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Last month was by far the world’s hottest November on record » Yale Climate Connections

November 2023 was by far the hottest November on record globally in analyses dating back to 1850, said NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information on December 14. NOAA, NASA, the Japan Meteorological Agency, and the European Copernicus Climate Change Service all rated November 2023 as the warmest November on record, beating the previous November record by a large margin.

a global map showing land and ocean temperatures, which were much hotter than the historical average across much of the world
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for November 2023, the hottest November for the globe since record-keeping began in 1850. Record-warm temperatures covered nearly 13% of the world’s surface, which is the highest percentage for any November on record. (Image credit: NOAA/NCEI)

According to NOAA, November global temperatures were a remarkable 1.44 degrees Celsius (2.59 °F) above the 20th-century average. Using NASA data, November 2023 was 1.67 degrees Celsius above the temperature of the 1880-1899 period, which is commonly called “preindustrial” (the difference between the 1951-1980 baseline reported on the NASA website and the 1880-1899 period is 0.226 °C). This is the second-highest departure from average in the NASA database, behind only September 2023 (1.7 °C). Their other top-five departures from average are February 2016 (1.59 °C), March 2016 (1.58 °C), and October 2023 (1.57 °C).

Land and ocean areas each had their warmest November on record in 2023, and November was the eighth consecutive month with record-high global ocean temperatures. South America, Africa, and Asia each had their warmest November on record. November 2023 ranked second-warmest on record for North America and fifth-warmest for Oceania. Europe tied 2003 for its 15th-warmest November on record. The month ranked as the 19th-warmest November on record in the United States.

The record-smashing heat was not limited to the surface. In the lower troposphere, the lowest layer of the Atmosphere, November had the largest departure from average of any November in the University of Alabama-Huntsville database since satellite measurements began in 1979: 0.91 degree Celsius above the 1991-2020 average. This was the fifth consecutive month that a new monthly record was set. October 2023 has the largest departure from average of any month in their database: 0.93 degree Celsius above the 1991-2020 average.

2023 virtually certain to be Earth’s warmest year on record

November was the sixth consecutive month with record global warmth, and the year-to-date period of January-November is the warmest on record globally. According to NOAA’s latest Global Annual Temperature Rankings Outlook and the statistical model it uses, there’s a greater than 99.5% chance of 2023 being the warmest year on record. At the start of this year, few experts foresaw 2023 as being a contender for Earth’s warmest year, as the bulk of El Niño’s warming comes during the second year of each El Niño rather than the first — so it’s possible that 2024 will be even warmer than this year. The annual average for 2023 will come close to the closely watched threshold of 1.5 °C above the preindustrial climate, but it may not quite reach that threshold.

El Niño conditions in the “strong” category

El Niño conditions intensified over the past month in the eastern tropical Pacific and were in the “strong” category, according to NOAA’s December 14 discussion. Sea surface temperatures in the Niño-3.4 region in the week ending December 8 were 1.9 degrees Celsius above average; a “strong” El Niño event is defined when these sea surface temperatures are in excess of 1.5 degrees Celsius above average. NOAA gave a 54% chance of a “historically strong” event rivaling 2015-16 and 1997-98, with sea surface temperatures in the Niño-3.4 region at least 2 degrees Celsius above average during November-January. The forecasters gave a 60% chance that El Niño conditions would end by April-June 2024, with neutral conditions likely to follow. The odds of La Niña conditions rise to above 30% by June-August and above 40% by July-September.

Some uncertainty remains over how impacts will manifest with this event as compared to other strong El Niño events, such as 1982-83, 1997-98, and 2015-16, because there are also exceptionally warm waters across most of the midlatitude North Pacific associated with a negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or PDO. A negative PDO tends to favor La Niña-like versus El Niño-like conditions, and the PDO has been negative in every month since January 2020. See our December 12 post for more on potential El Niño effects across North America this winter.

Arctic sea ice: seventh-lowest November extent on record

Arctic sea ice extent during November 2023 was the seventh-lowest in the 45-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The Arctic had its second-warmest November on record, according to NOAA.

Antarctic sea ice: second lowest on record

Antarctic sea ice extent last month was the second-lowest in 45 years of data for November, behind the record set in 2016. This breaks a streak of six consecutive months from May through October 2023 that had seen a record-low monthly extent. According to the 2023 “State of the cryosphere” report from the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative, “The unprecedented reduction in Antarctic sea ice extent since 2016 represents a regime shift to a new state of inevitable decline caused by ocean warming.” Carbon Brief has a good summary of the report, which says that a 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures above preindustrial levels would commit the world to truly alarming levels of sea level rise of “between 12 and 20 meters” (39 to 66 feet) over a period of centuries. The report said that with current emissions, one meter (3.3 feet) of sea level rise could occur by 2070, with three meters (9.8 feet) possible by the early 2100s.

