NOAA: Ninth Warmest September for Global Temperatures
October 15, 2008
The combined global land and ocean surface average temperature for September 2008 tied with September 2001 as the ninth warmest since records began in 1880, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
- The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September was 59.79 F — this is 0.79 degree F above the 20th century mean of 59.0 degrees F.
- Separately, the global land surface temperature was 54.50 F — this is 0.90 degree F above the 20th century mean of 53.6 degrees F, tying September 2004 as 11th warmest on record.
- The global ocean surface temperature of 61.86 F tied September 2001 as seventh warmest on record and was 0.76 degree F above the 20th century mean of 61.1 degrees F.
Global Highlights for September
- Arctic sea ice coverage during September was at its second lowest extent since satellite records began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Average ice extent during September was 1.80 million square miles, which is 34 percent below the 1979-2000 average and is part of an 11.7 percent decline in extent per decade over the past 30 years. The record lowest extent, set in 2007 was 1.65 million square miles.
- In early September, Hurricane Gustav impacted the Caribbean. Flooding associated with Hurricane Hanna claimed more than 500 lives in Haiti. In the middle of the month, Hurricane Ike claimed about 145 lives, many in Haiti. Near the end of September, Hurricane Kyle brought torrential rain and flooding to Puerto Rico and Hispaniola before heading north. It made landfall in Nova Scotia, Canada as a Category 1 hurricane.
- In the Pacific, Typhoon Sinlaku brought flooding to the Philippines before striking Taiwan and Japan. Parts of Taiwan received more than 40 inches of rain. Then, Typhoon Hagupit hit the Philippines and Taiwan before making landfall in southeastern China with winds of 121 mph. Other typhoons included: Super Typhoon Jangmi, which made landfall in Taiwan, with 130 mph winds. Jangmi was the most intense tropical cyclone and first Category 5 storm in any basin during 2008.
- Heavy rain across southern Chile spawned flooding and mudslides that claimed four lives and damaged more than 10,000 homes. Severe storms in the United Kingdom brought widespread flooding that forced the evacuation of thousands of residents and claimed six lives. Heavy downpours across northern Iraq and Iran destroyed several hydroelectric facilities and claimed 16 lives. And more than 200 fatalities were associated with flooding from monsoonal rains across Malaysia, Thailand, and India.
- With just 0.47 inch of rain, Melbourne, Australia had its driest September since records began in 1855, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The states of South Australia and Victoria had their eighth driest September on record.
- Fast-moving wild fires raged across parts of southern Africa during the first week in September. The fires claimed 89 lives in Mozambique, Swaziland, and South Africa, and killed hundreds of livestock.
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.