Thursday, April 24, 2014

Last Month Was the Fourth-Hottest March on Record

Land & Ocean Temperature Departure from Average Mar 2014 (Credit: NOAA) Click to enlarge.
The Midwest's corn crop may be delayed because the ground is still too wet or too cold to plant, and much of the United States is still not quite sure if spring has arrived.

But looking at the entire globe -- as scientists do when they track things like global warming -- 2014's month of March was the fourth-hottest one on record. Only 2002, 2010, and 1990 were warmer.  Data from 135 years of records show that the average global temperature in March 2014 was 1.3 degrees F warmer than the 20th century average of 54.9 degrees F.  This was the 38th March that was hotter than average.

Why was it only the 34th coldest winter in 119 years of records?  Because most of the land west of the Rocky Mountains was warmer and drier than average, so those warmer temperatures offset the cold snaps to the east.  California had its hottest winter on record, and several other states came close.  Though it is not included in the contiguous U.S. measurements, Alaska also thawed in spring-like heat and rain that melted snow and ice.

This temperature schism in North America, caused by a kink in the jet stream, could also become the norm due to climate change, according to Climate Central.

Last Month Was the Fourth-Hottest March on Record

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