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Introduction

NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information calculates the global temperature anomaly every month based on preliminary data generated from authoritative datasets of temperature observations from around the globe. The major dataset, NOAAGlobalTemp version 5, updated in mid-2019, uses comprehensive data collections of increased global area coverage over both land and ocean surfaces. NOAAGlobalTempv5 is a reconstructed dataset, meaning that the entire period of record is recalculated each month with new data. Based on those new calculations, the new historical data can bring about updates to previously reported values. These factors, together, mean that calculations from the past may be superseded by the most recent data and can affect the numbers reported in the monthly climate reports. The most current reconstruction analysis is always considered the most representative and precise of the climate system, and it is publicly available through Climate at a Glance.


Temperature

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 and sea surface temperature anomaly analysis. Temperature anomalies for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis. 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.

February 2022

The February 2022 global surface temperature was the seventh highest on record at 0.81°C (1.46°F) above the 20th century average. This value was 0.17°C (0.31°F) warmer than last year's February value (2021), but 0.45°C (0.81°F) cooler than the record-warm February set in 2016. February 2022 also marked the 46th consecutive February and the 446th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th century average.

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The month of February was characterized by cooler-than-average temperatures across North America, Greenland and its surrounding northern Atlantic Ocean, as well as parts of northern Africa, central and southern Asia, Australia, and the central/eastern tropical and southeastern Pacific Ocean. The most notable cold temperatures were observed across parts of Canada, where temperatures were at least 2.5°C (4.5°F) below average. However, no land or ocean areas had record-cold February temperatures.

Meanwhile, temperatures were much above average across Europe, western/northern Russia, the Atlantic, eastern Indian, and northern and western Pacific oceans, as well as parts of Central and South America and southern Africa. Record-warm February temperatures were observed across parts of the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, southwestern Pacific Ocean and across a small area in the southern Indian Ocean. According to the NSIDC, the Arctic, specifically the Eurasian coast and the central Arctic Ocean, had temperatures that were between 1°–8°C (2°–14°F) above average.

Regionally, the Caribbean region had its third-warmest February on record at 0.87°C (1.57°F) above average. Only the Februaries of 2016 and 2020 were warmer.

Europe had a warmer-than-average February with a temperature departure of +3.10°C (5.58°F). This was the seventh-warmest February for Europe. Several countries across Europe had a top 10 warm February.

  • The United Kingdom had its seventh-warmest February at 1.5°C (2.7°F) above the 1991–2020 average. Data records for the United Kingdom extend back to 1884. Regionally, Wales' February temperature tied as the third warmest, while England had its fifth warmest February on record.
  • Warm and dry conditions affected much of Spain during February 2022. Averaged as a whole, Spain's February temperature was 8.9°C (48.0°F), which is 1.9°C (3.4°F) above the 1981–2010 average and the eighth highest for February since national records began in 1961.
  • Germany's February 2022 temperature of 4.4°C (39.9°F) was 2.9°C (5.2°F) above the 1991–2020 average and the sixth highest for February since national records began in 1881.

In addition, South America and Asia had February temperature departures that ranked as their eight-warmest February on record. The Kindgom of Bahrain had a warmer-than-average February (+0.9°C / +1.6°F), ranking as the seventh-warmest since national records began in 1902. Africa and Oceania also had an above-average February; however, their temperature anomalies didn't rank among the top-20 warm Februaries.

With an above-average maximum temperature and a below-average minimum temperature, Australia had a near-average mean February temperature. Regionally, Western Australia had the highest maximum (+1.47°C / +2.65°F) and mean temperature (+0.79°C / +1.42°F) departures for the month. Maximum temperatures above 40°C (104°F) were observed across several locations in western and southern coast areas in Western Australia on February 5 and again on February 11. The very warm temperatures at the beginning of the month contributed to the development of several fires in the region. Of note, a fire in the Central Wheatbelt burned 40,000 hectares of land.

North America was the only continent to have a below-average February temperature at -0.40°C (-0.72°F); however, it didn't rank among the top-20 cold February.

