Wednesday, February 7, 2024

January global surface TempLS down 0.165°C from December, but still warmest January in record.

The TempLS FEM anomaly (1961-90 base) was 1.062°C in January, down from 1.227°C in December. It was still he warmest January in the record, but only just ahead of 0.982°C in 2016. This is the first time since May that the month was not warmest by a long way. The NCEP/NCAR reanalysis base index fell by 0.141°C.

It was very warm in NE N America, but cold in a band from the Gulf Coast to Alaska. Cold in N Europe and far East Siberia, but a band of warmth through N Africa to central Siberia. Antarctica was cold.
Here is the temperature map, using the FEM-based map of anomalies. Use the arrows at bottom to see different 2D projections.

As always, the 3D globe map gives better detail. There are more graphs and a station map in the ongoing report which is updated daily.

This post is part of a series that has now run since 2011. The TempLS mesh data is reported here, and the recent history of monthly readings is here. Unadjusted GHCN is normally used, but if you click the TempLS button there, it will show data with adjusted, and also with different integration methods. There is an interactive graph using 1981-2010 base period here which you can use to show different periods, or compare with other indices. There is a general guide to TempLS here.

The reporting cycle starts with the TempLS report, usually about the 8th of the month. Then when the GISS result comes out, usually about the 15th, I discuss it and compare with TempLS. The TempLS graph uses the FEM solution on a regular near equal area grid on the sphere ; the residuals are displayed more directly using a triangular grid in a WebGL plot here.

A list of earlier monthly reports of each series in date order is here:

  1. NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis report
  2. TempLS report
  3. GISS report and comparison with TempLS


  1. January did not break the record by as much as previous Januaries, but I'm curious: is that because January wasn't as abnormally hot, or because the previous Januaries were more abnormal? (e.g., previous El Ninos starting peaking in January, so I'd imagine that previous January records would be further from the median than previous Decembers). So, I guess what I'm asking is... how warm have each of the past 6 months been relative to the _median_ for that month (say, over the last 20 years), rather than the previous record for that month? Thanks! -Marcus

    1. Actually, I guess the anomaly relative to 1961-1990 basically gives the answer to that question. Just to double check, I looked at the median GISTEMP anomaly in the 2003-2023 period (relative to 1951-1980) to make sure there wasn't any sort of seasonal pattern in the medians relative to the baseline, and there doesn't seem to be.

    2. Hi Marcus,
      2016 reached its peak in Feb-Mar. I think this El Nino may be on the way down;, with the very warm months starting in June 2023. The earlier event warmed up in Oct 2015.

    3. Yes, I was wondering if this El Nino was just shifted early, or if it would still peak in the early spring like other El Ninos... January is slightly suggestive of the latter, but looking at Climate Reanalyzer the end of January looks fairly exceptional again, which is evidence for the former...

    4. The first half of February was astoundingly warm again, but the 2nd half looks like it is coming down to Earth ( - but suggestive that the El Nino didn't just shift earlier, but may be a longer, stronger El Nino than the 2015/2016 version.

    5. Yes, the Moyhu daily index shows the same
      And yes, I think there is life in it yet