July 2023 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events Map

Temperature

Coinciding with the release of the January 2023 Global Climate Report, the NOAA Global Surface Temperature (NOAAGlobalTemp) dataset version 5.1.0 replaced version 5.0.0. This new version includes complete global coverage and an extension of the data record back in time an additional 30 years to January 1850. While anomalies and ranks might differ slightly from what was reported previously, the main conclusions regarding global climate change are very similar to the previous version. Please see our Commonly Asked Questions Document and web story for additional information.

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 5.1.0, updated in 2023, uses comprehensive data collections of increased global area coverage over both land and ocean surfaces. NOAAGlobalTempv5.1.0 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 These factors, together, mean that calculations from the past may be superseded by the most recent data and can affect the numbers reported in the monthly climate reports.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.


July 2023

The July global surface temperature was 1.12°C (2.02°F) above the 20th-century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F), making it the warmest July on record. This marked the first time a July temperature exceeded 1.0°C (1.8°F) above the long-term average. July 2023 was 0.20°C (0.36°F) warmer than the previous July record from 2021, but the anomaly was 0.23°C (0.41°F) lower than the all-time highest monthly temperature anomaly on record (March 2016). July 2023 marked the 47th-consecutive July and the 533rd-consecutive month with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th-century average.

Climatologically, July is the warmest month of the year. As the warmest July on record, July 2023 was more likely than not the warmest month on record for the globe since 1850. The past nine Julys have been the warmest Julys on record.

For the fourth-consecutive month, global ocean surface temperature hit a record high. El Niño conditions that emerged in June continued into July, and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issued a statement announcing a greater than 95% chance that El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter. Globally, July 2023 set a record for the highest monthly sea surface temperature anomaly (+0.99°C or +1.78°F) of any month in NOAA's 174-year record. July's sea surface temperature anomaly was 0.07°C (0.12°F) higher than the previous all-time record-high anomaly set in June 2023.

Temperatures were above average throughout most of South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Parts of northern, southern and western North America, Australia and northern and southern Oceania also experienced warmer-than-average temperatures this month. Sea surface temperatures were above average across much of the northern, central and western Pacific, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. Parts of the central Atlantic, the southwestern Pacific, the southern Indian Ocean, as well as parts of northeastern and northwestern Canada, the southwest U.S., Mexico, South America, southwestern Europe, Africa, and central and southern Asia saw record-warm July temperatures. Record-warm temperatures covered just over 9.3% of the world's surface this month, which marks the highest July percentage since records began in 1951.

Temperatures were near to cooler than average across parts of the central U.S. and Canada, Greenland, western Russia, Pakistan and northern India, western Oceania, southern Africa and Antarctica. Sea surface temperatures were near to below average over parts of the central-eastern and southeastern Pacific, the Arctic Ocean and the southeastern Indian Ocean. Less than 1% of the world's surface had a record-cold July.

A smoothed map of blended land and sea surface temperature anomalies is also available.

Asia, Africa, and South America each had their warmest July on record. South America had its highest monthly temperature anomaly of any month on record at +2.19°C (+3.94°F).

  • Peru had its warmest July on record.
  • Brazil also recorded its warmest July since records began in 1961.
  • July in Uruguay ranked 10th warmest on record.
  • It was the 12th-warmest July on record (since 1961) for Argentina.
  • Hong Kong recorded its third-warmest July on record.
  • July in Japan was unusually hot, with northern Japan recording the highest temperature for July since the start of records in 1946.
  • Bahrain had its second-warmest July on record.
  • July in Israel ranked second warmest since records began in 1950.

North America had its second-warmest July on record. The Arctic region had its third-warmest July.

  • The Caribbean region had its warmest July on record.
  • It was a record-warm July for the Gulf of Mexico.
  • July in the contiguous U.S. ranked 11th warmest on record.
  • Heatwaves affected much of the U.S. in July and brought record temperatures to parts of the Southwest. That region as a whole tied with 2003 as the warmest July on record.
  • Many locations in eastern and northwestern Canada experienced a record-hot July.