Notable global heat and cold marks for November 2023

The information below is courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera. Follow him on Twitter/X: @extremetemps

  • Hottest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: 44.0°C (111.2°F) at Linguere, Senegal, November 2
  • Coldest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: -47.9°C (-54.2°F) at Teplyj Klyuch, Russia, November 25
  • Hottest temperature in the Southern Hemisphere: 46.7°C (116.1°F) at Augrabies Falls, South Africa, November 27
  • Coldest temperature in the Southern Hemisphere: -60.4°C (-76.7°F) at Vostok, Antarctica, November 1
  • Highest 2023 average temperature to date in the Northern Hemisphere (Jan.-Nov.): 32.7°C (90.9°F) at Matam, Senegal
  • Highest 2023 average temperature to date in the Southern Hemisphere (Jan.-Nov.): 29.7°C (85.6°F) at Floriano, Brazil

Major weather stations in November: 23 all-time heat records, no all-time cold records

Among global stations with a record of at least 40 years, 23 set, not just tied, an all-time heat record in November, and no stations set an all-time cold record:

Caico  (Brazil) max. 40.2°C, November 5
San Jose de Chiquitos (Bolivia) max. 44.1°C, November 8
Las Lomitas (Argentina) max. 46.0°C, November 8
Concepcion (Paraguay) max. 43.5°C, November 8
Prats Gill (Paraguay) max. 45.4°C, November 8
Nueva Asuncion (Paraguay) max. 44.9°C, November 8
Robore (Bolivia) max. 42.6°C, November 9
Aquidauana (Brazil) max. 41.5°C, November 12
General Bruguez (Paraguay) max. 43.8°C, November 12
Yacuiba (Bolivia) max. 44.9°C, November 12
Alegre (Brazil) max. 41.6°C, November 13
Itapira (Brazil) max. 39.2°C, November 14
Campos do Jordao (Brazil) max. 31.0°C, November 14
Florestal (Brazil) max. 38.6°C, November 14
Puerto Suarez (Bolivia) max. 43.5°C, November 16
Cochabamba (Bolivia) max. 36.2°C, November 17
Xerem (Brazil) max. 42.3°C, November 18
Alegre  (Brazil) max. 41.8 °C, November 18
Governador Valadares  (Brazil) max. 41.7 °C, November 18
Muriae  (Brazil) max. 41.2°C, November 18
Salinas (Brazil) max. 42.7°C, November 19
Majunga (Madagascar) max. 39.0°C, November 21
Waingapu (Indonesia) max. 37.3°C, November 22

Twenty-one all-time national/territorial heat records set or tied in 2023

As of the end of November, 21 nations or territories had set or tied an all-time national heat record in 2023; two of these records were set in November. Five nations or territories — the U.S. Virgin Islands, Chad, Saba, Vietnam, and Peru — beat or tied their old all-time heat record twice in 2023; French Guiana has beaten their previous all-time heat record three times; and Laos has beaten its previous all-time heat record an astounding four times. According to Herrera, the record for most national/territorial all-time heat records in a year is 24, set in 2019. Here are the ones set so far in 2023:

Thailand: 45.4°C (113.7°F) at Tak Agromet, April 15
Laos: 42.7°C (108.9°F) at Luang Prabang, April 18; beaten one day later with 42.9°C (109.2°F) at Sayaburi, April 19; beaten again on May 6 and May 7 with 43.5°C (110.3°F) at Luang Prabang
Vietnam: 44.1°C (111.4°F) at Hoi Xuan, May 6; beaten again with 44.2°C (111.6°F) at Tuong Duong, May 7
Singapore: 37.0°C (98.6°F) at Ang Mo Kio, May 13 (tie)
Chad: 48.0°C (118.4°F) at Faya, May 25; tied again on June 16
China: 52.2°C (126°F) at Sabao, July 16
Vatican City: 42.9°C (109.2°F) at Roma Macao, July 18
Cayman Islands: 35.3°C (95.5°F) at Owen Roberts airport, July 22
Albania: 44.0°C (111.2°F) at Kucova, July 25
Morocco: 50.4°C (122.7°F) at Agadir, August 11
U.S. Virgin Islands (U.S.): 35.6°C (96.1°F) at St. Croix, August 14 (tie); beaten on September 9 with 36.1°C (97°F) at St. Croix
Dominica: 36.6°C (97.9°F) at Canefield Airport, August 27
Aruba: 36.5°C (97.7°F) at Queen Beatrix Airport, August 28 (tie)
Saba: 34.4°C (93.9°F) at Juancho Yrausquin Airport, August 29; tied again on September 8
Martinique (France): 36.6°C (97.9°F) at Ducos, September 15
St. Barthelemy (France): 35.5°C (95.9°F) at Gustavia, September 15 (tie)
French Guiana (France): 38.1°C (100.6°F) at Grand Santi, September 15; beaten on September 25 with 38.8°C (101.8°F) at St. Laurent do Moroni; beaten again with 39.1°C (102.4°F) at Grand Santi, October 14
Guyana: 40.1°C (104.2°F) at Ebini, September 26
Peru: 41.4°C (106.5°F) at Tingo de Ponaza, September 27; beaten again with 41.6°C (106.9°F) at Inapari, October 7
Suriname: 38°C (100.4°F) at Zanderj Airport, September 30 (tie)
Barbados: 35.6°C (96.1°F) at Bridgetown, September 30

