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 These factors, together, mean that calculations from the past may be superseded by the most recent data and can affect the numbers reported in the monthly climate reports.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.

May 2022

The May global surface temperature was 1.39°F (0.77°C) above the 20th-century average of 58.6°F (14.8°C). This ranks as the ninth-warmest May in the 143-year record, 0.30°F (0.17°C) cooler than the warmest May months (2016 and 2020). It was the coolest May since 2013, but it still marked the 46th consecutive May and the 449th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average. The ten warmest May months have all occurred from 2010 to present.

There are several top-10 ranks to note for May 2022. In particular, it was the eighth-warmest May for the global ocean, the eighth-warmest for the Northern Hemisphere as a whole, the eighth-warmest for Europe (associated with a heatwave in southwestern Europe), and the sixth-warmest for Asia (associated with above-average temperatures in western Siberia).

May Ranks and Records
(out of 143 years)
Land+1.12 ± 0.11+2.02 ± 0.20Warmest11th2020+1.38+2.48
Ties: 2013
Ocean+0.64 ± 0.14+1.15 ± 0.25Warmest8th2016+0.80+1.44
Land and Ocean+0.77 ± 0.13+1.39 ± 0.23Warmest9th2016, 2020+0.94+1.69
Ties: 2010
Northern Hemisphere
Land+1.29 ± 0.11+2.32 ± 0.20Warmest8th2020+1.61+2.90
Ocean+0.73 ± 0.14+1.31 ± 0.25Warmest8th2020+0.95+1.71
Land and Ocean+0.95 ± 0.13+1.71 ± 0.23Warmest8th2020+1.20+2.16
Southern Hemisphere
Land+0.68 ± 0.11+1.22 ± 0.20Warmest22nd2019+1.28+2.30
Ocean+0.58 ± 0.15+1.04 ± 0.27Warmest10th2016+0.73+1.31
Land and Ocean+0.60 ± 0.14+1.08 ± 0.25Warmest12th2016+0.80+1.44
Land and Ocean+1.69 ± 0.10+3.04 ± 0.18Warmest10th2016+2.15+3.87

Over the land surface, the largest warm anomaly in May was centered over north-central Asia, and the largest cold anomaly was centered over eastern Europe, with departures from average exceeding 4°C in both areas. Elsewhere, air temperatures were above average in southern and eastern North America, western Europe, central Africa, and most of Australia, while they were below average across parts of western North America, much of South America, parts of northern and southern Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Sea surface temperatures in May were above average across much of the northern and western Pacific, parts of the southeastern Pacific, and most of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Consistent with La Niña, sea surface temperatures were below average over much of the tropical and southern subtropical eastern Pacific.

Approximately 7% of the world's surface had a record-high temperature in May — the third highest May percentage since 1951. Record-high temperatures were apparent over 6% of the land surface (such as in western Europe, central Asia, and the Horn of Africa) and over about 8% of the ocean surface (particularly in the southern subtropical eastern Pacific). None of the world's surface had a record-cold temperature in May.

There were a number of significant temperature anomalies and events for May. Record-breaking temperatures contributed to a hot and dry May across southern, central and western Europe, with France having its warmest May on record. Extreme heat continued to persist throughout Pakistan and India, and Pakistan recorded its first 50°C (122°F) temperature of the year. New Zealand had its third-warmest May on record.

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


March–May 2022

The March-May 2022 global surface temperature was 1.53°F (0.85°C) above the 20th-century average. This ranks as the sixth-warmest March-May period in the 143-year record, 0.49°F (0.27°C) cooler than the warmest March-May period (2016). The ten warmest March-May periods have all occurred from 2010 to present.

The March-May period is defined as the Northern Hemisphere’s meteorological spring and the Southern Hemisphere’s meteorological fall. The Northern Hemisphere spring 2022 temperature was the fifth warmest on record, and the Southern Hemisphere autumn temperature was the 10th warmest on record.

Asia had its fourth warmest spring on record.

March–May Ranks and Records
(out of 143 years)
Land+1.40 ± 0.13+2.52 ± 0.23Warmest5th2016+1.91+3.44
Ocean+0.65 ± 0.15+1.17 ± 0.27Warmest6th2016+0.83+1.49
Ties: 2018
Land and Ocean+0.85 ± 0.15+1.53 ± 0.27Warmest6th2016+1.12+2.02
Coolest138th1911, 1917-0.56-1.01
Ties: 2018
Northern Hemisphere
Land+1.61 ± 0.16+2.90 ± 0.29Warmest5th2016+2.15+3.87
Ocean+0.76 ± 0.14+1.37 ± 0.25Warmest6th2020+0.95+1.71
Coolest138th1904, 1911, 1917-0.49-0.88
Ties: 2018
Land and Ocean+1.08 ± 0.14+1.94 ± 0.25Warmest5th2016+1.38+2.48
Coolest139th1909, 1917-0.61-1.10
Southern Hemisphere
Land+0.86 ± 0.12+1.55 ± 0.22Warmest12th2016, 2019+1.31+2.36
Ocean+0.58 ± 0.16+1.04 ± 0.29Warmest8th2016+0.78+1.40
Ties: 2014
Land and Ocean+0.62 ± 0.15+1.12 ± 0.27Warmest10th2016+0.86+1.55
Ties: 2014
Land and Ocean+1.94 ± 0.25+3.49 ± 0.45Warmest10th2019+2.93+5.27