Europe had its eighth-warmest July on record, while Oceania experienced its 11th-warmest July.

  • Spain recorded its sixth-warmest July on record.
  • The Australian island state of Tasmania recorded its warmest July on record.
  • As a country, Australia had its ninth-warmest July since records began in 1910.
  • New Zealand had its fourth-warmest July since records began in 1909.
July Ranks and Records
JulyAnomalyRank
(out of 174 years)
Records
°C°FYear(s)°C°F
Global
Land+1.40+2.52Warmest1st2023+1.40+2.52
Coolest174th1856-0.87-1.57
Ocean+0.99+1.78Warmest1st2023+0.99+1.78
Coolest174th1909, 1911-0.47-0.85
Land and Ocean+1.12+2.02Warmest1st2023+1.12+2.02
Coolest174th1904-0.45-0.81
Northern Hemisphere
Land+1.64+2.95Warmest1st2023+1.64+2.95
Coolest174th1856-1.06-1.91
Ocean+1.27+2.29Warmest1st2023+1.27+2.29
Coolest174th1904, 1910-0.58-1.04
Land and Ocean+1.43+2.57Warmest1st2023+1.43+2.57
Coolest174th1856-0.62-1.12
Southern Hemisphere
Land+0.87+1.57Warmest13th2011+1.70+3.06
Coolest162nd1957-1.19-2.14
Ocean+0.79+1.42Warmest1st2023+0.79+1.42
Coolest174th1911-0.40-0.72
Land and Ocean+0.81+1.46Warmest1st2023+0.81+1.46
Coolest174th1911-0.39-0.70
Antarctic
Land and Ocean-0.33-0.59Warmest161st2011+1.66+2.99
Coolest14th2004-2.14-3.85
Arctic
Land and Ocean+1.37+2.47Warmest3rd2016+1.66+2.99
Coolest172nd1914-1.30-2.34

500 mb maps

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

hgtanomaly-global-202307.png

Year-to-date Temperature: January–July 2023

The January–July global surface temperature ranked third warmest in the 174-year record at 1.03°C (1.85°F) above the 1901–2000 average of 13.8°C (56.9°F). Global ocean surface temperature during this January–July period ranked second warmest on record. According to NCEI's statistical analysis, the year 2023 is very likely to rank among the five warmest years on record, with a nearly 50% probability of ranking warmest on record.

January to July was characterized by warmer-than-average conditions across much of eastern, southern, and northern North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Arctic, northern and southern Oceania, and Asia. Sea surface temperatures were above-average throughout most of the northern, western, southwestern, and subtropical eastern Pacific, central and southern Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. The Southern Hemisphere tied with 2016 for its warmest year-to-date period, while the Northern Hemisphere had its third-warmest such period.

Temperatures were near or below average across parts of western North America and western Alaska, India and Pakistan, Greenland, central and eastern Siberia, central Australia, and Antarctica. Sea surface temperatures were near to below average across parts of the southeastern and central-east Pacific, eastern Indian, and northern Atlantic Oceans.

A smoothed map of blended land and sea surface temperature anomalies is also available.

