Widespread above-average sea surface temps reported in monthly report
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Despite a wide swath of cooler-than-average temperatures stretching from Alaska across parts of Canada and into Central North America, the average global temperature for April was well above average, ranking as the 13th-warmest April on record.
For the year to-date, global temperature across land and ocean surfaces are tied with 2009 as the eighth warmest on record, at 1.01 degrees above the 20th century average.
It also marked the 37th consecutive April and 338th consecutive month (more than 28 years) with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average April temperature was April 1976 and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985.
Given the absence of El Niño, global sea surface temperatures were especially notable, ranking as the seventh-warmest on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center, which this week released its monthly global climate analysis.
According to the report, last month also marked the 37th consecutive April and 338th consecutive month (more than 28 years) with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average April temperature was April 1976 and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985.
The combined average global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.94 degrees above the 20th century average, while the global sea surface temperature 0.79 degrees above the 20th century average, tied with 2001 and 2007.
Ocean temps were especiall warm across the equatorial Atlantic Ocean, the northern and southeastern Indian Ocean, and much of the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Record-warm ocean temps were reported from the Pacific around the Philippine Islands and to the south and southeast of Australia. The only much-cooler-than-average region was in part of the northwestern Pacific Ocean near Russia.
On land, warmer than average readings were reported from Mexico, coastal regions of South America and parts of southern and eastern Europe, with below-average temps across parts of central and southern Africa, central South America and parts of China, Korea and Japan.
Australia cooled off from record heat earlier in the year, but still reported its fifth-warmest April on record, with above-average readings extending to the New Zealand region.
Snow Cover/Polar ice highlights: April
- Snow Cover: According to data from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent for April was the 9th largest in the 47-year period of record and the largest since 1996. The April snow cover extent was 12.4 million square miles, 0.8 million square miles above the 1981-2010 average of 11.6 million square miles. Above-average snow cover was present for both Eurasia and North America, which had their 19th and 3rd largest April snow cover extents on record, respectively.
- Arctic Sea Ice: According to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the average April Arctic sea ice extent was 5.55 million square miles, approximately 150,000 square miles (2.6 percent) below the 1981-2010 average of 5.70 million square miles, resulting in the seventh smallest monthly April extent on record.
- Antarctic Sea Ice: Antarctic sea ice extent was 3.12 million square miles, 260,000 square miles (9.1 percent) above the 1981-2010 average of 2.86 million square miles. This marked the fifth largest April Antarctic sea ice extent on record.