World Had 4th Warmest January As Eastern US Froze

WASHINGTON (AP) — The globe cozied up to the fourth warmest January on record this year, essentially leaving just the eastern half of the United States out in the cold.

And the northern and eastern United States can expect another blast of cold weather next week.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday that Earth was 1.17 degrees warmer in January than the 20th century average. Since records began in 1880, only 2002, 2003 and 2007 started off warmer than this year.

Almost all of Africa, South America and Australia and most of Asia and Europe were considerably warmer than normal. China and France had their second warmest Januaries. Land in the entire Southern Hemisphere was hottest for January on record.

While more than half of America shivered last month, it was one of the few populated spots on Earth cooler than normal. The opposite happened in 2012, when the United States had its warmest year ever and the globe was only the eleventh hottest on record.

Looking ahead, forecasters are seeing a large area of temperatures much below normal starting midweek in the upper Midwest and then plunging south. But it won’t be quite as frigid as the deep freeze of early January that came from the polar vortex, said meteorologist Dan Collins of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

The polar vortex is a high-altitude wind pattern that normally keeps Arctic air bottled up in northern Canada and around the North Pole. In January, a big chunk broke off and allowed that ultra-chilly air to meander south. That’s likely to happen again next week, Collins said.

The national forecast for March through May predicts no drought relief in the West and cooler than normal temperatures in the upper Midwest. Warmer temperatures in the Southwest in March are expected to spread across the entire South in April and May.

___

Online:

NOAA climate briefing: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/briefings/201402.pdf

___

Seth Borenstein can be followed at http://twitter.com/borenbears

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest Idealab
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: