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Matthew S. Jones
,
Brian A. Colle
, and
Jeffrey S. Tongue

Abstract

A short-range ensemble forecast system was constructed over the northeast United States down to 12-km grid spacing using 18 members from the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model (MM5). The ensemble consisted of 12 physics members with varying planetary boundary layer schemes and convective parameterizations as well as seven different initial conditions (ICs) [five National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Eta-bred members at 2100 UTC and the 0000 UTC NCEP Global Forecast System (GFS) and Eta runs]. The full 18-member ensemble (ALL) was verified at the surface for the warm (May–September 2003) and cool (October 2003–March 2004) seasons. A randomly chosen subset of seven physics (PHS) members at each forecast hour was used to quantitatively compare with the seven IC members. During the warm season, the PHS ensemble predictions for surface temperature and wind speed had more skill than the IC ensemble and a control (shared PHS and IC member) run initialized 12 h later (CTL12). During the cool and warm seasons, a 14-day running-mean bias calibration applied to the ALL ensemble (ALLBC) added 10%–30% more skill for temperature, wind speed, and sea level pressure, with the ALLBC far outperforming the CTL12. For the 24-h precipitation, the PHS ensemble had comparable probabilistic skill to the IC ensemble during the warm season, while the IC subensemble was more skillful during the cool season. All ensemble members had large diurnal surface biases, with ensemble variance approximating ensemble uncertainty only for wind direction. Selection of ICs was also important, because during the cool season the NCEP-bred members introduced large errors into the IC ensemble for sea level pressure, while none of the subensembles (PHS, IC, or ALL) outperformed the GFS–MM5 for sea level pressure.

Full access
Matthew S. Jones
,
Mark A. Saunders
, and
Trevor H. Guymer

Abstract

The Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) was launched in July 1991 on the European Space Agency's first remote sensing satellite ERS-1. ATSR has the potential to measure sea surface temperature (SST) to a precision of 0.3 K, which is more than double the accuracy of any previously flown infrared radiometer. A key factor limiting ATSR's performance is remnant cloud contamination. Examination of the 0.5° spatially averaged ATSR SST data (version 500) from the South Atlantic for the whole of 1992 and 1993 shows the presence of regional cloud contamination in the night SST measurements. The authors establish a figure of 5.7% as a lower limit for this nighttime cloud contamination. The contamination leads to differences between day and night mean SSTs and to poor comparisons with in situ thermosalinograph SST data. A new cloud filtering process designed for postprocessing of the data is proposed to remove the contamination. The algorithm presented here relies on assumptions that the day data are less cloud contaminated than the night data and that a large proportion of the SST variability can he explained by an annual and semiannual model. Testing the filtering algorithm shows that differences between the day and night SST signals are substantially reduced and that comparisons with the thermosalinograph SST data improve by a factor of 3 in rms scatter and by 0.3 K in the mean difference.

Full access
Erik N. Rasmussen
,
Jerry M. Straka
,
Matthew S. Gilmore
, and
Robert Davies-Jones

Abstract

This paper develops a definition of a supercell reflectivity feature called the descending reflectivity core (DRC). This is a reflectivity maximum pendant from the rear side of an echo overhang above a supercell weak-echo region. Examples of supercells with and without DRCs are presented from two days during the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX), as well as one day with tornadic high-precipitation supercell storms in central Kansas. It was found that in all cases, tornado formation was preceded by the descent of a DRC. However, the sample reported herein is much too small to allow conclusions regarding the overall frequency of DRC occurrence in supercells, or the frequency with which DRCs precede tornado formation. Although further research needs to be done to establish climatological frequencies, the apparent relationship observed between DRCs and impending tornado formation in several supercells is important enough to warrant publication of preliminary findings.

