Map of Cold and Hot Temperature Anomalies Across the World

Caitlin Dempsey


As 2017 came to a close and 2018 started, it was either colder or hotter than normal across North America.

Many parts of Canada, the Midwestern, and the Eastern United States are experiencing record lows.  It was so cold in Florida that frozen Iguanas started been falling out of trees.  

In contrast, the Western U.S., Alaska, and parts of Mexico are experiencing warmer than usual temperatures.

Temperature anomaly map around the world

NASA has compiled a temperature anomaly map of the world using data acquired between December 26, 2017 and January 2, 2018.  

A map showing where surface temperatures are colder (blue) or hotter (red) compared to average for the world.

The map shows land surface temperatures (LSTs) and their departure from average temperatures of this time of year.  

The data to create the map was acquired from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.  

Blue areas show a gradation of where areas are colder than normal and red shaded areas indicate a warmer surface temperature than normal.   The darker shades show a greater difference between average temperatures and measure land surface temperatures.  

The temperature data was compared against the  2001–2010 average for the same eight-day period.  White indicates areas with temperatures align with the average while grey are areas lacking data.

Global Map of Temperature Anomalies

Zooming out to the perspective of the entire world shows that many parts are currently experiencing warmer than normal conditions.

Much of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, Antarctica, and Australia have extensive areas with higher than normal surface temperatures.

Map of North American Temperature Anomalies

This first map highlights temperature anomalies in North America. Most of Canada is experiencing colder than normal temperatures while the western US and much of Alaska is experiencing warmer than normal conditions.  

The Rocky Mountain Range effectively forms a barrier between the cold and warm areas of the United States.

A map showing where surface temperatures are colder (blue) or hotter (red) compared to average for the United States.


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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.

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