February Ranks and Records
February Anomaly Rank
(out of 143 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.26 ± 0.13 +2.27 ± 0.23 Warmest 11th 2016 +2.41 +4.34
Coolest 133rd 1893 -1.68 -3.02
Ocean +0.64 ± 0.15 +1.15 ± 0.27 Warmest 6th 2016 +0.84 +1.51
Coolest 138th 1904 -0.54 -0.97
Land and Ocean +0.81 ± 0.15 +1.46 ± 0.27 Warmest 7th 2016 +1.26 +2.27
Coolest 137th 1905 -0.63 -1.13
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.47 ± 0.11 +2.65 ± 0.20 Warmest 11th 2016 +2.78 +5.00
Coolest 133rd 1893 -1.98 -3.56
Ocean +0.76 ± 0.14 +1.37 ± 0.25 Warmest 6th 2016 +0.95 +1.71
Coolest 138th 1904 -0.60 -1.08
Land and Ocean +1.03 ± 0.13 +1.85 ± 0.23 Warmest 8th 2016 +1.64 +2.95
Coolest 136th 1893 -1.01 -1.82
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.73 ± 0.14 +1.31 ± 0.25 Warmest 15th 2016 +1.47 +2.65
Coolest 129th 1917 -1.04 -1.87
Ocean +0.55 ± 0.14 +0.99 ± 0.25 Warmest 7th 2016 +0.77 +1.39
Coolest 137th 1911 -0.52 -0.94
Land and Ocean +0.58 ± 0.14 +1.04 ± 0.25 Warmest 10th 2016 +0.87 +1.57
Coolest 134th 1917 -0.60 -1.08

500 mb maps

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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 February 2022 map—is generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.


December 2021–February 2022

The global surface temperature during December 2021–February 2022 was 0.84°C (1.51°F) above the 20th century average, tying with 2015 as the fifth highest in the 143-year global record. The last eight December–February periods (2015–22) rank among the ten warmest such period on record. The global temperature for the December–February period has increased at an average rate of 0.08°C (0.14°F) per decade since 1880 and close to twice that rate (0.15°C /0.27°F) since 1981.

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During the three-month season, much-warmer-than-average temperatures were present across Central and South America, Europe, western/southern Africa, western Russia, and across the Atlantic, northern/eastern Indian and northern/western Pacific Ocean. Record-warm December–February temperatures were observed across parts of the northern/southwestern Pacific Ocean and limited to small areas across Mexico, South America, Asia, Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. Near- to cooler-than-average temperatures were observed across northern North America, northern Africa, southern Asia, northern Atlantic Ocean, as well as the central/eastern tropical and southeastern Pacific Ocean. However, no land or ocean areas had record-cold December–February temperatures.

The December–February period is defined as the Northern Hemisphere's meteorological winter and the Southern Hemisphere's meteorological summer.

Despite having an above-average seasonal temperature, North America and Africa had their coldest December–February period since 2014 and 2015, respectively.

During the three-month period, South America had its fourth-warmest December–February period on record, with a temperature departure of +1.10°C (+1.98°F). Only December–Februarys of 1998, 2016, and 2020 were warmer.

Europe's winter temperature was 2.01°C (3.62°F) above average and was the fifth-highest since continental records began in 1910. Ireland had its sixth-warmest winter in their 123-year record. Winter 2022 marked the seventh consecutive winter with an above-average temperature. According to the Irish Meteorological Service, Ireland's winter temperatures have increased at an average rate of 0.65°C (1.17°F) since 1900. The Netherlands also had their sixth-warmest winter on record, with a temperature that was 1.9°C (3.4°F) above average. Germany also had a national winter temperature that was 1.9°C (3.4°F) above average, resulting in its seventh-warmest winter in the nation's 142-year record. Austria had a winter temperature departure of 2.6°C (4.7°F) above the 1961–1990 average—the eighth-warmest winter in Austria's 255-year record. This winter also marked Austria's 16th consecutive winter with temperatures above average.

