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It Was Less Hot in 2013


US Temp Anomalies Map, 2013In 2013, the average national temperature moderated somewhat from 2012, according to the National Overview – Annual 2013, an annual review published by the National Climate Data Center. The average national temperature was 37th highest ever measured. This puts it in the highest 1/3 of all time, but not among the most extreme.

The temperature varied across the country, and the first map on the right shows the distribution. Orange means above average temperatures, blue means below average. The number for each state represents the rank, with 1 being the coldest year on record, and 119 being the hottest. California was much above average, and some other states were somewhat above average, while a large swath of the Midwest, South, and Great Plains were below average.

(Click on map for larger view)

Compare this map to the one in my post from last January: quite a difference, except for poor old California.

US & MO Avg Temp 1895-2013The chart at right updates the chart I posted last January for the average yearly temperature for the U.S. and for Missouri. The blue line represents Missouri, and the red one represents the U.S, and the dashed lines show the linear trend. The overall shape of the graph remains the same, but the chart clearly shows that 2013 had significant decline from 2012. In fact, in Missouri, the decline was a whopping 5°, the largest yearly change ever recorded.

(Click on chart for larger view)

As noted last January, Missouri shows more yearly volatility than does the nation as a whole. That’s because the national average includes widely separated parts of the country that may have very different weather at any given time, and the differences partially balance each other out. Notice also, however, that the national trend over time seems to be increasing more quickly than the Missouri one. That is consistent with many global warming predictions, where Missouri is often expected to warm less than some other regions.


The map of temperatures in the United States came from:
National Climatic Data Center. 2013. “National Overview – Annual 2013.” NCDC Home Page » Climate Information » Analyses – Monthly U.S. Climate Reports » U.S. Analysis. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national. On this page, if the national overview is not showing, select “National Overview,” in the Report Field, “2013” in the Year Field, and “Annual” in the Month Field.

Additional maps and charts were created from data downloaded from:
National Climatic Data Center, “Climate at a Glance.” NCDC Home Page » Temperature, Precipitation, and Drought Rankings. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag.

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