November 2017: A Top-Five Warmest November Globally

December 18, 2017, 4:33 PM EST

article image
Above:  Typhoon Damrey as seen on November 3, 2017, a day before hitting Vietnam as a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds. Damrey was the deadliest weather disaster of November, killing 114. Image credit: NASA.

November 2017 was Earth's fifth warmest November since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on Monday. NOAA rated the five warmest Novembers since 1880 as being 2015, 2013, 2010, 2004, and 2017 (tied with 2016.) NASA rated November 2017 as the planet’s third warmest November on record, with the only warmer Novembers coming in 2015 and 2016. Minor differences can occur between the NASA and NOAA rankings because of their different techniques for analyzing data-sparse regions such as the Arctic.

Global ocean temperatures last month were the fourth warmest on record for any November, according to NOAA, and global land temperatures were the ninth warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the second or third warmest for any November in the 39-year record, according to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), respectively.

November 2017 departure of temperature from average
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for November 2017, the fifth warmest November for the globe since record keeping began in 1880. Record warmth was limited to the southwestern contiguous U.S., the oceans off the southeastern coast of Australia, and scattered across parts of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, western Pacific Ocean, and across parts of southern Asia. No land or ocean areas experienced record cold November temperatures. Image credit: National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
November departure of temperature from average
Figure 2. Departures from the 20th-century global average temperature for November, 1880-2017. Image credit; NOAA/NCEI.

Third-warmest year on record thus far

Each of the first eleven months of 2017 have ranked among the top five warmest such months on record, giving 2017 the third highest January–November temperature in the 138-year record: 0.84°C (1.51°F) above the 20th-century average. This is behind the record year of 2016 by 0.12°C (0.22°F), and behind the second-place year of 2015 by 0.03°C (0.05°F). The near-record warmth in 2017 is especially remarkable given the lack of an El Niño event this year. Global temperatures tend to be warmer during El Niño years, when the ocean releases more heat to the atmosphere. This year is almost certain to be the planet's warmest year on record that lacks any influence from El Niño, and will likely be the second or third warmest year in recorded history. Earth's four warmest years of the last century-plus are virtually certain to be the four years from 2014 through 2017.

Two billion-dollar weather disasters in November 2017

Two billion-dollar weather disasters hit the Earth last month, according to the November 2017 Catastrophe Report from insurance broker Aon Benfield: Typhoon Demrey in Vietnam ($1 billion), and a drought in the U.S. Northern Plains and Rockies ($2.5 billion). In addition, damages from the summer Western U.S. wildfire season (not including the devastating October wildfires in California’s wine country and December fires near Los Angeles) were tabulated by the end of November to have reached $2 billion. Through the end of November, Earth had 27 billion-dollar weather events for the year, which is a typical number for this point in the year. The year that ended with the most billion-dollar weather disasters in records going back to 1990 was 2013, with 41; that year had 39 billion-dollar disasters by the end of November. Last year, there were 31 billion-dollar weather disasters by the end of November, which was the final tally for the year. Here are 2017’s billion-dollar weather disasters through the end of November:

Hurricane Harvey, U.S., 8/25 – 9/2, $90 billion, 84 killed
Hurricane Irma, Caribbean/Bahamas/SE U.S., 9/5 – 9/12, $50 billion, 124 killed
Hurricane Maria, Caribbean, 9/18 – 9/21, $20+ billion, 98+ killed
Wildfires, U.S. (California), 10/8 – 10/30, $9.4+ billion, 43 killed
Flooding, China, 6/22 – 7/5, $7.5 billion, 141 killed
Flooding, China, 7/13 – 7/17, $4.5 billion, 20 killed
Typhoon Hato, Macau/Hong Kong/China, 8/23 – 8/24, $3.5 billion, 22 killed
Severe Weather, U.S. Rockies/Plains, 5/8 – 5/11, $3.4 billion, 0 killed
Flooding, Peru, 1/1 – 4/1, $3.1 billion, 120 killed
Severe Weather, U.S. Plains/Southeast/Midwest, 3/26 – 3/28, $2.75 billion, 0 killed
Drought, U.S. Plains/Rockies, 3/1 – 9/30, $2.5 billion, 0 killed
Drought, China, 5/1 – 8/31, $2.5 billion, 0 killed
Tropical Cyclone Debbie, Australia, 3/27 – 4/5, $2.4 billion, 14 killed
Drought, Italy, 1/1 – 7/31, $2.3 billion, 0 killed
Severe Weather, U.S. Midwest/Plains/Southeast, 3/6 – 3/10, $2.1 billion, 0 killed
Wildfires, U.S. West, 6/1 – 9/30, $2.0 billion, 0 killed
Severe Weather, U.S. Midwest, 6/11, $2.0 billion, 0 killed
Severe Weather, U.S. Midwest/Plains/Southeast/MS Valley, 4/28 – 5/01, $2.0 billion, 20 killed
Drought, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, 1/1 – 3/31, $1.9 billion, hundreds killed
Severe Weather, U.S. South, 2/27 - 3/2, $1.9 billion, 4 killed
Severe Weather, U.S. Plains/Midwest/Northeast, 6/27 – 6/30, $1.55 billion, 0 killed
Severe Weather, U.S. South, 1/18 - 1/23, $1.3 billion, 21 killed
Typhoon Damrey, Vietnam, Philippines, 11/1 – 11/8, $1.0 billion, 114 killed
Typhoon Lan, Japan/Philippines, 10/18 – 10/23, $1.0 billion, 17 killed
Tropical Storm Nanmadol, Japan, 7/4 – 7/6, $1.0 billion, 37 killed
Winter Weather, U.S. Plains/Midwest/Southeast/Northeast, 3/13 – 3/15, $1.0 billion, 11 killed
Severe Weather, U.S. Plains/Rockies, 6/12 – 6/14, $1.0 billion, 0 killed

