Climate: No let up in global warming heat wave across U.S.

Temperature records shattered in Alaska for April and year-to-date

2016 year to date temps US
For January to April 2016, temperatures across most of the U.S. have been far above average.

Staff Report

After a few blistering months, the average temperature across the U.S. cooled down slightly in April in many parts of the country, with the month ending up as the 18th-warmest April on record. But the slight downward tick wasn’t enough to make a big dent in the long-term trend — for the year to date (January-April), it’s the second-warmest such period on record, according to the monthly state of the climate report from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

For April, the average temperature across the contiguous 48 states was 53.2 degrees, which is 2 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. For the year-to-date, the average temperature across the lower 48 states was 43.1 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 4 degrees above the 20th century average.

The warmest readings came from the Pacific Northwest, where parts of northern coastal California, as well as sections of interior Oregon and Montana were record warm. Alaska also reported a record average temperature for the month; at 33.3 degrees it was 10 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1925 to 2000 average and 0.4 degrees warmer than the previous record set in 1940.

According to NOAA, record warmth was reported from the southern parts of the state with much-above-average temperatures for central and northern Alaska. Anchorage had its warmest April on record, breaking last year’s mark by 2.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Parts of the Yukon River saw the earliest ice break up on record and Fairbanks saw a record early start to the growing season.

April precipitation was above average across a wide swath of the country’s mid-section, including the Southwest, the Rocky Mountain Region and the Great Plains. Parts of the Northwest, the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic were drier than average.

For the year-to-date, every state was warmer than average, with 34 states across the West, Great Plains, Midwest and Northeast reporting temperatures much above average.

Alaska was also record warm for the year-to-date with a statewide temperature that was 11.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1925-2000 average. The heat in Alaska was statewide, with records set in Anchorage, Bethel, Homer, King Salmon, Barrow and Nome.

Check NOAA’s monthly report for more details: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/summary-info/national/201604.

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