Monday, May 17, 2010

Global Temperature Update: Warmest April on Record

The preliminary April 2010 global temperature analysis, released today by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), shows that the past month was the warmest April since records began in 1880. (The previous record was in the strong El Niño year of 1998.) This was also the 34th consecutive year that April has been warmer than the 20th century average. The average temperature of 14.5°C (58.1°F) was 0.76°C (1.37°F) above the 20th century average of 13.7°C (56.7°F).

Ocean surface temperatures were the warmest on record for April at 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average. The warmth was most extreme over the equatorial regions of the oceans, especially the Atlantic. Cooler than average temperatures occurred in the higher latitudes of the southern oceans and in portions of the northern Pacific. Equatorial Pacific temperatures remained above average, but El Niño conditions continued weakening, and neutral conditions are expected by June, continuing into the summer.

Land surface temperatures were the third warmest for April, 1.29°C (2.32°F) above the 20th century average. The highest departures from average were in southern Asia, northern Africa, the north central and northeastern U.S., Canada, Europe, and parts of northern Russia. Cooler than average temperatures were mainly limited to Argentina, Mongolia, eastern and southern Russia, and most of China.

Northern Hemisphere temperatures overall were the warmest on record, but land temperatures alone were the third warmest. Southern Hemisphere temperatures were the second warmest on record both for the hemisphere as a whole and for the oceans alone. Southern Hemisphere land temperatures were the fourth warmest.

Year-to-date temperatures also set a record for January-April, 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average.

Images (click to enlarge): Global average temperature departures from average for April 2010 and April history since 1880 from NCDC

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