Damrey damage
November Billion-Dollar Disaster 1. Typhoon Damrey made landfall in southern Vietnam on November 4 as a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds. Damrey killed 114, left 6 missing, and injured 364, making it the deadliest weather disaster of November. Damrey destroyed at least 3,560 homes and damaged nearly 300,000 more, costing $1 billion. According to EM-DAT, this is Vietnam’s first billion-dollar typhoon. This year marks the first time since 1993 in which Vietnam has had a season with a Category 2 (Damrey) and a Category 3 (Doksuri) landfall. Above: A fishing boat pushed ashore in the central province of Binh Dinh as seen on November 4, 2017, after Typhoon Damrey hit Vietnam. Image credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images.
November Billion-Dollar Disaster 2. Extreme drought caused extensive impacts to agriculture in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana in the summer and fall of 2017. Field crops including wheat were severely damaged, and the lack of feed for cattle forced ranchers to sell off livestock. Total damages were estimated at $2.5 billion. Above: drought conditions over the Northern Plains on August 29, 2017. Image credit: U.S. Drought Monitor.
Wildfire smoke
Multi-month Wildfire Disaster 1. Numerous wildfires across many western and northwestern states burned over 8.4 million acres and hundreds of homes through the end of September, with over 1 million acres burning in Montana alone. Damages were estimated at $2 billion. Above: Smoke from wildfires in the Northwest U.S. on September 5, 2017, as seen from the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi satellite. Image credit: NASA

La Niña strengthens

La Niña conditions strengthened over the past month, said NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) in its December 14 monthly advisory. They predicted that a weak to moderate La Niña event would peak during the Northern Hemisphere winter of 2017-18, with a transition to neutral conditions likely to occur during the mid-to-late spring. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region (in the equatorial Pacific) were about 0.9°C below average over the past week; SSTs of 0.5°C or more below average in this region are required to be classified as weak La Niña conditions, with the 3-month average SSTs holding at these levels for five consecutive months (with an accompanying La Niña-like atmospheric response). In a moderate La Niña, the SSTs dip to at least 1.0°C below average.  In its ENSO Wrap-Up published December 5, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology reported that the consensus estimate from an international group of eight forecast models was for SSTs to reach moderate La Niña levels--1.1°C below average--in December, recovering slightly to 0.9°C below average by February.

El Nino region SSTs
Figure 3. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region (in the equatorial Pacific) oscillated around 0.9°C below average for the first half of December, well below the 0.5°C below-average threshold for weak La Niña conditions. Image credit: Levi Cowan,

Arctic sea ice extent the third lowest on record for November

Arctic sea ice extent during November 2017 was the third lowest in the 38-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The ice extent over the Chukchi Sea, north of the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia, was the lowest on record. Sea ice surrounding Antarctica also had the third lowest November extent on record.

Notable global heat and cold marks set for November 2017

Hottest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: 43.3°C (109.9°F) at Linguere, Senegal, 2 November
Coldest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: -56.3°C (-69.3°F) at Delyankir, Russia, 27 November
Hottest temperature in the Southern Hemisphere: 45.2°C (113.4°F) at Catamarca, Argentina, 15 November
Coldest temperature in the Southern Hemisphere: -58.1°C (-72.6°F) at Dome Fuji, Antarctica, 2 November

(Courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera.)