Full access
Márcio Rocha Francelino
,
Carlos Schaefer
,
Maria de Los Milagros Skansi
,
Steve Colwell
,
David H. Bromwich
,
Phil Jones
,
John C. King
,
Matthew A. Lazzara
,
James Renwick
,
Susan Solomon
,
Manola Brunet
, and
Randall S. Cerveny

ABSTRACT

Two reports of Antarctic region potential new record high temperature observations (18.3°C, 6 February 2020 at Esperanza station and 20.8°C, 9 February 2020 at a Brazilian automated permafrost monitoring station on Seymour Island) were evaluated by a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) panel of atmospheric scientists. The latter figure was reported as 20.75°C in the media. The panel considered the synoptic situation and instrumental setups. It determined that a large high pressure system over the area created föhn conditions and resulted in local warming for both situations. Examination of the data and metadata of the Esperanza station observation revealed no major concerns. However, analysis of data and metadata of the Seymour Island permafrost monitoring station indicated that an improvised radiation shield led to a demonstrable thermal bias error for the temperature sensor. Consequently, the WMO has accepted the 18.3°C value for 1200 LST 6 February 2020 (1500 UTC 6 February 2020) at the Argentine Esperanza station as the new “Antarctic region (continental, including mainland and surrounding islands) highest temperature recorded observation” but rejected the 20.8°C observation at the Brazilian automated Seymour Island permafrost monitoring station as biased. The committee strongly emphasizes the permafrost monitoring station was not badly designed for its purpose, but the project investigators were forced to improvise a nonoptimal radiation shield after losing the original covering. Second, with regard to media dissemination of this type of information, the committee urges increased caution in early announcements as many media outlets often tend to sensationalize and mischaracterize potential records.

Full access
Leila M. V. Carvalho
,
Gert-Jan Duine
,
Craig Clements
,
Stephan F. J. De Wekker
,
Harindra J. S. Fernando
,
David R. Fitzjarrald
,
Robert G. Fovell
,
Charles Jones
,
Zhien Wang
,
Loren White
,
Anthony Bucholtz
,
Matthew J. Brewer
,
William Brown
,
Matt Burkhart
,
Edward Creegan
,
Min Deng
,
Marian de Orla-Barile
,
David Emmitt
,
Steve Greco
,
Terry Hock
,
James Kasic
,
Kiera Malarkey
,
Griffin Modjeski
,
Steven Oncley
,
Alison Rockwell
,
Daisuke Seto
,
Callum Thompson
, and
Holger Vömel

Abstract

Coastal Santa Barbara is among the most exposed communities to wildfire hazards in Southern California. Downslope, dry, and gusty windstorms are frequently observed on the south-facing slopes of the Santa Ynez Mountains that separate the Pacific Ocean from the Santa Ynez valley. These winds, known as “Sundowners,” peak after sunset and are strong throughout the night and early morning. The Sundowner Winds Experiment (SWEX) was a field campaign funded by the National Science Foundation that took place in Santa Barbara, California, between 1 April and 15 May 2022. It was a collaborative effort of 10 institutions to advance understanding and predictability of Sundowners, while providing rich datasets for developing new theories of downslope windstorms in coastal environments with similar geographic and climatic characteristics. Sundowner spatiotemporal characteristics are controlled by complex interactions among atmospheric processes occurring upstream (Santa Ynez valley), and downstream due to the influence of a cool and stable marine boundary layer. SWEX was designed to enhance spatial measurements to resolve local circulations and vertical structure from the surface to the midtroposphere and from the Santa Barbara Channel to the Santa Ynez valley. This article discusses how SWEX brought cutting-edge science and the strengths of multiple ground-based and mobile instrument platforms to bear on this important problem. Among them are flux towers, mobile and stationary lidars, wind profilers, ceilometers, radiosondes, and an aircraft equipped with three lidars and a dropsonde system. The unique features observed during SWEX using this network of sophisticated instruments are discussed here.

Open access
Michael J. DeFlorio
,
Agniv Sengupta
,
Christopher M. Castellano
,
Jiabao Wang
,
Zhenhai Zhang
,
Alexander Gershunov
,
Kristen Guirguis
,
Rosa Luna Niño
,
Rachel E. S. Clemesha
,
Ming Pan
,
Mu Xiao
,
Brian Kawzenuk
,
Peter B. Gibson
,
William Scheftic
,
Patrick D. Broxton
,
Matthew B. Switanek
,
Jing Yuan
,
Michael D. Dettinger
,
Chad W. Hecht
,
Daniel R. Cayan
,
Bruce D. Cornuelle
,
Arthur J. Miller
,
Julie Kalansky
,
Luca Delle Monache
,
F. Martin Ralph
,
Duane E. Waliser
,
Andrew W. Robertson
,
Xubin Zeng
,
David G. DeWitt
,
Jeanine Jones
, and
Michael L. Anderson

