Wednesday, April 15, 2009

March Was 10th Warmest on Record Globally
First Quarter 2009 8th Warmest

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) today released their preliminary analysis for March 2009. It shows that the global average temperature for the month was the 10th warmest on record. The first quarter of 2009, January-March, was the 8th warmest.

The warmest regions during March were Mexico, Europe, most of Asia, South America, and large portions of the contiguous United States. On the other hand, the north central and northwestern U.S., southern Canada, southern Alaska, and central Russia were cooler than average.

The equatorial Pacific was in a cold (La Niña) phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), although some warming took place in a portion of the region. Sea surface temperatures were warmer than average in the northern Indian and western Pacific oceans, and most of the southern and northern Atlantic Ocean.

Average Northern Hemisphere snow cover for March was the 12th lowest in the 43 years since satellite observation began in 1967. The contiguous U.S. observed several severe winter storms during the month, with 20 new all-time snowfall records, 84 new monthly records, and 1,053 new daily records being set. For North America overall, however, the snow extent was near average.

Images (click to enlarge): March 2009 global surface temperature departures from average, Jan-Mar global temperature history, and Northern Hemisphere snow cover departure from average from NOAA/NCDC

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