Global Temperature Report: January 2014 Upper Michigan was ‘coldest’ spot on the globe in January

Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.14 C per decade
January temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.29 C (about 0.52 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.39 C (about 0.70 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.20 C (about 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.
Tropics: -0.03 C (about 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit) below 30-year average for January.
December temperatures (revised):
Global Composite: +0.27 C above 30-year average
Northern Hemisphere: +0.27 C above 30-year average
Southern Hemisphere: +0.26 C above 30-year average
Tropics: +0.06 C above 30-year average
(All temperature anomalies are based on a 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month reported.)
Notes on data released Feb. 6, 2014:


Compared to seasonal norms, the coldest place on Earth in January was the upper peninsula of Michigan near Iron River, where temperatures were as much as 3.86 C (about 6.95 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than seasonal norms, according to Dr. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. This was part of a large area of cooler than normal temperatures that covered most of the eastern U.S. and Canada in January, stretching from just south of Hudson Bay through the Gulf of Mexico.
Generally, however, Earth’s atmosphere was warmer than normal in January, with the warmest spot over northeastern Greenland by the Arctic Ocean. Atmospheric temperatures there averaged 6.24 C (just over 11.2 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms for January.
Archived color maps of local temperature anomalies are available on-line at:

As part of an ongoing joint project between UAHuntsville, NOAA and NASA, Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, an ESSC principal scientist, use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas where reliable climate data are not otherwise available.
The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level. Once the monthly temperature data is collected and processed, it is placed in a “public” computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.
Neither Christy nor Spencer receives any research support or funding from oil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private or special interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes from federal and state grants or contracts.
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Dr. Roy Spencer writes:

UAH Global Temperature Update for January 2014: +0.29 deg. C

February 5th, 2014

The Version 5.6 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for January, 2014 is +0.29 deg. C, little changed from December (click for full size version):

The global, hemispheric, and tropical LT anomalies from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 13 months are:

2013 1 +0.497 +0.517 +0.478 +0.386
2013 2 +0.203 +0.372 +0.033 +0.195
2013 3 +0.200 +0.333 +0.067 +0.243
2013 4 +0.114 +0.128 +0.101 +0.165
2013 5 +0.082 +0.180 -0.015 +0.112
2013 6 +0.295 +0.335 +0.255 +0.220
2013 7 +0.173 +0.134 +0.211 +0.074
2013 8 +0.158 +0.111 +0.206 +0.009
2013 9 +0.365 +0.339 +0.390 +0.190
2013 10 +0.290 +0.331 +0.249 +0.031
2013 11 +0.193 +0.160 +0.226 +0.020
2013 12 +0.266 +0.272 +0.260 +0.057
2014 1 +0.291 +0.386 +0.196 -0.027

The global image for January should be available in the next day or so here.

Popular monthly data files (these might take a few days to update):

uahncdc_lt_5.6.txt (Lower Troposphere)
uahncdc_mt_5.6.txt (Mid-Troposphere)
uahncdc_ls_5.6.txt (Lower Stratosphere)

54 thoughts on “Global Temperature Report: January 2014 Upper Michigan was ‘coldest’ spot on the globe in January

  1. The loopy jet stream brought cold air down over Michigan and Siberia, and warm air up over Europe and Alaska, and the map simply reflects those loops. Dr.Spencer is merely telling it like it is.
    I’d actually prefer a zonal pattern, that traps the cold up where it can do little harm. Having the cold come down and freeze up the Great Lakes will give me a cold spring, as I live downwind of those lakes. Also having heat transported up to the Pole seems likely to lose it to outer space, in the sunless arctic winter. I wish the heat would just stay down at my latitude.
    However I suppose that is selfish of me. The poor of Europe got a break from the foolish energy policies that doubled their cost of staying warm, (except for the British Isles, which just got wet gale after wet gale,)

  2. So all that extra ‘heat’ up north and over Alaska was caused by high pressure areas and the air that descends and then warms out of them?
    What happened to all that energy from when the air compressed?

  3. I was in the UP (Upper Peninsula) for three weeks in January. Coldest I’ve been in the 45 years since I left!

  4. That’s a very misleading headline – just sayin’. I guess we’re supposed to take if for granted that the scare quotes mean “Not really”.

  5. What to make of this:
    If the low point between 1984 & 1985 is connected to January 2014, the line slopes up.
    If the high point at 1988 is connected to January 2014, the line has no slope.
    If the high of 1998 is connected, the slope is down.
    On the other hand, all of the lower 48 States are cold. Miami is the only major city listed on the intellicast map that is warm. Let’s all go there.

  6. Indeed … not only colder but snowier this year as well … so far this season in Buffalo, snowfall total comes to 90″ (ave to date is 65″).
    And here it’s just the first week of February … another 5″ of snow and we’ll have hit an entire average season’s snowfall … it just keeps on coming and coming … if the rest of the season delivers only an average snowfall we’ll end up with 120″ (or 10′) of snow for the season.
    I’m more than ready for spring …

  7. wws says:
    February 6, 2014 at 11:24 am
    That’s a very misleading headline – just sayin’. I guess we’re supposed to take if for granted that the scare quotes mean “Not really”.

    What the headline’s ‘coldest’ was trying to convey was ‘coldest than normal’. That is, UM had the lowest anomaly.

  8. Looking at all the COLA anomaly maps to date I’m surmising that February 2014 will hit a minus value. This is especially valid when ALL of RUSSIA, ASIA including China and INdia, NORTH AMERICA and MIDDLE EAST are ALL showing pretty extreme BELOW anomalies to date, The SH is generally neutral, South America, Africa and Australia (half cold half hot etc…)
    COLA maps here
    Hit temperature for each continent real easy….

  9. Sorry about your cold spells, USA folk, but spare a thought for the Uk, the jet stream has steered so many low pressure storms over us that we are drowning and ancient sea defences are crumbling. Greeny capture of the Environment Agency and the Dept of environment has added to the problem. It may not be cold but… glug glug bubble bubble

  10. keith at hastings uk says: @ February 6, 2014 at 12:16 pm
    Sorry about your cold spells, USA folk, but spare a thought for the Uk, the jet stream has steered so many low pressure storms over us that we are drowning…
    Welcome to Steve Wilde’s, Wild world of Loopy Jets and Loopy weather.

    They’re rioting in Africa
    They’re starving in Spain
    There’s hurricanes in Florida
    And Texas needs rain.
    The whole world is festering
    With unhappy souls
    The French hate the Germans,
    The Germans hate the Poles
    Italians hate Yugoslavs
    South Africans hate the Dutch
    And I don’t like anybody very much….
    Sung By Ellie Stone ca. 1958.

    HMMMmmmm Seems things haven’t changed that much.

  11. The tropics has found its temperature. It is roughly the same no matter the concentration of CO2. The tropics has a strong temperature regulator called thunderstorms, and they start when the conditions are right and this phenomenon is the thermostat for the whole earth.

  12. However I suppose that is selfish of me. The poor of Europe got a break from the foolish energy policies that doubled their cost of staying warm, (except for the British Isles, which just got wet gale after wet gale,)
    In Poor europe we are getting poorer. Don’t be fooled by recent headlines of co² target reductions. It simply isn’t true. Next year, in France we will all be forced to pay an eco-tax on energy which amounts to 8.5cents on a litre of diesel and a little less on heating oil and we already have had an increase, this year, of the VAT on energy. Unlike other parts of europe in france we pay VAT (20%) on all energy. Next year the EU will begin it’s roll out of E10 fuel for cars and lorrys which contains a much higher % of bio fuel. This has been shown to damage the modern engines which were specifically designed to meet the EU demands on fuel economy.
    The EU economy will crash with a big bang in the next 3 – 5 years.

  13. So I wonder what connection to the Magnetosphere looks like at this time. Has the polar vortex (Magnetosphere footprints) moved down to or near Michigan??

  14. Why 79 as a starting point? It is one of the coldest winters on record…….back then quacks were screaming about globaloneycooling and the need to act now. There has been a temp decline since 1890 and btw climate is also very local. There is no globaloneycllimate (see thermodynamics).

  15. Down here in Florida, the tourists were hopping mad; we had freezing weather and frost as far south as West Palm Beach. Temps were as low as the mid-30s here in Fort Lauderdale.

  16. The map shows a cool anomaly over the UK, however the UK has not had below normal temps. Is this where we see the difference between lower troposphere and surface temps?

  17. If the current trends stay stable for another 15 years and 30 year average is shifted to reflect this then the anomalies would approach zero. To say there is a pause of global warming for the last 15 years is to say that the anomaly would be zero today given that shorter base average. A day to day anomaly could be deemed weather. How long a period does the base have to extend to define climate?

  18. Ferdinand (@StFerdinandIII) says:
    February 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm
    Why 79 as a starting point?
    Because that is when the satellite was launched.
    A bit of the history behind it is HERE

  19. Our observations of the Stephenson screen the past 7 days (where normals are +2 day, -4 night time) have gone from -1.5 daytime to -8 daytime, and -7 night time now -14.5 night time. Is this abnormal? Not at all. We have seen these polar outbreaks where we live for the past 25 years EVERY year. As an ex farmer these were the most dreaded times all year, we needed to start pruning vines and trees (time management on a large farm) and after pruning if there was an outbreak of damaging cold you couldn’t glue the trees together so damage could be up to 80%. And the later the cold outbreak, the worse the damage became It seems to me that trees etc become less and less able to stand the cold as winter drags on (sort of antifreeze breaking down in a car after time ) and a “false spring” made it even worse,

  20. Michigan and Wisconsin have had the coldest winter since records began in the 1890’s. Our area on the 45th parallel has already exceeded the annual average snowfall (over 140″), and I shovelled every inch of it. We’ve had no snow meltdowns at all – highly unusual.
    Piers Corbyn’s forecasts for the US have been spot on the entire winter through January, including the polar vortex induced weather. As he said on his blog today at WeatherAction: “The Wrath of Winter is upon us -driven by the increasingly wild Jet Stream as the world accelerates deeper into a new Mini-Ice-Age”
    I cannot emphasize enough the importance of understanding the very real dangerous weather ahead, as Piers says. You doubters of his out there don’t have a leg to stand on. So many others who understand the cooling cycle like Don Easterbrook know we’re in for it, like it or not. The fools in government thought they could use the CO2 fairy tale to dictate energy policy, but mother nature is having none of it. Solar-Lunar action dictates the weather and climate, not CO2.
    We haven’t seen anything like this since the late 70’s. Can’t wait for summer, if we have one. I just hope we have a decent growing season, ’cause I want to eat fresh tomatoes out of our garden again… Counting the days ’til the next solar max… whenever that is… Interested in the solar weather connection? See “The Sunspot Mystery” at and find out.

  21. You bet your bippy it’s cold up here in the UP. I’m in IronWOOD, about 60 miles west of Iron RIVER (there’s yet another Iron up here, Iron MOUNTAIN). All the Irons reflect the history of iron deposits and iron mining that, along with logging and copper mining, built this region (Marquette, Michigan is still a significant iron mining area).
    The cold is punishing the deer herd here, killing many and making them even more susceptible to predation by our numerous timber wolves. Getting a diesel tractor started is tough sledding. We’ve had weeks now where the daily maximum is single digits and night is subzero. Add to that a “propane crisis” where the fuel, normally selling for about $1.99 a gallon, has zoomed into the stratosphere, up to as much as $5.99/gallon (my last purchase was $5.49 on the minimum amount, 150 gallons). We may have some of our less well-off folk losing their houses to the cold, or possibly, their lives.
    Let’s get this straight: COLD is a killer. The Global Warming fanatics are dangerous lunatics who should be locked away. A degree or two of actual warming would benefit damn near everyone, but I suspect that is not in the cards. The joker in the deck may be a cooling episode that is, in fact, catastrophic, at least to elderly and low-income people.

  22. JimF – you can thank the folks down in IA for the propane prices.
    The corn came in wet and they used so much propane to dry the stuff that it created a shortage.
    Another unintended consequence of used food for fuel…

  23. @ A C Osborn says:
    Sorry, NH = +0.386
    Does not match reality.
    Thanks–my sentiments exactly. I still say (yes, I know you’re tired of hearing it) that there is something wrong with the satellite data (not saying it was intentional at all–but malfunctioning or miscalculating–something) My reality says its trending cool much more than we see in the reports–soo many cold records, too many dead and dying, too many places with “the coldest since…”
    Maybe the data appear wrong because past data was adjusted? So it makes the satellite-based instruments measure from the wrong base?