Over the land surface, air temperatures for the season were above average in southern and eastern North America, central South America, western Europe, much of central and eastern Africa, and almost all of Asia and Australia. Parts of south-central Asia (e.g., Afghanistan, Pakistan, northwest India, western China) experienced multiple heat waves and were record warm. Air temperatures were below average across parts of northern and western North America, southern South America, eastern Europe, and southern Africa.

Sea surface temperatures for the season were above average across much of the northern and western Pacific, parts of the southeastern Pacific, and most of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Consistent with La Niña, sea surface temperatures were below average over much of the tropical and southern subtropical eastern Pacific.

None of the world's surface had a record-cold temperature in the March-May period.

January–May 2022

The January-May 2022 global surface temperature was 1.53°F (0.85°C) above the 20th-century average. This ranks as the sixth-warmest January-May period in the 143-year record, 0.54°F (0.30°C) cooler than the warmest January-May period (2016). The ten warmest January-May periods have all occurred from 2010 to present. According to NCEI’s Global Annual Temperature Rankings Outlook, there is a 99% chance that 2022 will rank among the 10-warmest years on record but less than a 10% chance that it will rank among the top five.

There are several top-10 ranks to note for January-May 2022. In particular, it was the fifth-warmest January-May period for the Northern Hemisphere as a whole, the eighth-warmest for the Southern Hemisphere, the fourth-warmest for Asia, and the seventh-warmest for Oceania.

January–May Ranks and Records
(out of 143 years)
Land+1.38 ± 0.14+2.48 ± 0.25Warmest6th2016+1.96+3.53
Ties: 2007
Ocean+0.65 ± 0.17+1.17 ± 0.31Warmest5th2016+0.85+1.53
Coolest139th1904, 1911-0.50-0.90
Land and Ocean+0.85 ± 0.16+1.53 ± 0.29Warmest6th2016+1.15+2.07
Coolest138th1911, 1917-0.56-1.01
Northern Hemisphere
Land+1.58 ± 0.17+2.84 ± 0.31Warmest5th2016+2.21+3.98
Ocean+0.77 ± 0.16+1.39 ± 0.29Warmest5th2016+0.95+1.71
Land and Ocean+1.08 ± 0.15+1.94 ± 0.27Warmest5th2016+1.43+2.57
Ties: 2015
Southern Hemisphere
Land+0.87 ± 0.13+1.57 ± 0.23Warmest11th2016+1.33+2.39
Ties: 2003
Ocean+0.57 ± 0.17+1.03 ± 0.31Warmest8th2016+0.78+1.40
Land and Ocean+0.62 ± 0.16+1.12 ± 0.29Warmest8th2016+0.86+1.55
Land and Ocean+1.98 ± 0.23+3.56 ± 0.41Warmest5th2016+3.10+5.58

Over the land surface, air temperatures for the year-to-date period were above average in Central America, eastern South America, almost all of Eurasia, parts of western and central Africa, and almost all of Australia. Air temperatures were below average across much of North America, western South America, and north central and southern Africa.

Sea surface temperatures for the year-to-date period were above average across much of the northern and western Pacific, parts of the southeastern Pacific, and most of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Consistent with La Niña, sea surface temperatures were below average over much of the tropical and southern subtropical eastern Pacific.


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.

May 2022

The dry zones across the sub-tropics have shifted somewhat northward in May and split the rainy areas along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the mid-latitude storm tracks (top panel of figure below). The Asian monsoon is beginning over Indochina, and the springtime Meiu/Baiu front extends across southern China northeastward through southern Japan. While these are typical seasonal patterns, the anomaly maps for May (middle and bottom panels) are consistent with ongoing droughts as well as occurrences of floods and landslides.

