Warmest September on Record for Planet Earth

This past September was the coolest the contiguous U.S. has experienced in three years.  For much of the rest of the world, however, temperatures soared.

According to a report released Monday by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, September 2014 was the warmest September ever recorded for the entire planet. 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. In fact, September is the fourth month this year to post a record warm global temperature. The other three were May, June, and August. It is interesting to note that all 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.” 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.

Fourth Warmest July on Record for Planet Earth

This past July was fairly mild in the eastern United States, including here in New York City. For the western states and much of the rest of world, however, it was hotter than normal. In fact, the average temperature for the Earth as a whole soared into the record books yet again.

According to a report released this week by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, July 2014 was the fourth warmest July ever recorded for the entire planet. Earth’s combined average temperature for the month – over both land and sea surfaces – was 61.55°F. That is 1.15°F above the 20th century average. July 2014 also marked the 353rd consecutive month that our global temperature was above its long-term norm.

While above average heat dominated most of the planet this July, the Scandinavian countries were particularly warm. With a monthly temperature 7.7°F above normal, Norway marked not only its warmest July on record, but also its all-time highest monthly temperature for any month.   In the western U.S., several states posted a July temperature in their top ten warmest.

While the Earth’s atmosphere is warming overall, July’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 tied with 2002 as the Earth’s third warmest year on record. Global temperature records date back to 1880.

NCDC_2014_07

Image Credit: NOAA/NCDC

Record Rainfall Floods Long Island

Record rainfall swamped New York’s Long Island on Wednesday morning. Flash floods prompted evacuations, submerged cars on major roadways, and even uprooted trees. Local officials have also reported one weather-related death.

One of the hardest hit areas was Islip in Suffolk County, where 13.27 inches of rain fell in less than 24 hours. That is more than the town would normally get for an entire summer season and is nearly double its previous daily record of 6.7 inches set in August 1990. The storm also shattered the record for 24-hour rainfall in New York State. The previous record was 11.6 inches, which was measured in Tannersville, NY during Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.

The intensity of this rain event, according to the NWS, was caused by a few factors. First, several different weather systems came together over Long Island and were fed by moisture from the Atlantic Ocean. Then, the storm essentially stalled in place for hours.

While Suffolk County bore the brunt of the rain, flash flooding also caused problems in nearby sections of New Jersey and Connecticut. Here in New York City, we were mostly unscathed. JFK airport (in Queens) reported 3.2 inches of rain, but less than an inch was measured in Central Park.

Flood waters strand cars on Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream on Long Island, NY.  Credit: wpix11

Flood waters strand cars on Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream on Long Island, NY.                 Image Credit: pix11

Warmest June on Record for Planet Earth

This past June ranked as the 33rd warmest for the United States. The average temperature for the Earth as a whole, however, soared to a record high for a second straight month.

According to a report released on Monday by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, June 2014 was the warmest June ever recorded for the entire planet.  Earth’s combined average temperature for the month – over both land and sea surfaces – was 61.2°F.  That is 1.3°F above the 20th century average. June 2014 also marked the 352nd 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 June global sea surface temperature was 1.15°F above its long-term average of 61.5°F. That is the highest for any June on record and the highest departure from average for any month. Large parts of both the Pacific and Indian Oceans either hit record-high temperatures or posted readings that were significantly above normal.

The report also noted that, year to date, 2014 is currently tied with 2002 as the Earth’s third warmest year on record. Global temperature records date back to 1880.

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

NYC’s First 90-Degree Day of the Year

Summer officially began last month, but the season’s heat is just now getting into full swing in New York City.

In Central Park today, the temperature soared to 91°F. That marks the city’s first 90° day of the year.   While readings in the 90s are not unusual for the Big Apple in July, they typically premiere earlier in the season. In fact, with records dating back to 1869 for Central Park, the NWS reports that only nineteen years have failed to produce a 90°F day before the end of June.

On average, according to the NWS, the city generally sees its first 90°F day by June 3rd. Its earliest was April 7, 2010 and its latest was July 26,1877. Last year, NYC’s first 90°F reading was on May 30th.

Warmest May on Record for Planet Earth

This past May was fairly warm across most of the United States, including here in New York City. The average temperature for the Earth as a whole, however, soared into the record books.

According to a report released on Monday by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, May 2014 was the warmest May ever recorded for the entire planet.  Earth’s combined average temperature for the month – over both land and sea surfaces – was 59.93°F.  That is 1.33°F above the 20th century average. May 2014 also marked the 351st consecutive month that our global temperature was above its long-term norm.

The report also noted that four of the five warmest Mays on record have occurred in the past five years: 2010 (second warmest), 2012 (third warmest), 2013 (fifth warmest), and 2014 (warmest); 1998 holds fourth place. Additionally, it highlighted the fact that this past meteorological spring (March, April, and May) was the planet’s second warmest on record. For the same period, only 2010 was warmer.

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

2014_05

Image Credit: NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center

The Great Lakes Finally Thaw

It is now June, the first month of meteorological summer, but it seems winter is only just coming to a close on the Great Lakes.

For the first time since November, according to NOAA, the Great Lakes are ice-free. This marks the latest total thaw on the lakes since record keeping began in the 1970s. Back in March, during one of the coldest winters the region has seen in decades, more than 92% of the Great Lakes were covered by ice. That was the second highest percentage on record.

While a recent string of warm days in the area helped to melt the lingering ice, the U.S. Coast Guard also played a key role. They have reported conducting over 2000 hours of ice-breaking operations throughout this past winter and spring.

Only recently thawed, water temperatures in the lakes are expected to remain rather chilly for most of the summer.

GreatLakes

After a frigid winter, the Great Lakes are finally ice-free. Image Credit: NOAA