Asia had its sixth-warmest December–February on record, while Oceania had its 13th warmest.

December–February Ranks and Records
December–February Anomaly Rank
(out of 143 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.37 ± 0.16 +2.47 ± 0.29 Warmest 6th 2016, 2020 +2.02 +3.64
Coolest 138th 1893 -1.48 -2.66
Ocean +0.65 ± 0.16 +1.17 ± 0.29 Warmest 5th 2016 +0.87 +1.57
Coolest 139th 1904, 1911 -0.48 -0.86
Ties: 2010
Land and Ocean +0.84 ± 0.15 +1.51 ± 0.27 Warmest 5th 2016 +1.18 +2.12
Coolest 139th 1893 -0.60 -1.08
Ties: 2015
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.54 ± 0.18 +2.77 ± 0.32 Warmest 8th 2020 +2.32 +4.18
Coolest 136th 1893 -1.80 -3.24
Ocean +0.79 ± 0.15 +1.42 ± 0.27 Warmest 5th 2016 +1.02 +1.84
Coolest 139th 1904 -0.51 -0.92
Ties: 2018
Land and Ocean +1.07 ± 0.15 +1.93 ± 0.27 Warmest 6th 2016 +1.50 +2.70
Coolest 138th 1893 -1.00 -1.80
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.92 ± 0.13 +1.66 ± 0.23 Warmest 8th 2016 +1.37 +2.47
Coolest 136th 1904, 1917 -0.77 -1.39
Ocean +0.55 ± 0.16 +0.99 ± 0.29 Warmest 7th 2016 +0.76 +1.37
Coolest 137th 1911 -0.49 -0.88
Land and Ocean +0.61 ± 0.16 +1.10 ± 0.29 Warmest 7th 2016 +0.86 +1.55
Coolest 137th 1917 -0.53 -0.95

January–February 2022

The year-to-date global surface temperature was the sixth highest on record at 0.84°C (1.51°F) above average. The year 2022 is very likely to rank among the 10 warmest years on record.

/monitoring-content/sotc/global/2022/feb/global-land-ocean-anomalies-202201-202202.png

Much-warmer-than-average temperatures were observed across Central and South America, Europe, western and northern Russia, northwestern and southern Africa, as well as Atlantic, eastern half of the Indian, and northern and western Pacific oceans. Much of eastern contiguous U.S. and Canada, central/eastern tropical and southeastern Pacific Ocean, northern Atlantic Ocean, northern Africa, southern Asia, and Australia had cooler-than-average January–February temperatures.

Even though North America had an above-average January–February temperature (+0.13°C / +0.23°F), it was the coldest such period since 1996. Similarly, Africa had its coldest such period since 2012.

Europe had its third warmest January–February period on record, behind 1990 and 2020. South America and Asia each had their sixth-warmest such period on record.

January–February Ranks and Records
January–February Anomaly Rank
(out of 143 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.37 ± 0.13 +2.47 ± 0.23 Warmest 8th 2020 +2.16 +3.89
Coolest 136th 1893 -1.83 -3.29
Ocean +0.65 ± 0.15 +1.17 ± 0.27 Warmest 5th 2016 +0.88 +1.58
Coolest 139th 1904 -0.52 -0.94
Land and Ocean +0.84 ± 0.15 +1.51 ± 0.27 Warmest 6th 2016 +1.19 +2.14
Coolest 138th 1893 -0.68 -1.22
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.56 ± 0.15 +2.81 ± 0.27 Warmest 9th 2020 +2.55 +4.59
Coolest 135th 1893 -2.26 -4.07
Ocean +0.78 ± 0.15 +1.40 ± 0.27 Warmest 5th 2016 +1.02 +1.84
Coolest 139th 1904 -0.56 -1.01
Land and Ocean +1.08 ± 0.14 +1.94 ± 0.25 Warmest 5th 2020 +1.53 +2.75
Coolest 139th 1893 -1.17 -2.11
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.88 ± 0.13 +1.58 ± 0.23 Warmest 13th 2016 +1.36 +2.45
Coolest 131st 1918 -0.90 -1.62
Ocean +0.56 ± 0.15 +1.01 ± 0.27 Warmest 7th 2016 +0.78 +1.40
Coolest 137th 1917 -0.53 -0.95
Land and Ocean +0.61 ± 0.15 +1.10 ± 0.27 Warmest 7th 2016 +0.87 +1.57
Coolest 137th 1917 -0.59 -1.06
Ties: 2015

Precipitation

The maps shown below represent precipitation percent of normal (left, using a base period of 1961–1990) and precipitation percentiles (right, using the period of record) based on the GHCN dataset of land surface stations.

February 2022

As is typical, precipitation anomalies during February 2022 varied significantly around the world. February precipitation was generally drier than normal across the western, central, and southeastern parts of the contiguous U.S., northeastern Brazil, northern Argentina, southern Chile, southern Europe, southern/eastern parts of Asia, and Australia. Wetter-than-normal conditions were notable across parts of the eastern contiguous, Alaska, northern Europe, western Russia, and eastern and southeastern Asia.

The United Kingdom's precipitation total for February 2022 was 152% of normal, resulting in the eighth-wettest February since national precipitation records began in 1836.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory, a stronger-than-normal winter monsoon affected southern China during February 2022, contributing to wetter and cooler conditions during the month. During February 19–22, rain fell continuously, contributing to Hong Kong's monthly total of 168.5 mm (6.6 inches), which is more than four times the normal monthly value (38.9 mm / 1.5 inches). The January–February 2022 period had an accumulated total of 172.6 mm (6.8 inches)—over two times the normal value of 71.9 mm (2.8 inches).

Drier-than-average conditions engulfed much of Spain during February 2022, with only 10.9 mm (0.4 inch) or 21% of normal precipitation for the month. This value was the third lowest for February since national records began in 1961.

Heavy rain in northern Puerto Rico at the beginning of the month triggered dangerous floods, landslides, downed trees and power lines, forcing authorities to close several main roads. It was reported that up to 152 mm (6 inches) of rain fell within six hours. According to media reports, the town of Toa Alta had the most rain with 406 mm (16 inches) during February 4–6. The city of San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital, had a monthly rainfall total of 301 mm (11.85 inches), which is San Juan's wettest February on record and the eighth-wettest month for any month on record, according to data obtained from the San Juan National Weather Service.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, the city of Petropolis (located north of Rio de Janeiro) set a new record precipitation record when a total of 258.8 mm (10.2 inches) fell in just 24 hours on February 15. The torrential rain prompted flash floods that caused widespread damage and was responsible for at least 30 fatalities.

Cyclone Emnati impacted Madagascar just days after Cyclone Batsirai and Tropical Storm Dumako—the first time since January 1988 that three storms made landfall in Madagascar in a single month. Emnati brought strong winds and heavy rain to the region. Homes were flooded or damaged and several communities were left without power and water.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, heavy rain fell in southeastern Queensland from February 22–28, with several locations receiving over twice their February average rainfall. The torrential rains have caused significant floods. Of note, the Mary River at Gympie reached its highest level since 1893.

December 2021–February 2022

During December 2021–February 2022, precipitation varied significantly around the world. December–February precipitation was generally drier than normal across much of central and southern contiguous U.S., Mexico, northern Argentina, western and southern Europe, southwestern and eastern parts of Asia, and southwestern and southern Australia. Wetter-than-normal conditions were notable across parts of Alaska, northern contiguous U.S., southern Argentina, northern Europe, western and southern Asia, and central and southeastern Australia.

Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP)

The following analysis is based upon the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) Interim Climate Data Record. It is provided courtesy of the GPCP Principal Investigator team at the University of Maryland.

