January Turned Out to Be Pretty Warm

Ice builds up along Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach as temperatures dipped well below zero on January 6, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
National Journal
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Ben Geman
Feb. 20, 2014, 6:58 a.m.

That bit­ter chill that gripped big swaths of the U.S. last month? It was the ex­cep­tion, not the rule, in what turned out to be among the warmest Janu­arys on re­cord on a glob­al basis, fed­er­al data shows.

Glob­al av­er­age sur­face tem­per­at­ures last month were the warmest in Janu­ary since 2007 and the fourth warmest since re­cord keep­ing began in 1880, ac­cord­ing to Na­tion­al Ocean­ic and At­mo­spher­ic Ad­min­is­tra­tion data re­leased Thursday.

Com­bined ocean and land sur­face tem­per­at­ures were 1.17 de­grees Fahren­heit above the 20th-cen­tury av­er­age, NOAA said in its monthly tem­per­at­ure sum­mary.

“Dur­ing Janu­ary 2014, most of the world’s land areas ex­per­i­enced warm­er-than-av­er­age tem­per­at­ures, with the most not­able de­par­tures from the 1981”“2010 av­er­age across Alaska, west­ern Canada, Green­land, Mon­go­lia, south­ern Rus­sia, and north­ern China,” NOAA said, adding that parts of Brazil and cent­ral and south­ern Africa saw re­cord warmth.

The east­ern half of the U.S., which was blas­ted by the “po­lar vor­tex” and oth­er cold snaps, was among the re­gions that were colder than av­er­age, along with cent­ral Canada and most of Scand­inavia and Rus­sia, the agency said.

Check out the whole monthly re­port here.


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