2014: Warmest Year on Record for Planet Earth

Its official!  2014 was the warmest year ever recorded on planet Earth.

According to a report released today by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, Earth’s combined average temperature for the year – over both land and sea surfaces – was 58.24°F.  That is 1.24°F above the 20th century average. It surpassed the previous annual record held by both 2005 and 2010 by 0.07°F.  2014 also marked the 38th consecutive year that our global temperature was above its long-term norm.

Rising ocean temperatures, according to NOAA, helped fuel this record warmth. The globally averaged sea surface temperature for 2014 was 1.03°F above the 20th century average of 60.9°F.  That is the highest on record, breaking the former record set in 1998 and tied in 2003 by 0.09°F.

It is interesting to note that ENSO-neutral conditions were present during all of 2014. That means El Niño, the warm phase of ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) did not influence this record warm year. Scientists, while acknowledging the decrease in the rate of warming over the past decade, say this fact undeniably confirms the continuation of global warming.

While heat dominated most of the planet in 2014, including parts of Alaska and the western United States, the eastern two-thirds of this country was one of the few cold pockets. Overall, the contiguous US experienced its 34th warmest year on record. This highlights the fact that climate change is a complex global phenomenon that involves much more than what is happening in our own backyards.

With records going back to 1880, nine of this planet’s top ten warmest years on record have all occurred since 2000. The only exception was 1998. As greenhouse gases – which drive our global temperature upward – are continuously emitted into the atmosphere, scientists say we can expect global temperatures to continue to rise and more warm records to be broken.

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

Warmest December on Record for Planet Earth

Like most of the US, including here in NYC, temperatures across the globe soared last month.  In fact, December 2014 was Earth’s warmest December on record.

According to the latest report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, the planet’s combined average temperature for the month – over both land and sea surfaces – was 55.39°F.  That is 1.39°F above the 20th century average. December 2014 also marked the 6th month this year to break a global temperature record.

The calendar year of 2014 (January – December), is now ranked as the warmest year on record for planet Earth. Global temperature records date back to 1880.

201412

Credit: NOAA

NYC 2014: A Year of Weather in Review

New York City experienced some noteworthy weather in 2014, especially extreme precipitation events and multiple extended arctic outbreaks.

Starting off brutally cold, the first week of 2014 produced a new record low temperature in Central Park when January 7th posted a minimum reading of only 4°F.  In fact, temperatures were so cold that first month that the Hudson River was filled with ice.  Several arctic outbreaks kept cold conditions in place for most of the winter and the term polar vortex went viral. When summer finally arrived, temperatures hovered around average and not a single heat wave developed. The city typically sees 15 days per year where the temperature reaches 90°F or higher, but 2014 produced only 8. Despite the year’s memorable extended cold snaps, the city’s average temperature for 2014 was 54.37°F.  That is only 0.38°F below our long-term norm.

Precipitation was erratic in NYC during 2014. We had a number of significant rain events, but April 30th really stood out.  It brought the city 4.97 inches of rain – more than a month’s worth – in a single day making it the 10th wettest day on record in NYC. We also fluctuated between extremes like our wettest July in five years and our driest September in nine years. Overall, though, we were more wet than dry. The city received a total of 53.57 inches of rain for the entire year.  That is 3.63 inches above normal.

Snowfall was also abundant. February 2014 was our second snowiest February on record with 29 inches of snow measured in Central Park. January also delivered an above average snow total with 19.7 inches.  For the calendar year as a whole, the city accumulated 50 inches of snow, which is a staggering 24.9 inches above average. In terms of the meteorological winter (December 2013 to March 2014), it was the city’s 7th snowiest winter on record.

On the storm front, the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season was fairly quiet and left NYC unscathed. We felt only some nominal impacts like rain and rough surf from Hurricane Arthur over the July 4th holiday weekend as the storm moved north parallel to the coast after it made landfall in North Carolina.

Looking forward 2015!

2014-temps

rain-2014

NYC Monthly Summary: December 2014

December was unseasonably warm in New York City this year. We had 14 days post above average readings, including Christmas Day, which produced a high temperature of 62°F tying the record for the city’s third warmest Christmas. Several stretches of unusually balmy weather brought the city’s mean temperature for the month up to 40.5°F which is 3.5°F above normal.

On the precipitation side of things, the city had 16 days with measurable rainfall.  In all, we received a remarkable 6.04 inches of rain, which is 2.04 inches above normal. Of this impressive total, 2.54 inches fell in a single day, December 9th, and set a new daily rainfall record for the date. Snow, however, was scarce. With unusually warm temperatures in place for most of the month, only 1.0 inch was measured in Central Park.  On average, NYC usually receives 4.8 inches of snow in December.