  24. Re: Day By Day & AC Osborn
    Look at the map. In the NH it is obvious that the yellows and oranges out number the areas that are blue.
    I spent the month in Chi-beria, and it was one of the coldest, snowiest, January’s we have had, since 78 and 79. I guess Alaska deserves a break, every 20 years or so. But I am counting the days until Spring.

  25. “DavidS says:
    February 6, 2014 at 3:32 pm
    The map shows a cool anomaly over the UK, however the UK has not had below normal temps. Is this where we see the difference between lower troposphere and surface temps?”
    Odd – The satellite lower troposphere data for the UK shows 0.5 to 1.5 degrees below normal. The Met Office mean temperature anomaly against 1981-2010 shows 0.5 to 1.5 degrees above normal for most of the UK. . I haven’t got an explanation for the difference

  26. rogerknights says:
    February 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    What the headline’s ‘coldest’ was trying to convey was ‘coldest than normal’.

    Jeez, I hope not. That would be really illiterate. ‘Coldest compared to normal’, maybe.

  27. We have lived in the Iron River- Crystal Falls area for almost 32 years and this year has been our coldest extended period during the winter without a day when we were above 25 degrees F

  28. There is no way in hell that this image is accurate. You have the arctic circle warmer than smoking hot Australia.

  29. I live & grew up in Iron River & it was COLD for sure! Dats da U.P. for ya! After 22 years of living here you learn to adapt. Now I completely understand why my heating bill for the month of January was so high!

  30. I have lived in the U.P. for nearly 51 years (Bessemer and now Ironwood). This is the coldest winter we have had. It was -12 in my back yard at 8:30 this morning, the sun was shining and not much wind. I was out tossing a ball for my dog without my jacket on. It actually felt pretty good.

  31. RE: RoyMc says:
    February 7, 2014 at 10:43 am
    That is odd how your MET map shows warm where the Satellite map shows cold. My stab at an answer is that the MET map shows temperatures at ground level, and the Satellite map, in showing the “lower troposphere,” shows the ground level and also some air above that level. (I do notice the MET map shows higher parts of Scotland as being below normal, in January.)
    It has been amazing to watch the British Isles be hit by gale after gale. I’ve joked the Icelandic Low should be renamed the Britannic Low, this winter. It is as if the pattern has been trying to get into a negative AO- negative NAO pattern (where the Atlantic storms go south into the Mediterranean,) but only can get half of the way there.
    In the negative AO- negative NAO pattern the wicked cold air in Siberia backs west and you get your coldest east winds. Last January the Siberian air made it to Norway, but seemed to have trouble crossing the North Sea. However it may have seeped across at slightly higher levels. (A friend “across the Pond” alerted me to his first snowfall, in January.) It may have cooled the “lower troposphere” without getting all the way down to ground level.
    That is my stab at explaining why the MET map differs from the Satellite map.

  32. Zek203 says:
    February 6, 2014 at 3:40 pm
    Climate is conventionally defined as the average of weather over 30 years or more. The period 2009 to 2038 is liable to be colder than the first 30 years of the satellite era, 1979-2008. But by then the CACA Team will be retired on generous pensions, with no need to say “Oops! Never mind.” Being tenured & government funded means never having to say you’re sorry.

  33. Oh….wonderful Iron River! Beautiful in the summer. Brutal in the winter. My family is from there and I lived there one year from January through August (always visited in the summer). It’s horribly cold, but thankfully, they normally don’t get the ton of snow as they do in Houghton and Marquette. Still very snowy this year though.

  34. Al Gore should come to Iron River and really see and feel the cold ! Born and raised in this area, those who can be snowbirds and enjoy the seasons without extreme cold are very fortunate.

  35. Makes me wonder who records temperatures. Friend who lives in Dzalinda Siberia is still experiencing temps of -60 below zero. Think the coldest day this winter was 73 below zero there. Someone is just sampling the warmest spots on earth. Most likely a liberal progressive trying to push a political agenda that is contrary to reality. Everybody knows there are weather cycles and it is a natural phenomenon.

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