Across the central to eastern Pacific, a thin east-west line of positive anomalies (middle and bottom panels of figure above) hovers just north of the equator, with a parallel set of distinct negative anomalies just to the south. These two coupled features indicate an ITCZ just to the north of its climatological position for this month. Similar features have existed for the last few months. To the west along the equator the strongest negative anomaly on the globe sits in the western Pacific east of New Guinea. This is the continuing, month-after-month defining feature of the ongoing La Niña. To the west a collection of positive anomaly features extends from Japan in a horseshoe-shaped feature through Indochina, the Borneo area and across and to the east of Australia. This generally greater-than-normal rainfall zone is the counterpoint in the main La Niña couplet to the negative area to the east. These features were associated with floods in northeast Australia, Indonesia, northeast India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and southern China. The eastern half of the Indian Ocean experienced plentiful rainfall and was also visited by two simultaneous tropical cyclones north and south of the equator, adding to the pattern.

However, the western part of the ocean and land areas to the west and north were dry, typical of La Niña conditions, with a heat wave in northwest India and Pakistan early in the month, drier than normal conditions across the Arabian Peninsula, and sandstorms in Iraq. Even worse, the Horn of Africa region continued under a multi-season drought that is in danger of causing famine conditions amid chaotic political conditions. Floods in eastern South Africa were associated with the monthly positive feature there.

South America this month was rainy in the north in the ITCZ zone and dry to the south, but both features are more extreme than usual, as is typical under La Niña conditions. Below the ITCZ most of the continent was dry, and drier than normal, with the narrow wetter-than-normal corridor along the northern coast. Serious floods in Suriname and northeast Brazil were one outcome of this feature. A small positive rain anomaly in southeast Brazil that extends southeastward into the South Atlantic also was associated with floods and landslides in the Sao Paulo region. This general rain anomaly pattern across South America is typical of La Niña conditions.

In the central Pacific, two strands of positive rainfall anomalies extended northward from the ITCZ into the mid-latitude storm track and into the coasts of the northwest U.S. and southwest Canada. Meanwhile, the sub-tropic dry zone to the south was even drier than normal and extended into the southwest U.S. Coupled with above average temperatures, La Niña drought conditions continued there with an early start to the wildfire season in New Mexico and Colorado. Further south the first hurricane of the Eastern Pacific arrived early at the end of the month and soaked southern Mexico.

March–May 2022

The seasonal (March through May) mean precipitation map and anomaly pattern reflects the influence of La Niña from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic in the tropics and over South America and western North America. Indochina and eastern China had surplus springtime rain, and the excess moisture stretched from there across the Philippines, along the ITCZ to South America. Excessive dryness continued during this season in southwest Asia, the Horn of Africa and surrounding areas, across the middle of South America and the western U.S. and almost all of Mexico. A drier-than-normal pattern was also evident in Europe from France and into eastern Europe and northward into Scandinavia as part of ongoing drought conditions over parts of this region.


The following analysis is based on global drought indicators is available at the Global Drought Information System.

May 2022

May 2022 was drier than normal across southern, northern, and interior parts of Europe, with May dryness especially severe from the Iberian Peninsula to Germany. The dry conditions were exacerbated by unusually hot May temperatures. This dry pattern extended back in time 6 to 9 months and was reflected in precipitation-, temperature-, and evaporation-based indices, as well as low groundwater and soil moisture. With drought threatening vineyards and the grain harvest in parts of France, 24 departments were officially declared to be in drought with water restrictions in effect in many areas. Conservation efforts and some water bans were in effect in Norway and the Netherlands.

The last 1 to 6 months were drier than normal across interior portions of Asia and the Arctic coast across the eastern half of Siberia. May was warmer than normal across parts of far eastern Siberia and from north central Asia to northern India. Eastern Siberia experienced unusually high evaporation rates, and groundwater and soil moisture levels were low from north central Asia to Southwest Asia, as well as parts of northern China. Vegetation was in poor condition across parts of northern China, western India, and Southwest Asia. Iraqi officials were predicting a reduced wheat and rice harvest this year due to drought.

May was drier than normal across parts of Africa. Much of East Africa and the Sahel region was dry for the last 2 months to 3 years, and conditions were especially acute in East Africa, where evaporation was high and groundwater and soil moisture depleted. According to media reports, more than 23 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya were dealing with severe hunger, creating what the United Nations deemed a humanitarian emergency. The March-May 2022 rainy season is expected to be the driest on record, following 4 consecutive failed rainy seasons, a climatic event not seen in at least 40 years.

In the Americas, dry conditions during May stretched from Peru and central Brazil southward through Argentina and Chile, with low groundwater, dry soils, and poor vegetative health in these areas. Low groundwater, dry soils, and unhealthy vegetation were also evident in northern Mexico, the western United States, the southern U.S. Great Plains, western Canada, and southern Alaska.

Northern portions of Australia were dry in May while other parts were generally wetter than normal.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Monthly Global Climate Report for May 2022, published online June 2022, retrieved on June 20, 2024 from https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global/202205.