November has jumped 2020 back on the “top three warmest” track becoming the second warmest November in the 141 year record, according to the latest monthly summary from the National Centers for Environmental Information. And with only one month left in the year, 2020 has a 54% chance of becoming the hottest year on record.
The global temperature difference from average for November 2020. Red colors reflect areas that were up to 11°F (6°C) warmer than average, and blue colors represent locations that were up to 11°F cooler than average. November 2020 was the second hottest October on record. Climate.gov image from Data Snapshots, based on maps processed by NOAA EVL from NCEI data.
Global land and ocean temperatures during November were 1.75 degrees Fahrenheit (0.97 degrees Celsius) above the twentieth-century average, making it the second-hottest November on record behind only 2015. It has been 44 years since the last time a November was below the twentieth-century average.
Exceptionally anomalous heat was observed across northern Asia, northern Europe, the Bering Sea, Australia, and parts of South America. Over 6% of the planet observed a record-warm November. And just like previous months, no area had record-cold November temperatures, even if locations in the eastern/central Pacific Ocean, southwestern Asia, and Canada observed a cooler-than-normal month.
Regionally, November was a banner month for heat too. Oceania had its warmest November on record, with temperatures on average 3.71 degrees F (2.06 degrees C) above average, absolutely smashing the previous record. In particular, Australia was hot, setting a record for November temperatures in the country’s 111-year record. In Europe, the second-warmest November on record was aided by the hottest November for Norway at a mouth-gaping 8.3 degrees F (4.6 degrees C) above average.
November marks the end of the northern hemisphere fall (southern hemisphere spring). And just like the rest of the seasons this year, the September-November period was dominated by above-average temperatures across much of Earth.
The most anomalously warmer-than-average location during this past fall was across northern Russia, as temperatures were over 9 degrees F (5 degrees C) above average. But the heat was truly worldwide. South America, Oceanic, AND Europe all observed their warmest September-November on record. This past fall also saw Europe break the 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) temperature anomaly barrier for the season for the first time as the continent recorded temperatures 2.24 degrees C (4.03 degrees F) above average.
Down under, Australia helped to pace Oceania’s record-setting season as it also observed its warmest spring on record. Driving that record were particularly warm minimum temperatures that broke the previous record by 0.81 degrees F.
Globally, year-to-date temperatures (January-November) fell just barely below the previous record set in 2016 with anomalies 1.8 degrees F (1.0 degree C) above average. And like this past November, the year-to-date heat has been led by large above-average temperature anomalies (over 9 degrees F, or 5 degrees C) across northern Russia.
Regionally, while South America, Oceania, and the Caribbean have all just experienced their second warmest January-November on record, Europe and Asia one-upped them with their hottest on record. In fact, this was the first time that the January-November period was over 2.0 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) above average for both continents.
Given where the planet is after eleven months of the year and knowing how the current hottest year on record (2016) ended, there is a 54% chance that 2020 will take over the top spot come January 1. And even if it doesn’t, it appears that 2020 will easily fall in the top 2 warmest years.
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