Abstract

California experienced a historic run of nine consecutive landfalling atmospheric rivers (ARs) in three weeks’ time during winter 2022/23. Following three years of drought from 2020 to 2022, intense landfalling ARs across California in December 2022–January 2023 were responsible for bringing reservoirs back to historical averages and producing damaging floods and debris flows. In recent years, the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes and collaborating institutions have developed and routinely provided to end users peer-reviewed experimental seasonal (1–6 month lead time) and subseasonal (2–6 week lead time) prediction tools for western U.S. ARs, circulation regimes, and precipitation. Here, we evaluate the performance of experimental seasonal precipitation forecasts for winter 2022/23, along with experimental subseasonal AR activity and circulation forecasts during the December 2022 regime shift from dry conditions to persistent troughing and record AR-driven wetness over the western United States. Experimental seasonal precipitation forecasts were too dry across Southern California (likely due to their overreliance on La Niña), and the observed above-normal precipitation across Northern and Central California was underpredicted. However, experimental subseasonal forecasts skillfully captured the regime shift from dry to wet conditions in late December 2022 at 2–3 week lead time. During this time, an active MJO shift from phases 4 and 5 to 6 and 7 occurred, which historically tilts the odds toward increased AR activity over California. New experimental seasonal and subseasonal synthesis forecast products, designed to aggregate information across institutions and methods, are introduced in the context of this historic winter to provide situational awareness guidance to western U.S. water managers.

