The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission with funding from the EU, routinely publishes monthly climate bulletins reporting on the changes observed in global surface air temperature, hydrological variables and sea ice cover. All the reported findings are based on computer-generated analyses using billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircrafts and weather stations around the world.

Surface air temperature anomaly for May 2022 relative to the May average for the period 1991-2020.
Surface air temperature anomaly for May 2022 relative to the May average for the period 1991-2020. Data source: ERA5. Credit: Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF.

May 2022 surface air temperature:

•        Globally, May was the fifth warmest on record, joint with May 2018 and 2021

•        In southwestern Europe, temperatures were much above average, associated with a heatwave which broke national and local records for daily maximum and minimum temperatures

•        Temperatures were also much above average in a band stretching southward from western Siberia across central Asia to northern India and Pakistan, over the Horn of Africa, southern USA and Mexico, as well as Antarctica

•        Below average temperatures dominated in easternmost Europe, over much of South America, and parts of the Arctic and western Canada

Averages of daily maximum and minimum surface air temperature anomalies for south-west Europe for the months of May from 1979 to 2022, relative to 1991-2020. Data source: ERA5. Credit: Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF.

Spring 2022 surface air temperatures (March-May):

•        For Europe as a whole, spring temperatures were just below the 1991-2020 average

•        There were large regional differences, with parts of western Europe seeing much above average temperatures, while the central and eastern parts were below average

•        For Pakistan and northwestern India, located within a larger region of unusual warmth, the season was characterised by long-lived heatwave conditions and record-breaking averages of maximum and minimum temperatures

Maps, time series and quoted data values for temperature are from ECMWF Copernicus Climate Change Service’s ERA5 dataset. Area averages for temperature over the European regions are part of C3S’ regular monitoring and are defined over land only with the following longitude/latitude bounds: Europe: 25°W-40°E, 34°N-72°N, south-west Europe 25°W-15°E, 34°N-45°N. Statements for southwest Europe also include information from national and regional reporting.

The information for Pakistan and northern India is based on national reporting, as well as averages of the ERA5 dataset over all land for the region 20-37°N, 61-78°E.

C3S has followed the recommendation of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to use the most recent 30-year period for calculating climatological averages and changed to the reference period of 1991-2020 for its C3S Climate Bulletins covering January 2021 onward. Figures and graphics for both the new and previous period (1981-2010) are provided for transparency.

More information about climate variables in May and climate updates of previous months as well as high-resolution graphics and the video can be downloaded here: