent of normal (left, using a base period of 1961–90) and precipitation percentiles (right, using the period of record) based on the GHCN dataset of land surface stations. As is typical, precipitation anomalies varied significantly around the world. Precipitation during October 2018 was generally drier than normal across Canada, the western and southern Pacific Islands, northeastern Brazil, and southern parts of South America, central Europe, central Russia, Mongolia, eastern China, India, Japan, and across parts of Australia. Wetter-than-normal conditions were notable across much of the contiguous U.S., Alaska, Paraguay, and parts of Argentina, northern and western Africa, southeastern Europe, western Russia, South Korea, northern Japan and parts of western Australia.

Select national information is highlighted below. (Please note that different countries report anomalies with respect to different base periods. The information provided here is based directly upon these data):

  • Above-average precipitation was observed across the Kingdom of Bahrain in October 2018. Bahrain's International Airport had a monthly precipitation 19.9 mm (0.8 inch), which is 40 times more than the monthly average of 0.5 mm (0.02 inch) and the highest October precipitation total at this location since 1902. Only three days of rain were observed in Bahrain's International Airport, with Oct 22 having the highest daily precipitation of 11.6 mm (0.5 inch) and resulted in October's wettest day since 1948. The previous daily record for October was set on October 31, 1969 when 8.9 mm (0.3 inch) of rain fell.
  • Precipitation totals across the Island of Fiji were above average to well above average, with the exception of Rotuma which was the only station that had below-average precipitation during October 2018. Although it was very wet across Fiji, several stations (Monasavu, Udu Point, Nabouwalu, Matei Airfield, and Vanubalavu) had more than three times their monthly normal rainfall totals. The stations Nabouwalu (632.4 mm), Udu Point (546.1 mm), Matei Airfield (717.2 mm), and Monasavu (1200.5 mm) set new record high precipitation totals for the month of October since records began in 1918, 1946, 1956, and 1980, respectively.
  • Australia, as a whole, had above average precipitation at +11%. Regionally, Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory had above-average precipitation. Meanwhile, Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia had below-average precipitation. Of note, Tasmania had its third direst October since records began in 1900.


Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Monthly Global Climate Report for October 2018, published online November 2018, retrieved on April 23, 2024 from