Dec2014-temps

DecRain-2014

Warmest October on Record for Planet Earth

Temperatures across the country and around the world soared last month. In fact, October 2014 was the 4th warmest October on record for the contiguous United States and the warmest ever recorded for the entire planet.

According to the latest global climate report released Thursday by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, Earth’s combined average temperature for the month – over both land and sea surfaces – was 58.43°F.  That is 1.33°F above the 20th century average. October 2014 also marked the 38th consecutive October that our global temperature was above its long-term norm and the 5th month this year to break a global temperature record.

Rising ocean temperatures, according to NOAA, helped fuel this record warmth. The global sea surface temperature for October was 1.12°F above the 20th century average of 60.6°F.  That is the highest on record for October and the sixth consecutive month to post a record high global sea surface temperature. Given all this warm water, it is interesting to note that El Niño conditions are not present in the Pacific.

Year to date, the first ten months of 2014 were the warmest of any year on record. Global temperature records date back to 1880.

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

Warmest September on Record for Planet Earth

Temperatures across the globe soared last month. In fact, September 2014 was the warmest September ever recorded for the entire planet.

According to a report released Monday by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, Earth’s combined average temperature for the month – over both land and sea surfaces – was 60.3°F.  That is 1.3°F above the 20th century average. September 2014 also marked the 355th consecutive month that our global temperature was above its long-term norm.

This record warm September comes on the heels of the planet’s warmest summer and marks the fourth month this year to break a global temperature record. The other three months were May, June, and August. It is also interesting to note that all four of these monthly heat records occurred when El Niño conditions were not present in the Pacific.

Year to date, 2014 is now tied with 1998 for the warmest first nine months of the year on record. NOAA says, “If 2014 maintains this temperature departure from average for the remainder of the year, it will be the warmest year on record.”

The contiguous United States, by comparison, posted its coolest September in three years. This highlights the fact that climate change is a complex global phenomenon that involves much more than what is happening in our own backyards. Global temperature records date back to 1880.

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

Summer 2014: Warmest on Record for Planet Earth

Looking back at the summer of 2014, temperatures across most of the eastern United States were relatively moderate. Globally, however, it was a record warm season.

According to a recent report from NOAA, the meteorological summer of 2014 (June, July and August) was the warmest summer ever recorded on this planet. Earth’s combined average temperature for the season – over both land and sea surfaces – was 62.78°F. That is 1.28°F above the 20th century average.  The previous record was set in 1998.

Rising ocean temperatures, according to NOAA, helped fuel the season’s record warmth. Between June and August, the global ocean surface temperature was the highest ever recorded for the three month period at 1.13°F above average.

While the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are warming overall, this summer’s temperature anomalies (both above and below average) highlight the fact that climate change is a complex global phenomenon that involves much more than what is happening in our own backyards.

Year to date, according to the report, 2014 is currently the Earth’s third warmest year on record. Global temperature records date back to 1880.

Credit: NOAA/NCDC

Credit: NOAA/NCDC

Warmest August on Record for Planet Earth

August was fairly seasonable in New York City this year. For the Earth as a whole, however, the average temperature soared to a record high yet again.

According to a report released this week by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, August 2014 was the warmest August ever recorded for the entire planet.  Earth’s combined average temperature for the month – over both land and sea surfaces – was 61.45°F. That is 1.35°F above the 20th century average. August 2014 also marked the 354th consecutive month that our global temperature was above its long-term norm.

Rising ocean temperatures, according to NOAA, helped fuel this record warmth. In fact, the August global sea surface temperature was 1.17°F above its long-term average of 61.4°F. That is the highest for any August on record and the highest departure from average for any month. The previous all-time record high was set just two months ago in June 2014.

Year to date, 2014 is currently the Earth’s third warmest year on record. Global temperature records date back to 1880.

Credit: NOAA/NCDC

Credit: NOAA/NCDC

A Late Summer Warm Up in NYC

It’s the last week of August and it finally feels like summer in New York City. The high temperature in Central Park has been in the upper 80’s for the past few days and today it soared to 90°F. This is worth noting, because high heat has been something of a rarity in the Big Apple this summer.

This season to date, NYC has only had five days reach 90°F or higher. On average, we typically get fifteen. Looking back, every month this summer brought a noticeable dearth of extreme heat. June had zero days with temperatures at or above 90°F, July had three and August (so far) has only had two.

The most 90-degree days that the city has ever had in one year, according to NWS records, was thirty-nine. That happened in both 1991 and 1993. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 1902 only had one day hit the 90°F mark.  Last summer, we made it to 90°F or higher seventeen times.