February, the last month of the Northern Hemisphere's meteorological winter had its tropical precipitation patterns pushed to the south across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and the South American and African continents (see the mean precipitation map for this month in Fig. 1 [top panel]). In mid-latitudes precipitation features stretch from the eastern U.S. through the North Atlantic into Europe and from eastern China to northwest North America. The anomaly patterns in the bottom two panels of Fig. 1 display features across the tropical Pacific that are typical for La Niña conditions, with positive anomalies over the Maritime Content and northern South America and a negative anomaly centered at about the international date line and extending to the east to the South American coast and southeastward into the South Pacific. This typical La Niña pattern is related to lower-than-average SSTs in the central/eastern Pacific along the Equator and these temperature and rainfall conditions have been persistent to a varying degree for almost two years (roughly the timeline of the Covid epidemic). This lengthy La Niña is also atypical in that it developed on its own and didn't originate immediately following an El Niño event, as often happens.

Outside the tropical Pacific the La Niña effect is also evident in some other locations, including the dry (negative anomalies) zone extending northeastward from the western Pacific, across Hawaii and into the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. This typical La Niña feature has helped to extend in time and increase the intensity of the long-term drought in the southwest U.S. On the wet side, the La Niña-related positive anomaly features over the Maritime Continent and northern South America were associated with rainy season floods and landslides in Malaysia and Indonesia and also in Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil.

Australia typically has above average rainfall under La Niña conditions, but the maps in Fig. 1 show a mixed pattern, with rainfall deficits, especially to the north, but a small, but intense, positive anomaly centered on the country's east coast. This feature was associated with recurring storm systems that pummeled southeast Queensland and the Brisbane area further south with very heavy rains and devastating floods late in the month. The Indian Ocean has a spotty anomaly pattern, and was a scene of tropical cyclone activity during the month. A trio of storms tracked from the central part of the ocean southwestward and targeted Madagascar and Mozambique. Their precipitation and their movement produce the narrow tracks and maxima surrounding the island country. The results were floods and landslides and loss of life.

Further poleward, Pacific extratropical systems stayed predominantly north of the U.S. west coast for the month, but with positive anomalies into Alaska and into western Canada. In the mid-latitude Atlantic the storm track, as indicated by the precipitation anomalies, is shifted toward the north this month. The associated positive anomaly crosses New England and Canada's maritime provinces and stretches across the ocean and into the United Kingdom and northern Europe. Embedded in this monthly mean feature are cyclone-scale intense systems that brought floods to the UK, for example.

On a global scale, the ocean has a small deficit from the long-term mean, while the land is near neutral, somewhat typical for La Ni–a conditions. This leads to a global (land + ocean) total for this February of 2.70 mm d-1, slightly under the 1979–2021 mean.

For the last three months (December–February) the mean map and the anomaly pattern (Fig. 2, top and middle panels) display the usual climatological features, but with many of the positive and negative anomaly features typical of La Niña that has continued during this season. The La Niña connection is emphasized by the bottom panel which shows a composite for the season of previous months where La Niña was present. Comparing the composite to the anomaly map for this past season, it is immediately obvious that there is a positive correlation in the patterns from the Maritime Continent eastward through the tropical (and mid-latitude) Pacific into the Americas and extending into the Atlantic (again both in the tropics and in mid-latitudes). The pattern for the season across North America, and over the ocean on both sides, is very similar to the la Niña composite. Over Australia, which typically has significant rains during La Niña, the last three months show a more mixed pattern, although a positive anomaly in the southeast of the country is linked to the February floods already noted. Other regions have non-La Niña related anomalies, including the African continent, and southern Asia which generally shows a positive anomaly in what is normally the dry season there.


References

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  • Adler, R., G. Gu, M. Sapiano, J. Wang, G. Huffman 2017. Global Precipitation: Means, Variations and Trends During the Satellite Era (1979-2014). Surveys in Geophysics 38: 679-699, doi:10.1007/s10712-017-9416-4
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Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Monthly Global Climate Report for February 2022, published online March 2022, retrieved on July 4, 2022 from https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global/202202.

Metadata

https://data.nodc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/iso?id=gov.noaa.ncdc:C00672