Open access
M. Ades
,
R. Adler
,
Rob Allan
,
R. P. Allan
,
J. Anderson
,
Anthony Argüez
,
C. Arosio
,
J. A. Augustine
,
C. Azorin-Molina
,
J. Barichivich
,
J. Barnes
,
H. E. Beck
,
Andreas Becker
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
David I. Berry
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Olivier. Bock
,
Michael G. Bosilovich
,
Olivier. Boucher
,
S. A. Buehler
,
Laura. Carrea
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
F. Chouza
,
John R. Christy
,
E.-S. Chung
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Gil P. Compo
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Curt Covey
,
A. Crotwell
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Elvira de Eyto
,
Richard A. M de Jeu
,
B.V. VanderSat
,
Curtis L. DeGasperi
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Larry Di Girolamo
,
Martin T. Dokulil
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff S. Dutton
,
G. Duveiller
,
James W. Elkins
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Richard A. Frey
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
J. Garforth
,
S. K. Gupta
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Brad D. Hall
,
Ian Harris
,
Andrew K Heidinger
,
D. L. Hemming
,
Shu-peng (Ben) Ho
,
Daan Hubert
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
I. Hüser
,
Antje Inness
,
K. Isaksen
,
Viju John
,
Philip D. Jones
,
J. W. Kaiser
,
S. Kelly
,
S. Khaykin
,
R. Kidd
,
Hyungiun Kim
,
Z. Kipling
,
B. M. Kraemer
,
D. P. Kratz
,
R. S. La Fuente
,
Xin Lan
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
T. Leblanc
,
Bailing Li
,
Norman G Loeb
,
Craig S. Long
,
Diego Loyola
,
Wlodzimierz Marszelewski
,
B. Martens
,
Linda May
,
Michael Mayer
,
M. F. McCabe
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
W. Paul Menzel
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Ben R. Miller
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Stephen A. Montzka
,
Colin Morice
,
Jens Mühle
,
R. Myneni
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Tim J. Osborn
,
T. Park
,
A. Pasik
,
Andrew M. Paterson
,
Mauri S. Pelto
,
S. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
,
G. Pétron
,
C. Phillips
,
Bernard Pinty
,
S. Po-Chedley
,
L. Polvani
,
W. Preimesberger
,
M. Pulkkanen
,
W. J. Randel
,
Samuel Rémy
,
L. Ricciardulli
,
A. D. Richardson
,
L. Rieger
,
David A. Robinson
,
Matthew Rodell
,
Karen H. Rosenlof
,
Chris Roth
,
A. Rozanov
,
James A. Rusak
,
O. Rusanovskaya
,
T. Rutishäuser
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
P. Sawaengphokhai
,
T. Scanlon
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
S. Geoffey Schladow
,
R. W Schlegel
,
Eawag Schmid, Martin
,
H. B. Selkirk
,
S. Sharma
,
Lei Shi
,
S. V. Shimaraeva
,
E. A. Silow
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
C. A. Smith
,
Sharon L Smith
,
B. J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
T. H. Sparks
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Dimitri A. Streletskiy
,
G. Taha
,
Hagen Telg
,
S. J. Thackeray
,
M. A. Timofeyev
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald J. van der A
,
Robin, VanderSat B.V. van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der SchrierW. Paul
,
Guido R. van der Werf
,
Piet Verburg
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Ray Wang
,
Shohei G. Watanabe
,
Mark Weber
,
Gesa A. Weyhenmeyer
,
David Wiese
,
Anne C. Wilber
,
Jeanette D. Wild
,
Takmeng Wong
,
R. Iestyn Woolway
,
Xungang Yin
,
Lin Zhao
,
Guanguo Zhao
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
, and
Markus Ziese
Free access
Robert J. H. Dunn
,
F. Aldred
,
Nadine Gobron
,
John B. Miller
,
Kate M. Willett
,
M. Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
Richard, P. Allan
,
Rob Allan
,
J. Anderson
,
Anthony Argüez
,
C. Arosio
,
John A. Augustine
,
C. Azorin-Molina
,
J. Barichivich
,
H. E. Beck
,
Andreas Becker
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
David I. Berry
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Olivier Bock
,
X. Bodin
,
Michael G. Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
S. A. Buehler
,
B. Calmettes
,
Laura Carrea
,
Laura Castia
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
E.-S. Chung
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Curt Covey
,
J.-F. Cretaux
,
M. Crotwell
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Doug Degenstein
,
R. Delaloye
,
Larry Di Girolamo
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff S. Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
James W. Elkins
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
J. Garforth
,
Matthew Gentry
,
S. K. Gupta
,
S. Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Brad D. Hall
,
Ian Harris
,
D. L. Hemming
,
M. Hirschi
,
Shu-pen (Ben) Ho
,
F. Hrbacek
,
Daan Hubert
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Antje Inness
,
K. Isaksen
,
Viju O. John
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Robert Junod
,
J. W. Kaiser
,
V. Kaufmann
,
A. Kellerer-Pirklbauer
,
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
R. Kidd
,
Hyungjun Kim
,
Z. Kipling
,
A. Koppa
,
B. M. Kraemer
,
D. P. Kratz
,
Xin Lan
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
D. Lavers
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Diego Loyola
,
R. Madelon
,
Michael Mayer
,
M. F. McCabe
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
L. Moesinger
,
Stephen A. Montzka
,
Colin Morice
,
L. Mösinger
,
Jens Mühle
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Ben Noll
,
J. O’Keefe
,
Tim J. Osborn
,
T. Park
,
A. J. Pasik
,
C. Pellet
,
Maury S. Pelto
,
S. E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
,
G. Petron
,
Coda Phillips
,
S. Po-Chedley
,
L. Polvani
,
W. Preimesberger
,
D. G. Rains
,
W. J. Randel
,
Nick A. Rayner
,
Samuel Rémy
,
L. Ricciardulli
,
A. D. Richardson
,
David A. Robinson
,
Matthew Rodell
,
N. J. Rodríguez-Fernández
,
K.H. Rosenlof
,
C. Roth
,
A. Rozanov
,
T. Rutishäuser
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
P. Sawaengphokhai
,
T. Scanlon
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
R. W. Schlegel
,
S. Sharma
,
Lei Shi
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
Carolina Siso
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
B. J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
T. H. Sparks
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Martin Stengel
,
Dimitri A. Streletskiy
,
Sunny Sun-Mack
,
P. Tans
,
S. J. Thackeray
,
E. Thibert
,
D. Tokuda
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald van der A
,
Robin van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
M. van der Vliet
,
Guido R. van der Werf
,
A. Vance
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Isaac J. Vimont
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Ray Wang
,
Markus Weber
,
David Wiese
,
Anne C. Wilber
,
Jeanette D. Wild
,
Takmeng Wong
,
R. Iestyn Woolway
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Xungang Yin
,
Guangyu Zhao
,
Lin Zhao
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
,
Markus Ziese
, and
R. M. Zotta
Free access
T. A. Moon
,
R. Thoman
,
M. L. Druckenmiller
,
Brandon Ahmasuk
,
Stacia A. Backensto
,
Thomas J. Ballinger
,
Rasmus Benestad
,
Logan. T. Berner
,
Germar H. Bernhard
,
Uma S. Bhatt
,
Siiri Bigalke
,
W. BjerkeJarle
,
Brian Brettschneider
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
Judah L. Cohen
,
Bertrand Decharme
,
Chris Derksen
,
Dmitry Divine
,
Jensen Drost
,
Matthew L. Druckenmiller
,
Alesksandra EliasChereque
,
Howard E. Epstein
,
Robert S. Fausto
,
Xavier Fettweis
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Bruce C. Forbes
,
(JJ)
,
Sebastian Gerland
,
Scott J. Goetz
,
Jens-Uwe Grooß
,
Edward Hanna
,
Inger Hanssen-Bauer
,
Stefan Hendricks
,
Robert M. Holmes
,
Iolanda Ialongo
,
Ketil Isaksen
,
Bjørn Johnsen
,
Timothy Jones
,
Robb S.A. Kaler
,
Lars Kaleschke
,
Seong-Joong Kim
,
Zachary M. Labe
,
Rick Lader
,
Kaisa Lakkala
,
Mark J. Lara
,
Jackie Lindsey
,
Bryant D. Loomis
,
Kari Luojus
,
Matthew J. Macander
,
Jostein Mamen
,
Ken D. Mankoff
,
Gloria L. Manney
,
Stephanie A. McAfee
,
James W. McClelland
,
Walter N. Meier
,
Twila A. Moon
,
G. W. K. Moore
,
Thomas L. Mote
,
Lawrence Mudryk
,
Rolf Müller
,
Kelsey E. Nyland
,
James E. Overland
,
Julia K. Parrish
,
Donald K. Perovich
,
Guðrún Nína Petersen
,
Alek Petty
,
Gareth K. Phoenix
,
Kristin Poinar
,
Mika Rantanen
,
Robert Ricker
,
Vladimir E. Romanovsky
,
Shawn P. Serbin
,
Mark C. Serreze
,
Gay Sheffield
,
Alexander I. Shiklomanov
,
Nikolay I. Shiklomanov
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
Robert G. M. Spencer
,
Dmitry A. Streletskiy
,
Anya Suslova
,
Tove Svendby
,
Suzanne E. Tank
,
Marco Tedesco
,
Richard L. Thoman
,
Xiangshan Tian-Kunze
,
Mary-Louise Timmermans
,
Hans Tømmervik
,
Mikhail Tretiakov
,
(Skip)
,
John E. Walsh
,
Muyin Wang
,
Melinda Webster
,
Adrian Wehrlé
,
Dedi Yang
,
Scott Zolkos
,
Jessicca Allen
,
Amy V. Camper
,
Bridgette O. Haley
,
Gregory Hammer
,
S. Love-Brotak
,
Laura Ohlmann
,
Lukas Noguchi
,
Deborah B. Riddle
, and
Sara W. Veasey
Open access
Tim Boyer
,
Ellen Bartow-Gillies
,
A. Abida
,
Melanie Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
Susheel Adusumilli
,
W. Agyakwah
,
Brandon Ahmasuk
,
Laura S. Aldeco
,
Mihai Alexe
,
Eric J. Alfaro
,
Richard P. Allan
,
Adam Allgood
,
Lincoln. M. Alves
,
Jorge A. Amador
,
John Anderson
,
B. Andrade
,
Orlane Anneville
,
Yasuyuki Aono
,
Anthony Arguez
,
Carlo Arosio
,
C. Atkinson
,
John A. Augustine
,
Grinia Avalos
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Stacia A. Backensto
,
Stephan Bader
,
Julian Baez
,
Rebecca Baiman
,
Thomas J. Ballinger
,
Alison F. Banwell
,
M. Yu Bardin
,
Jonathan Barichivich
,
John E. Barnes
,
Sandra Barreira
,
Rebecca L. Beadling
,
Hylke E. Beck
,
Emily J. Becker
,
E. Bekele
,
Guillem Martín Bellido
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
Rasmus Benestad
,
Christine Berne
,
Logan. T. Berner
,
Germar H. Bernhard
,
Uma S. Bhatt
,
A. E. Bhuiyan
,
Siiri Bigalke
,
Tiago Biló
,
Peter Bissolli
,
W. Bjerke Jarle
,
Kevin Blagrave
,
Eric S. Blake
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Jessica Blunden
,
Oliver Bochníček
,
Olivier Bock
,
Xavier Bodin
,
Michael Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
Deniz Bozkurt
,
Brian Brettschneider
,
Francis G. Bringas
,
Francis Bringas
,
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Abstract