Major weather stations that set (not tied) new all-time heat or cold records in November 2017

As of December 17, 2017, 182 major weather stations have beaten (not just tied) their all-time highest temperature records, and 17 have beaten records for their all-time lowest temperature. Here are the records for November 2017:

Hahaya Airport (Comoros) max. 36.0°C, 15 November:  New national record high for Comoros

 (Courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera.)

One all-time national heat record set or tied in November 2017

One all-time national heat record was set or tied in November 2017, in Comoros. As of December 18, fourteen nations have set or tied all-time national heat records in 2017, and two have set or tied all-time cold records. National all-time monthly temperature records so far in 2017 have numbered 57 for maximum temperature, and 2 for minimum temperature. Most nations do not maintain official databases of extreme temperature records, so the national temperature records reported here are in many cases not official. I use as my source for international weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, one of the world's top climatologists, who maintains a comprehensive list of extreme temperature records for every nation in the world on his website. If you reproduce this list of extremes, please cite Maximiliano Herrera as the primary source of the weather records.

All-time national heat records set or tied in 2017:

Comoros: 96.8°F (36.0°C) at Hahaya International Airport, 15 November
Macau: 102.2°F (39.0°C) at Ka Ho, Coloane Island, 22 August (tie)
Hong Kong: 102.2°F (39.0°C) at Wetland Park, 22 August
San Marino: 104.5°F (40.3°C), at Serravalle, 3 and 9 August
Vatican City: 105.3°F (40.7°C) at Roma Macao AWS, 2 August (tie)
United Arab Emirates: 125.2°F (51.8°C), at Mezaira, 30 July
Spain: 117.1°F (47.3°C), at Montoro AEMET, 13 July
Iran: 128.7°F (53.7°C), at Ahwaz, 29 June
Oman: 123.4°F (50.8°C), at Qurayyat on 30 May and at Joba on 31 May (tie)
Pakistan: 128.3°F (53.5°C), at Turbat on 28 May (tie)
Guinea: 113°F (45.0°C), at Koundara, 29 March (tie)
Ghana: 110.8°F (43.8°C), at Navrongo, 26 March
Chile: 113°F (45.0°C), at Cauquenes, 26 January
Cocos Islands (Australia): 91.0°F (32.8°C), at Cocos Island Airport, 23 February (tie with 8 April 2015 and 11 April 1998)

All-time national cold records set in 2017:

United Arab Emirates: 22.3°F (-5.4°C) at Jabel Jais, 3 February
Qatar: 34.7°F (1.5°C) at Abu Samra, 5 February

National monthly maximum temperature records tied or beaten in 2017 (57):

Jan: Comoros, Uganda, Singapore, Mexico
Feb: Iceland
Mar: Kenya, Indonesia, Spain, Chile, Cook Islands
Apr: Ghana, Wallis and Futuna, Honduras, Samoa, Uganda, Pakistan, Cabo Verde, UAE
May: Greece, Iran, Norway, Austria, New Caledonia
June: Mexico, Oman, Iraq, Turkey, Albania, Portugal, UAE
July: Cyprus, Comoros, Mayotte, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Niger
August: Iran, UAE, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, French Guiana, Costa Rica, New Caledonia
September: Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iceland
October: Portugal, Hong Kong, Comoros, Brazil
November: Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Cabo Verde, China
December: Saudi Arabia, Ghana

National monthly minimum temperature records set in 2017 (2):

Jan: St. Eustatius
July: Greenland

Other records set in 2017:

World record of highest minimum temperature for March: 35.6°C at Yelimane, Mali, 31 March
Asian record of highest temperature ever recorded in April: 50.0°C at Larkana, Pakistan, 19 April
World record of highest temperature ever recorded in May (tied): 53.5°C at Turbat, Pakistan, 28 May
Asian record of highest temperature ever recorded in June: 53.7°C at Ahwaz, Iran, 29 June
Northern Hemisphere record of lowest temperature ever recorded in July: -34.3°C at Geo Summit, Greenland, 4 July

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

author image

Dr. Jeff Masters

Dr. Jeff Masters co-founded Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. in air pollution meteorology at the University of Michigan. He worked for the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990 as a flight meteorologist.

Recent Articles


Category 6 Sets Its Sights Over the Rainbow

Bob Henson

Section: Miscellaneous


Alexander von Humboldt: Scientist Extraordinaire

Tom Niziol

Section: Miscellaneous


My Time with Weather Underground (and Some Favorite Posts)

Christopher C. Burt

Section: Miscellaneous