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Climate: February 2014 average global temperature hovers well above the 20th century average

Both hot and cold extremes in northern hemisphere; southern hemisphere land areas record warm for summer season

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Planet Earth was hot and cold in February 2013. Map via NOAA/NCDC.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Southern hemisphere mid-latitude land areas experienced a record-warm summer, with temperatures running well above average for December through February, according to the latest monthly state of the climate report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

For the globe as a whole, the average February temperature was 0.74 degrees above the 20th century average, making it the 21st-warmest February on record. For the December to February period, the average global temperature was the eighth-warmest on record.

According to the NCDC, it was 29th consecutive February with above-average global temperatures. It’s been 29 years since the planet as a whole saw a month (February 1985) with temperatures below the 20th century average.

February’s readings were shaped by extremes at either end of the scale, with record warm readings in parts of far eastern Russia and Scandinavia, where temperatures ran as high as 9 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

  • The nationally-averaged temperature for Germany was 6.1 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1981-2010 average, marking the sixth warmest February since records began in 1881.
  • Austria observed its second warmest winter in the country’s 247-year period of record, behind only the winter of 2006/07, at 4.9°F (2.7°C) above the 1981-2010 average. Switzerland had its third warmest winter since national records began in 1864, while winter 2013/14 in the Netherlands tied with 1990 for its second warmest since national records began in 1901.
  • In northern Europe, Denmark reported its fifth warmest winter for 2013/14 since records began in 1874, at 6.7°F (3.7°C) above average.

On the cold side, many areas across central and northern North America and western Asia had temperatures more than 9 degrees Fahrenheit below the February average. In Canada, many regions in Ontario observed February temperatures among their 10 coldest on record and coldest in more than 30 years, with departures more than 9 degrees below average at many stations.

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