Three all-time national/territorial cold records set or tied in 2023

As of the end of November 2023, three nations or territories had set or tied an all-time national cold record:

Myanmar: -6.0°C (21.2°F) at Hakha, Jan. 17 (tied)
China: -53.0°C (-63.4°F) at Jintao, Jan. 22
Cyprus: -12.8°C (9°F) at Trodos Mt. Station, Feb. 8 (tied)

132 additional monthly national/territorial heat records and six additional monthly cold records beaten or tied in 2023

In addition to the 21 all-time heat records listed above (plus six, for the records set in two different months in Laos, Chad, Saba, French Guiana, Peru, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), 132 additional monthly all-time heat records have been set in 2023, for a total of 159 all-time monthly heat records:

  • Jan. (13): Czech Republic, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Cyprus, Nigeria
  • Feb. (4): Chile, Taiwan, Pakistan, Cyprus
  • March (3): Botswana, Vietnam, Taiwan
  • April (12): Cabo Verde, Botswana, Turkmenistan, Mauritius, Antigua and Barbuda, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, Andorra, Saba, St. Barthelemy, Laos
  • May (9): Mauritius, Solomon Islands, Botswana, Cambodia, Cocos Islands, Panama, Saba, Maldives, French Guiana
  • June (15): Botswana, Vietnam, Tuvalu, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Aruba, Saba, Senegal, Costa Rica, China, Chad, Solomon Islands, Morocco, French Guiana, Guyana
  • July (11): Mauritius, Liechtenstein, U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, Italy, Malta, El Salvador, Tanzania, St. Barthelemy, Martinique, Guyana
  • August (17): Qatar, Niger, Mauritius, Chile, St. Barthelemy, Turkey, Thailand, Botswana, France, Bolivia, Paraguay, Martinique, Chad, Suriname, French Guiana, U.S. Virgin Islands, Kenya
  • September (8): Saba, Mauritius, Chad, Norway, St. Barthelemy, Djibouti, French Guiana, Peru
  • October (22): Spain, Andorra, Saba, Guyana, France, Austria, Poland, Taiwan, Oman, Iran, Slovenia, Mauritius, Singapore, Colombia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Belize, Honduras, Senegal, Moldova, Paraguay, Dominica
  • November (18): Mongolia, North Korea, South  Korea, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Malta, Tunisia, Philippines, Greece, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Taiwan, Spain, Mauritius, South Africa, French Southern Territories, Maldives, Paraguay

In addition to the three all-time cold records listed above, six nations or territories have set a monthly all-time cold record in 2023, for a total of nine monthly cold records:

  • Feb. (1): Montenegro
  • March (2): St. Eustatius, Martinique
  • June (1): Finland
  • August (2): French Polynesia, Montenegro

Hemispherical and continental temperature records through November 2023

Lowest temperature reliably recorded in January in the Southern Hemisphere: -51.2°C (-60.2°F) at Concordia, Antarctica, Jan. 31;
Highest temperature ever recorded in April in Europe: 38.8°C (101.8°F) at Cordoba, Spain, April 27;
Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in Africa for any month: 39.6°C (103.3°F) at Adrar, Algeria, July 6;
Highest temperature ever recorded in July in Europe: 48.2°C (118.8°F) at Jerzu and Lotzorai, Italy, July 24;
Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in July in Europe: 36.2°C (97.2°F) at Palermo, Italy, July 24;
Highest temperature ever recorded in Africa in August (tie): 50.4°C (122.7°F) at Agadir, Morocco, August 11;
Highest temperature ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere in August (tie): 45.0°C (113°F) at Villamontes, Bolivia, August 23;
Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in Oceania and in the whole Southern Hemisphere in August: 28.8°C (83.8°F) at Funafuti, Tuvalu, August 31 (previous record: 28.7°C at August Nui, Tuvalu, on August 14);
Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in South America and the Southern Hemisphere in September: 30.6°C (87.1°F) at Base Aerea Jara, Paraguay, September 3;
Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in the world in October: 33.9°C (93.0°F) at Abu al Bukoosh (United Arab Emirates), October 6; and
Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in South America in October: 31.6°C (88.9°F) at Nueva Asuncion (Paraguay), October 23;
Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere in November: 30.8°C (87.4°F) at Das Island, United Arab Emirates, November 1;
Highest temperature ever recorded in Europe in November: 35.1°C (95.2°F) at Sisi, Crete, November 4;
Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in South America: 34.6°C (94.3°F) at Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay, November 18; and
Highest temperature ever recorded in Africa in November: 46.7°C (116.1°F) at Augrabies Falls, South Africa, November 27.

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