While Mother Nature was still giving the United States the cold shoulder during March, many other areas across the world experienced higher-than-average monthly temperatures according to the latest statistics from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. The average global temperature for March 2013 tied with 2006 as the 10th warmest March since recordkeeping began in 1880. It also marked the 37th consecutive March and 337th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average March temperature was March 1976, and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985.
The map above shows temperatures relative to average across the globe for March 2013. Shades of red indicate temperatures up to 11° Fahrenheit warmer than the 1981–2010 average, and shades of blue indicate temperatures up to 11° Fahrenheit cooler than the average. As the red-shaded regions demonstrate, most of Africa and much of Asia experienced above-average March temperatures. Far northeastern Canada, part of western Greenland, and sections of central Asia observed temperatures that were at least 9° Fahrenheit above average.
The March nationally averaged maximum temperature across Australia was 1.18° Fahrenheit above the 1961–1990 average. This was the eighth consecutive month, since August 2012, that every state and territory across the country had an above-average monthly maximum temperature. Additionally, China observed its second warmest March since records began in 1961. The provinces of Chongqing, Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, and Yunnan all reported record warmth for the month.
Meanwhile, most of Europe, northern Asia, central and western Canada, the central and eastern United States, and southern South America were notably cooler than average as the blue-shaded regions demonstrate. Parts of northeastern Europe and western Russia observed temperatures that were at least 9° Fahrenheit below average. The United Kingdom had its coolest March since 1962 and its coolest month overall since December 2010, with a March temperature 5.9° Fahrenheit below average.
Map by Dan Pisut, NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab. Caption by Jessica Blunden and Susan Osborne. Adapted from the March 2013 Global Climate Report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Reviewed by Jessica Blunden, NCDC.