Last Month Officially Tied With The Hottest September On Record


Madison Dapcevich


Madison Dapcevich

Freelance Writer and Fact-Checker

Madison is a freelance science reporter and full-time fact-checker based in the wild Rocky Mountains of western Montana.

Freelance Writer and Fact-Checker


Areas that saw exceptionally high average temperatures include Europe, the central and eastern US, the Mongolian plateau, and parts of the Arctic. Chinnapong/Shutterstock

Editors Note: A previous version of this story was titled, "Last Month Was Officially The Hottest September Since Records Began". This has been updated to reflect that the "average global land and ocean surface temperature for September 2019 was 1.71 degrees F (0.95 degrees C) above the 20th-century average and tied 2015 as the highest September temperature departure from average since global records began in 1880," according to NOAA. September 2019 was the highest on record when considering C3S data from 1981 to 2010. 

Around the world, September 2019 was the warmest September in modern record books, according to a new analysis.

Globally, September was 0.57°C (1.02°F) warmer than the average temperature between 1981 and 2010 making it the warmest in current data records, though it wasn’t all that much warmer than temperatures seen in 2016.


Areas that saw exceptionally high average temperatures include Europe, the central and eastern US, the Mongolian plateau, and parts of the Arctic. On the other hand, below-average temperatures were recorded in just a handful of regions, including the Scandinavian Welfare States, southwestern Russia and parts of Antarctica.

To come to these conclusions, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), a program designated under the European Union to offer open-access data on the climate and tools for adaptation and mitigation policies, analyzed September 2019 temperatures from around the world and compared them against previous Septembers. They found that temperatures over Europe were above previous averages between 1981 and 2010, particularly in the south and southeast. However, Norway and Sweden both saw below-average temperatures, as did the eastern side of the continent.


In the Northern Hemisphere, Iran, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and northern China also saw above-average temperatures. Nations in the Southern Hemisphere similarly saw higher-than-normal temperatures, including parts of South America, South Africa, southwestern Australia, and West Antarctica. Parts of Antarctica, the Central Asian Republics, and western Russia saw “notably below average” temperatures as well.

As a whole, last month squeaked by September 2016, the second warmest, by just 0.02°C (0.04°F), and was 0.1°C (0.18°F) warmer than September 2017, now ranked third.


When averaging for the entire year between August 2018 and July 2019, C3S found similar results.  

“Globally, the 12-month period from October 2018 to September 2019 was 0.55°C warmer than the 1981-2010 average. The warmest 12-month period was from October 2015 to September 2016, with a temperature 0.66°C above average,” wrote C3S.

“2016 is the warmest calendar year on record, with a global temperature 0.63°C above that for 1981-2010. The second warmest calendar year, 2017, had a temperature 0.54°C above average, while the third warmest year, 2018, was 0.46°C above the 1981-2010 average.”

It comes after July took the title of the hottest month on record and the month prior was the hottest June ever recorded. This year has been one characterized by scorching temperatures as the Arctic Circle saw record temperatures and extreme wildfires and Europe hit temperatures that had never been experienced in recorded history. A United Nations report released last November found that 2016 to 2018 had been the top four hottest years ever recorded, and it looks like 2019 may be in the running for the fifth.

Monthly global-mean and European-mean surface air temperature anomalies relative to 1981-2010, from January 1979 to September 2019. The darker colored bars denote the September values. Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF


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