Parts of Europe, central Asia were record warm
FRISCO — The average global temperature in March 2014 soared to the fourth-highest reading on record, mainly due to warmer temperature readings over land surfaces, which averaged 2.39 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century norm, according to the monthly report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.
Climate analysts said it was the warmest March since 2010 — the last time that an El Niño cycle influenced global temperatures. The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces was 1.30 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term historic average. For the year to-date, the global temperature is running 1.08 degrees above average, making it the seventh-warmest January-March period on record.
The warmest readings came from central Asia, where temperatures average more than 9 degrees Fahrenheit above average. Those readings were enough to offset the cold temperatures across parts of North America. Despite chilly conditions in the central and eastern U.S., the northern hemisphere overall saw its fourth-warmest March on record.
Continuing the trend of rapid warming in Scandinavia, Norway’s average March temperature was 6.8 degrees Fahrenheit above average, making it the third-warmest March on record, and Denmark reported its fourth-warmest March on record.
Parts of Central Europe also reported record and near-record warmth during the month, including Austria (tied with 1989 as second-warmest), Germany (third-warmest) and Slovakia, which reported its warmest March ever, with the average March temperature for the first time exceeding 50 degrees Fahrenheit for the month.
Ocean temperatures were also warm for the month, average 0.86 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. According to NOAA, each of the major oceans had large regions that were much warmer than average, and record warmth was observed in parts of the northeastern and equatorial Pacific, the eastern North and South Atlantic, and central Indian Oceans.
While no areas were record cold, part of the central north Atlantic and the Southern Ocean off the tip of South America was much cooler than average during March.
Information compiled from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for March 2014. Visit http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/3 for the full report.