January–July Ranks and Records
January–JulyAnomalyRank
(out of 174 years)
Records
°C°FYear(s)°C°F
Global
Land+1.51+2.72Warmest5th2016+1.79+3.22
Coolest170th1885-0.82-1.48
Ocean+0.82+1.48Warmest1st2023+0.82+1.48
Coolest174th1911-0.48-0.86
Land and Ocean+1.03+1.85Warmest3rd2016+1.11+2.00
Coolest172nd1917-0.51-0.92
Northern Hemisphere
Land+1.80+3.24Warmest3rd2016+2.21+3.98
Coolest172nd1885-0.95-1.71
Ties: 2017
Ocean+0.93+1.67Warmest2nd2020+0.95+1.71
Coolest173rd1904-0.51-0.92
Land and Ocean+1.30+2.34Warmest3rd2016+1.45+2.61
Coolest172nd1917-0.61-1.10
Southern Hemisphere
Land+0.84+1.51Warmest9th2019+1.09+1.96
Coolest166th1917-0.72-1.30
Ocean+0.74+1.33Warmest2nd2016+0.75+1.35
Coolest173rd1911-0.47-0.85
Land and Ocean+0.76+1.37Warmest1st2016, 2023+0.76+1.37
Coolest174th1911-0.46-0.83
Ties: 2016
Antarctic
Land and Ocean+0.11+0.20Warmest43rd2007+0.78+1.40
Coolest132nd1957-0.64-1.15
Ties: 2010
Arctic
Land and Ocean+2.05+3.69Warmest6th2016+3.16+5.69
Coolest169th1966-1.54-2.77

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.

July 2023

Below-average July precipitation was observed across parts of the western U.S. and southern Canada, Mexico, Central America, Brazil, southwestern Europe, southwest, southern, and eastern Asia, and southern Australia. Wetter-than-average conditions were present across parts of the eastern U.S., northwestern Europe, northwestern Russia, western India, Pakistan, and scattered areas in eastern Asia.

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.

July Highlights:
  • July 2023 was one of the globally wettest Julys on record.
  • The Asian monsoon areas were dominated by positive rainfall anomalies and associated floods and landslides.
  • The ongoing El Niño dominated the tropical Pacific patterns, but still does not dominate beyond that ocean area.
  • The western U.S. was dry with a weak North American monsoon, but eastern regions were wetter with flooding incidents.

The global precipitation map for July 2023 (Fig. 1, top panel) shows the active Asian monsoon across South Asia and to the east, the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) across the Pacific, South America, the tropical Atlantic and across most of Africa, with its typical break in east Africa and the western Indian Ocean. From a global surface temperature standpoint, this July was the hottest July on record, with a part of that warmth contained in an ongoing El Niño with warm mid-Pacific sea surface temperatures (SST). This translated into one of the wettest (not the wettest) global estimates of July precipitation, similar to the previous month. The anomaly patterns in Fig. 1 (middle and bottom panels) show a very active Asian monsoon with positive anomalies across most of southeast and eastern Asia, with very strong anomalies in the far western Pacific to the east of the Maritime Continent and the Philippines. To the east, the ITCZ had a very intense, narrow positive anomaly stretching to the South American coast, with a parallel band of negative anomalies just to the north. Elsewhere, Africa and South America were mostly dry. Australia showed a somewhat wet northeast during this usual dry part of the year. Europe and northern Asia had a very varied pattern of anomalies, while North America was dry in the west and wet in the east.

The tropical Pacific anomaly pattern is dominated by the effects of the few-months-old El Niño, with a July Niño 3.4 SST Index of +1.0. Fig. 2 shows the July composite anomaly map for previous El Niños, with a repeat of this month's chart for comparison. Across the tropical Pacific, the positive anomaly in the composite matches well with this month's map, but with much more intensity. The parallel, negative feature just to the north for this month also shows up in the composite, although smoothed out, as expected. In the western Pacific, the composite agrees well with the monthly anomaly, with a positive feature extending northwestward from the ITCZ through the Philippines to the China coast. Beyond that, over South and East Asia and Australia, El Niño seems to have little effect this month. However, the pattern correlation over 40°N–40°S between the two panels in Fig. 2 has continued to increase to +0.33 this month, up from +0.19 last month and essentially zero in April, indicating an increasing El Niño effect, paralleling the increase in the Niño 3.4 Index.

