October Was The 5th Hottest On Record

After a raging weather month — with the once-a-century Superstorm Sandy beating up much of the East Coast — NOAA just announced some intense statistics about this last month. Overall, it was the 5th warmest October on record, coming in at 1.13 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

Overall this year (from January through October) has been the 8th warmest year-to-date — 1.04 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Here’s the chart showing how warm things really got in some areas. You can see the Northeast is one huge “record warmest” splotch of red:

Photo: NOAA

“Notice how much of North America is record warm and that has been driving much of the global warmth that we’ve seen during 2012 to date,” Jake Crouch, Climate Scientist with NOAA’s National Climate Data centre, said in a teleconference today.

While this year has set plenty of records for warmth, the graph above shows that no areas of the globe reached record colds. Here are some more statistics about October:

  • On land the temperatures were the 8th warmest, while the ocean reached it’s 4th warmest October on record.
  • For the Northern Hemisphere, October ranked as the 7th warmest and in the Southern Hemisphere it was the 2nd warmest.
  • Strangely, the U.K. had its coldest Oct. since 2003 and Western Canada was also cooler than average.
  • In general, Australia and Eastern Europe were warmer than average.
  • Snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere was the 8th largest on record, and specifically North America had its 7th largest snowfall. 
  • Eurasia’s snowfall was the 11th largest and Western Finland experienced precipitation about twice their long-term average.
  • Australia experienced 10th driest October on record.

When specifically looking at the US, October was a near-average month in both temperature and precipitation, though drought continues to plague over half the country. Being near-average actually broke our 16-month stretch of above-average temperatures.

For the lower 48 states in all of 2012 so far, we are coming in about 1.1 degree Fahrenheit warmer than previous record, a total of 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit above average. For this not to be a record year, November and December will have to be much cooler than average.

“We have a greater than 90 per cent chance of 2012 being record warm based only on historical data,” Crouch said. You can see from the map below, the only state with “near-normal” temperatures so far this year is Washington.

record warming for jan through oct 2012 lower 48 states

Photo: NOAA

This record heat doesn’t help the insane drought facing much of the country. Most of the Central US is still under Extreme or Exceptionally severe drought conditions. See the scary map below:

Drought conditions as of November 2012 us

Photo: NOAA

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