Frigid cold over a relatively small area of the Earth’s surface kept global temperatures from ranking higher.
“A small section of the north central Atlantic Ocean was record cold and many areas across central and northern North America and western Asia had temperatures more than 9°F (5°C) below their February average,” says the National Climatic Data Center.
The land surface temperature – while also warmer than the long term average – was the coolest in 20 years (since February 1994).
Nevertheless, large areas of the globe were much warmer than normal.
“Part of far east Russia along with much of the northeastern Pacific Ocean, part of the western South Pacific, sections of the Arctic Ocean, parts of the western North Atlantic, part of the South Atlantic, and the oceans off the southern coast of Africa, and the Adriatic Sea were record warm,” writes the National Climatic Data Center. “Far east Russia and part of northern Scandinavia observed temperatures more than 9°F (5°C) above their February average.”
The National Climatic Data Center, in its report issued this morning, also reported that the globe’s temperature for December to February – or meteorological winter – ranked 8th warmest on record.