—J. BLUNDEN, T. BOYER, AND E. BARTOW-GILLIES

Earth’s global climate system is vast, complex, and intricately interrelated. Many areas are influenced by global-scale phenomena, including the “triple dip” La Niña conditions that prevailed in the eastern Pacific Ocean nearly continuously from mid-2020 through all of 2022; by regional phenomena such as the positive winter and summer North Atlantic Oscillation that impacted weather in parts the Northern Hemisphere and the negative Indian Ocean dipole that impacted weather in parts of the Southern Hemisphere; and by more localized systems such as high-pressure heat domes that caused extreme heat in different areas of the world. Underlying all these natural short-term variabilities are long-term climate trends due to continuous increases since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the atmospheric concentrations of Earth’s major greenhouse gases.

In 2022, the annual global average carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere rose to 417.1±0.1 ppm, which is 50% greater than the pre-industrial level. Global mean tropospheric methane abundance was 165% higher than its pre-industrial level, and nitrous oxide was 24% higher. All three gases set new record-high atmospheric concentration levels in 2022.

Sea-surface temperature patterns in the tropical Pacific characteristic of La Niña and attendant atmospheric patterns tend to mitigate atmospheric heat gain at the global scale, but the annual global surface temperature across land and oceans was still among the six highest in records dating as far back as the mid-1800s. It was the warmest La Niña year on record. Many areas observed record or near-record heat. Europe as a whole observed its second-warmest year on record, with sixteen individual countries observing record warmth at the national scale. Records were shattered across the continent during the summer months as heatwaves plagued the region. On 18 July, 104 stations in France broke their all-time records. One day later, England recorded a temperature of 40°C for the first time ever. China experienced its second-warmest year and warmest summer on record. In the Southern Hemisphere, the average temperature across New Zealand reached a record high for the second year in a row. While Australia’s annual temperature was slightly below the 1991–2020 average, Onslow Airport in Western Australia reached 50.7°C on 13 January, equaling Australia's highest temperature on record.

While fewer in number and locations than record-high temperatures, record cold was also observed during the year. Southern Africa had its coldest August on record, with minimum temperatures as much as 5°C below normal over Angola, western Zambia, and northern Namibia. Cold outbreaks in the first half of December led to many record-low daily minimum temperature records in eastern Australia.

The effects of rising temperatures and extreme heat were apparent across the Northern Hemisphere, where snow-cover extent by June 2022 was the third smallest in the 56-year record, and the seasonal duration of lake ice cover was the fourth shortest since 1980. More frequent and intense heatwaves contributed to the second-greatest average mass balance loss for Alpine glaciers around the world since the start of the record in 1970. Glaciers in the Swiss Alps lost a record 6% of their volume. In South America, the combination of drought and heat left many central Andean glaciers snow free by mid-summer in early 2022; glacial ice has a much lower albedo than snow, leading to accelerated heating of the glacier. Across the global cryosphere, permafrost temperatures continued to reach record highs at many high-latitude and mountain locations.

