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.


Image Credit: NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center