Globe sees fourth warmest July on record; Oceans tie for warmest July


Land and ocean temperature departure from average in degrees Celsius in July 2014, with respect to a 1981 to 2010 base period. (NOAA/NCDC)

The average global temperature in July was the fourth highest on record for any July since records began in 1880, according to NOAA. This is after two months of record warm global temperature in May and June. So far, 2014 is the third warmest year on record, with an average temperature 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.

In addition to NOAA’s analysis, the Japan Meteorological Agency ranks July as the second warmest July on record. It ranked as the fifth warmest July in the satellite record, which dates back to 1979, according to the University of Alabama at Huntsville.

Combined land and ocean temperature was 1.15 degrees above the 20th century average of 60.4, NOAA says. On land, 32 countries across every continent had at least one station report a record warm month of July. In Norway, the average July temperature was an astonishing 7.7 degrees above average, which made July the warmest out of any month for the country, beating the old record by 1.8 degrees.

In the U.S., records were split down the middle. Thirteen states saw a top ten coolest month in July, including Indiana and Arkansas which saw the coolest July on record. Meanwhile, California continued to roast on its way to what could be the warmest year on record for the state, amid a historic drought.

Ocean temperature also continued to sizzle at 1.06 degrees above average, tying the previous record highest July, which was set in 2009. Anomalously warm Arctic seas between Greenland and northern Europe, as well as a warm southern Indian ocean, helped push July to tie the record. Oceans are the primary driver of this year’s global warmth, as the central Pacific has been threatening to develop an El Niño since the beginning of the year.

This past July was the 38th consecutive July and the 353rd consecutive month above the 20th century average temperature for the globe.

Land-only precipitation percent of normal in July 2014 with respect to a 1961 to 1990 base period. (NOAA/NCDC)
Land-only precipitation percent of normal in July 2014 with respect to a 1961 to 1990 base period. Larger image. (NOAA/NCDC)

France and western Switzerland saw their wettest July on record. The country doubled its average precipitation in the month and surpassing the previous record, which was set in 2000.

In the Arctic, summer melting continued near its average pace in July according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sea ice extent decreased rapidly at the beginning of the month, though a shift in weather patterns slowed that rate through the remaining weeks. July sea ice extent in the Arctic was 3.19 million square miles, which was the fourth smallest July sea ice extent since records began in 1971.

In the Antarctic, sea ice extent was 5.8 percent above the 1981-2010 average, making it the largest July extent in the Antarctic since records began in 1979.

Angela Fritz is an atmospheric scientist and The Post's deputy weather editor.
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