Over South and East Asia, the strong positive anomalies for the month were associated with negative impacts of heavy rain events. The northern Philippines were flooded with the passage of Typhoon Doksuri late in the month, which then weakened over the next week before its remnants hit eastern China and caused flooding in Beijing (up to 500mm of rainfall in 24 hrs). Other heavy rain events occurred over the monsoon region with flooding and landslides over northern India (100 dead), Bhutan, southern Japan, Indonesia, and even Afghanistan. In South Korea, rain-induced landslides killed 40 people.

Further west, parts of southeast Europe also had a positive rainfall anomaly for the month, also linked to floods in the Black Sea area of Turkey and near Sochi, Russia. However, dry conditions dominated the northern coastal areas of the Mediterranean, with deadly and damaging wildfires in Greece. Africa and South America were generally dry, with continued droughts in areas, although floods were noted in northeast Brazil and Colombia.

Over North America, the west was hot and dry with the North American monsoon only penetrating weakly into the southwest U.S. and returning drought conditions to the Four Corners area. Canada, especially western Canada, remained under generally dry conditions with continued wildfires. On the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, conditions were wetter, and the anomaly maps show positive rainfall anomalies. Indeed, the generally wet conditions for the month resulted in local extremes with severe flooding in Vermont and New York states and additional flooding in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

On the global scale, the total precipitation was estimated to be 2.80 mm/d, a positive anomaly of +0.08 mm/d, with these values being the second-highest global estimates for July, second only to July 1998, during that year's very strong El Niño. The global anomaly was evident over both ocean and land, although the land positive value was much larger, likely driven by the high values over the Asian monsoon.

Drought in July 2023

Drought information is based on global drought indicators available at the Global Drought Information System website, and media reports summarized by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

July Highlights:
  • Beneficial precipitation fell across some of the world's drought areas during July 2023, especially over eastern North America and parts of Eurasia, but other drought areas experienced another drier-than-normal month. It was dry over drought-plagued parts of the Americas, Africa, and the Mediterranean.
  • The drought conditions were exacerbated by increased evapotranspiration caused by excessive heat in many areas as the world experienced its hottest July on record.
  • A significant portion of the world's agricultural lands was still suffering from low soil moisture and groundwater levels.
  • The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor indicated that agriculture was most threatened in parts of the Americas, Africa, and Asia, and in southwest and eastern parts of Europe and southwest Australia. The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNet) revealed significant food insecurity continuing in parts of Central and South America, Africa, and Southwest Asia.
  • According to media reports, continued drought in agricultural areas have grain experts worried. World-Grain.com warned: "How much longer can this game of Russian roulette continue before several of the world's most important food producers end up in drought together? The potential disaster that looms is a great concern and today's world water shortages only exacerbate the potential situation."

In Europe, Scandinavian coastal and Mediterranean coastal areas were drier than normal during July 2023, western portions were wetter than normal, with the rest of Europe in between these areas having a mixed precipitation anomaly pattern. Unusually hot temperatures continent-wide gave Europe the eighth warmest July in the 114-year NCEI record. The excessive heat enhanced evapotranspiration and exacerbated drought conditions where it was dry. For the year to date, Europe had the second warmest January–July; the last 12 months (August 2022–July 2023) were also the second warmest on record. Dry conditions afflicted most of Europe at longer time scales (the last 12 to 48 months), especially as seen on the SPEI (Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration) maps. Soils continued dry from Portugal to northern Europe, while the satellite-based (GRACE) indicator of groundwater revealed low groundwater across most of Europe. Satellite observations of vegetative health (Vegetative Health Index, VHI) revealed poor vegetative health over parts of the Iberian Peninsula and in northern parts of Europe. The European Combined Drought Indicator showed some level of drought across most of Europe, except for the Mediterranean coastal and southeastern areas, with 63.0% of the EU-27 territory in Drought Watch, Warning, or Alert conditions.