In the high northern latitudes, the annual surface-air temperature across the Arctic was the fifth highest in the 123-year record. The seasonal Arctic minimum sea-ice extent, typically reached in September, was the 11th-smallest in the 43-year record; however, the amount of multiyear ice—ice that survives at least one summer melt season—remaining in the Arctic continued to decline. Since 2012, the Arctic has been nearly devoid of ice more than four years old.

In Antarctica, an unusually large amount of snow and ice fell over the continent in 2022 due to several landfalling atmospheric rivers, which contributed to the highest annual surface mass balance, 15% to 16% above the 1991–2020 normal, since the start of two reanalyses records dating to 1980. It was the second-warmest year on record for all five of the long-term staffed weather stations on the Antarctic Peninsula. In East Antarctica, a heatwave event led to a new all-time record-high temperature of −9.4°C—44°C above the March average—on 18 March at Dome C. This was followed by the collapse of the critically unstable Conger Ice Shelf. More than 100 daily low sea-ice extent and sea-ice area records were set in 2022, including two new all-time annual record lows in net sea-ice extent and area in February.

Across the world’s oceans, global mean sea level was record high for the 11th consecutive year, reaching 101.2 mm above the 1993 average when satellite altimetry measurements began, an increase of 3.3±0.7 over 2021. Globally-averaged ocean heat content was also record high in 2022, while the global sea-surface temperature was the sixth highest on record, equal with 2018. Approximately 58% of the ocean surface experienced at least one marine heatwave in 2022. In the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand’s longest continuous marine heatwave was recorded.

A total of 85 named tropical storms were observed during the Northern and Southern Hemisphere storm seasons, close to the 1991–2020 average of 87. There were three Category 5 tropical cyclones across the globe—two in the western North Pacific and one in the North Atlantic. This was the fewest Category 5 storms globally since 2017. Globally, the accumulated cyclone energy was the lowest since reliable records began in 1981. Regardless, some storms caused massive damage. In the North Atlantic, Hurricane Fiona became the most intense and most destructive tropical or post-tropical cyclone in Atlantic Canada’s history, while major Hurricane Ian killed more than 100 people and became the third costliest disaster in the United States, causing damage estimated at $113 billion U.S. dollars. In the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Batsirai dropped 2044 mm of rain at Commerson Crater in Réunion. The storm also impacted Madagascar, where 121 fatalities were reported.

As is typical, some areas around the world were notably dry in 2022 and some were notably wet. In August, record high areas of land across the globe (6.2%) were experiencing extreme drought. Overall, 29% of land experienced moderate or worse categories of drought during the year. The largest drought footprint in the contiguous United States since 2012 (63%) was observed in late October. The record-breaking megadrought of central Chile continued in its 13th consecutive year, and 80-year record-low river levels in northern Argentina and Paraguay disrupted fluvial transport. In China, the Yangtze River reached record-low values. Much of equatorial eastern Africa had five consecutive below-normal rainy seasons by the end of 2022, with some areas receiving record-low precipitation totals for the year. This ongoing 2.5-year drought is the most extensive and persistent drought event in decades, and led to crop failure, millions of livestock deaths, water scarcity, and inflated prices for staple food items.

In South Asia, Pakistan received around three times its normal volume of monsoon precipitation in August, with some regions receiving up to eight times their expected monthly totals. Resulting floods affected over 30 million people, caused over 1700 fatalities, led to major crop and property losses, and was recorded as one of the world’s costliest natural disasters of all time. Near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petrópolis received 530 mm in 24 hours on 15 February, about 2.5 times the monthly February average, leading to the worst disaster in the city since 1931 with over 230 fatalities.

On 14–15 January, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai submarine volcano in the South Pacific erupted multiple times. The injection of water into the atmosphere was unprecedented in both magnitude—far exceeding any previous values in the 17-year satellite record—and altitude as it penetrated into the mesosphere. The amount of water injected into the stratosphere is estimated to be 146±5 Terragrams, or ∼10% of the total amount in the stratosphere. It may take several years for the water plume to dissipate, and it is currently unknown whether this eruption will have any long-term climate effect.

Open access