September European Temperatures from Copernicus

The European Copernicus area

Europe in September 2020 was predominantly warmer than the 1981-2010 average for September. Temperatures were most above average in countries bordering the Black Sea, but relatively warm conditions were also experienced over the western Balkans, the Baltic States and France. Temperatures over France were particularly warm in a record-breaking period in the middle of the month. Elsewhere it was cooler than average in a few places, most notably Iceland.


I hadn’t realised it before now but the ERA5 monthly mean temperature anomalies for Europe are calculated for land only and not for both land and sea. I’m sure if the European anomaly they published for September covered both land and sea the value wouldn’t have been at record levels, with almost a quarter of the area close to or below average. To me I find it a little misleading as global temperatures series are always with regard to land and sea. I know I have said this before, but I find their anomaly maps, which use colour contours rather than contours proper, very imprecise and their logarithmic colour scale makes matters even worse. This is what they have to say about the data they use to calculate a monthly mean for Europe:-

Area averages

Area averages for temperature over the European regions are for land only, unless otherwise stated. All other area averages are for the domains where the averaged variable is defined. Land sea masks are defined according to the native grid of the used data set.

September mean temperature anomalies
Courtesy of Copernicus
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