According to media reports (Reuters), heavy rain in southern Germany raised water levels on the river Rhine, except in northern areas where river levels were still too shallow for cargo vessels to sail fully loaded. The Associated Press reported that northeastern Spain's Catalonia region declared a drought emergency in 24 municipalities in early August following a severe lack of rain in recent years; the restrictions will principally affect agricultural and industrial water usage but not drinking water. According to Reuters, Vineyards across Catalonia's renowned Penedes cava-producing region were so parched that the roots of 30-year-old vines have died, leaving shriveled red and green grapes languishing under the intense sun—to the sector's dismay. The northeastern region is among the most affected by Spain's long drought, registering the driest start to a year in the first four months of 2023 since records began in 1961.

In Asia, July was drier than normal in southern, central, and eastern parts of the continent, including areas in Southwest and Southeast Asia. Monthly temperatures were much warmer than normal across most of the continent, giving Asia the warmest July on record. The SPI (Standardized Precipitation Index) revealed dryness at longer time scales out to 36 months in parts of Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, and western Russia, and at even longer time scales in Southwest Asia. Asia had the fourth-warmest July–June 12-month time period, according to NCEI records. The SPEI reflected the increased evapotranspiration due to the unusual warmth by indicating more widespread and severe dryness in these areas, as well as the Arctic coast of Siberia. Satellite-based (GRACE) indicators of soil moisture and groundwater reveal widespread dry conditions in these areas as well as northeast China and northern India. Satellite observations of vegetative health (VHI) revealed poor vegetative health from Southwest Asia into southwestern Russia, across parts of South and Southeast Asia, and parts of eastern Siberia. Drought conditions were confirmed over northern, eastern, and coastal southwestern parts of India on the India Drought Monitor, covering about 19.3% of the nation. Some short- or long-term drought was indicated on some of the islands in the Southwest Pacific on the NIWA Island Climate Update maps.

According to media reports, heat and prolonged drought have dried up Turkey's Turna Lake, pushing it to the cusp of extinction. Severe weather conditions (drought) in Thailand stemming from El Niño could continue to push sugar prices higher (Thailand is the third-largest country when it comes to sugar production). PortNew reported that drought and shallowing of rivers was expected to affect shipping in 11 regions of Russia.

Most of Australia was drier than normal during July 2023, with wetter-than-normal conditions across the north-central area. Temperatures were cooler than normal in the west but warmer than normal elsewhere, with the country having the ninth warmest July in the national 1910–2023 record. The SPEI revealed parts of western, southern, and eastern Australia to be drier than normal at 2- to 6-month time scales, with northern sections dry at longer time scales. Dry areas were evident along the west coast, east coast, and in the southwest, as seen in GRACE groundwater and soil moisture data, satellite-based vegetative health, and in the Australian Combined Drought Indicator analyses.

In South America, much of the northern two-thirds of the continent was drier than normal in July, with dry areas also in Chile and Argentina. Virtually the entire continent was much warmer than normal, resulting in the warmest July in the NCEI record, continent-wide. Record continental warmth extended back through the last 6 months (February–July). Increased evapotranspiration from the unusual warmth resulted in more extensive and intense drought, as seen in the SPEI. The SPEI revealed widespread drought across the northern half of the continent at 1- to 3-month time scales, with drought extending into southern South America at 3 to 6 months, and covering a larger area (including Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Peru) at longer time scales out to 72 months. Satellite (GRACE) observations revealed extensive areas of low groundwater and soil moisture from Venezuela to Brazil and southern Peru to the southern tip of the continent. Satellite analysis revealed poor vegetative health from Colombia to Brazil and Peru to Argentina. Drought was confirmed in Brazil on the Brazilian Drought Monitor, in Bolivia on the Bolivian Drought Monitor, in Chile and Argentina on Southern South America Drought Information System and Chilean Combined Drought Index maps, and in western South America countries on the Western South America Regional Drought Monitor. According to media reports (Associated Press), Bolivia's Lake Titicaca has receded to critically low levels, due to persistent drought; by early August, the lake level reached an all-time low.

In North America, July was drier than normal in the western U.S., most of Canada and Mexico, and parts of Central America. Temperatures were cooler than normal in the north-central U.S. and adjacent Canada, but warmer than normal elsewhere, with the continent having its second warmest July in the NCEI record. In the Caribbean, July 2023 was the warmest July on record, with record heat region-wide extending over the last 4 months (April–July). For North America, May–July 2023 was the warmest such 3-month period. The SPI indicated persistent dryness across Canada, especially the western provinces and some eastern provinces, at time periods out to 24 months, and in southern portions (especially the southern Prairies) at 36- to 72-month time scales. In the U.S., the lasts 3 to 6 months were dry in parts of the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and Gulf of Mexico Coast and across the Upper Mississippi Valley. Parts of the Great Plains were dry at 6- to 48-month time scales, and dryness was still evident in parts of the West at 36- to 72-month time scales after a wet winter and early spring. The SPI showed dryness across southern and northwest Mexico, the Central American countries, and much of the Caribbean at 6- to 72-month time scales. When temperature (evapotranspiration) is considered, the SPEI shows much more extensive and severe dryness in these areas at these time scales. Satellite (GRACE) observations revealed extensive areas of low groundwater and soil moisture across western, southern, and eastern Canada; most of Mexico; and the Central American and some Caribbean countries. In the U.S., groundwater and soil moisture were low in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest to southern Plains, and parts of the Midwest. Satellite analysis indicated poor vegetative health across most of the continent, except the central to southeastern U.S. Hundreds of large wildfires continued to burn across western and eastern parts of Canada during July. The North American Drought Monitor product depicted drought across the U.S. Pacific Northwest to much of western to central Canada; the central U.S. to Great Lakes; and the U.S. southern Plains to much of Mexico. The Caribbean Regional Climate Center SPI maps showed areas of dryness across Caribbean islands at 1- to 24-month time scales.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics indicated that 49% of the nation's topsoil moisture and 49% of the subsoil moisture were short or very short (dry or very dry) at the end of July, and 15% of the corn crop, 15% of the soybean crop, 31% of the cotton crop, 16% of the spring wheat crop, and 29% of the nation's pasture and rangeland were in poor to very poor condition. According to media reports (CBC), leaders in British Columbia are sounding the alarm about looming water scarcity and future use restrictions as drought levels in parts of the Canadian province have been elevated to the most severe end of the scale. The drought in British Columbia has dried up the supply of hay, forcing prices to skyrocket and threatening cattle interests. As of mid-July, the 2023 wildfire season in British Columbia surpassed the 2018 season as the most destructive ever recorded according to area burned. Statistics from the B.C. Wildfire Service (BCWS) showed wildfires have burned more than 13,900 square km. of land this year, breaking the record of just over 13,500 square km. set in 2018. In neighboring Alberta, the lack of rain in southern and eastern parts of the province has created a dire situation for agriculture. In Saskatchewan, farmers forced to write off drought-afflicted crops were being asked to consider ways to turn those crops into cattle feed instead. Saskatchewan produces about half of the world's supply of mustard, but near-catastrophic drought conditions in the southeastern corner of the province and other factors, such as strong winds, hail and heat, are limiting mustard production. In Central America, Panama Canal authorities announced that they will extend restrictions on ships' maximum depth, and they have limited average crossings at one of the world's busiest trade passages to just 32 ships a day as a prolonged drought continues. The Associated Press reported that authorities estimate Panama Canal income in 2024 could fall as much as $200 million due to drought. In Honduras, drought and erratic rainfall are undermining agriculture, pushing young people to migrate in search of a more secure future. Reuters reported that hundreds of U.S. cattle died from the heat and humidity in Iowa and neighboring Great Plains states. In Missouri, whole fields of corn in severe drought did not pollinate due to the drought.


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Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Monthly Global Climate Report for July 2023, published online August 2023, retrieved on July 20, 2024 from https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global/202307.