World had One of Three Warmest Julys on Record: WMO

World had One of Three Warmest Julys on Record: WMO

Globally, July 2022 was one of three warmest Julys on record, close to 0.4°C above the 1991-2020 reference period

This was was one of the three warmest July’s and the world had the third warmest July on record, with prolonged and intense heatwaves affecting parts of Europe. Antarctic sea ice was the lowest for July on record, according to Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

July 2022 was drier than average for much of Europe, with low precipitation records broken in some countries, hitting local economies, agriculture and increasing the risk of wildfires. This unusually hot and dry weather is continuing in August.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service, which is implemented by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) publishes monthly climate bulletins reporting on the changes observed in global surface air temperature, sea ice cover and hydrological variables.

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The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) uses data from ECMWF, and other internationally recognized datasets for its State of the Global Climate reports.

July 2022 surface air temperature:

Globally, July 2022 was one of three warmest Julys on record, close to 0.4°C above the 1991-2020 reference period, marginally cooler than July 2019 and marginally warmer than July 2016. This is despite the weak La Niña, which is meant to have a cooling influence. Northern hemisphere land masses saw predominantly well above-average temperatures.

Temperatures measuring over 40°C were observed in parts of Portugal, Spain, France and the United Kingdom, which breached the 40°C for the first time.

The Iberian Peninsula saw an unusually large number of days with maximum temperatures above 35°C, underlining the longevity of hot temperatures in this region. The Spanish national meteorological service, AEMET, said that July was the hottest month ever recorded, and the heatwave was the most intense and long-lasting (9 to 26 July) on record.

In the southern hemisphere the most above-average temperatures were recorded in central south America and southern Africa. The northern Pacific and in the ocean adjacent to the Antarctic Peninsula saw above average temperatures.

There were below average temperatures along the western Indian Ocean, from the Horn of Africa to southern India, over much of central Asia, as well as over most of Australia, according to Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Hydrological conditions:

July 2022 was drier than average for much of Europe, with local low precipitation records broken in the west and drought in several locations of the southwest and southeast.

These conditions affected the economy locally and facilitated spread and intensification of wildfires. France had the driest July on record, with a 85% rainfall deficit at national level, according to Météo France.

Wetter-than-average conditions were especially noteworthy in eastern Russia, northern China, and a large wet band spanning from eastern Africa across Asia to northwest India, according to Copernicus Climate Change Service.

It was also wetter than average over much of Scandinavia, Iceland and in regions of central and eastern Europe. Despite average precipitation, Türkiye experienced wetter soils, the legacy of June’s wetter-than-average conditions.

In the southern hemisphere the most above-average temperatures were recorded in central south America and southern Africa. The northern Pacific and in the ocean adjacent to the Antarctic Peninsula saw above average temperatures.

There were below average temperatures along the western Indian Ocean, from the Horn of Africa to southern India, over much of central Asia, as well as over most of Australia, according to Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Sea ice:

Antarctic sea ice extent reached its lowest value for July in the 44-year satellite data record, at 15.3 million km2 on average, 1.1 million km2 (7%) below the 1991-2020 average for July and well below the previous July low.

The low July 2022 value continues a series of much below-average extents observed since February 2022 - including a record low for the month of June.

However, it is worth noting that Antarctic sea ice extent was above average in July 2021, which underscores the large interannual variability that has often characterised Antarctic sea ice throughout the satellite era, according to Copernicus Climate Change Service.

WMO’s regional climate monitoring centres for Europe, operated by the Deutscher Wetterdienst, has issued another updated climate watch on 8 August.

It also issued an updated drought guidance note said there would be below-normal precipitation in Western and Central Europe, Italy, the Balkan Peninsula and western Türkiye in the next two weeks, with absolute weekly precipitation totals will be less than 10 mm in most parts.

Read More: It’s Warmer Than Average, But What is Average?

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