May 2022 among Earth’s top-10 warmest

Year is 6th warmest on record so far

An image from NOAA’s GOES-17 satellite of Hurricane Agatha nearing landfall on May 30, 2022.
An image from NOAA’s GOES-17 satellite of Hurricane Agatha nearing landfall on May 30, 2022. Agatha was the strongest hurricane to make landfall along Mexico's Pacific coast in May on record. (NOAA)

The globe wrapped up May 2022 as another warm one in the record books, with the month ranking as the ninth-warmest May in 143 years.

Last month’s heat added to a very warm year, as 2022 so far ranked sixth warmest, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

Here’s a closer look into NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report:

Climate by the numbers

May 2022

The average global temperature in May was 1.46 degrees F (0.81 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average ranking as the ninth-warmest May on record — but the coolest May since 2013.

May 2022 marked the 46th-consecutive May and the 449th-consecutive month with average temperatures above the 20th-century average.

Temperatures were above average in southern North America, central South America, western Europe, central Africa, northern and central Asia and eastern Australia. Temperatures were cooler than average across parts of western North America, southern South America, eastern Europe, southern Africa and mainland Southeast Asia.

Season (March through May 2022)

The average global temperature for the season was 1.53 degrees F (0.85 of a degree C above average), making it the sixth-warmest March-May on record. 

The Northern Hemisphere had its fifth-warmest spring on record, while the Southern Hemisphere saw its 10th-warmest autumn. 

Year to date (YTD, January through May 2022) 

The average global land and ocean surface temperature for the YTD was 1.53 degrees F (0.85 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 55.5 degrees F, 13.1 degrees C, ranking as the sixth-warmest January-May period in the global climate record.

A map of the world plotted with some of the most significant climate events that occurred during May 2022.
A map of the world plotted with some of the most significant climate events that occurred during May 2022. Please see the story below as well as more details in the report summary from NOAA NCEI at http://bit.ly/Global202205 offsite link. (NOAA/NCEI)

Other notable highlights from the May report

  • Arctic sea ice was below average: Sea ice coverage averaged 4.97 square miles last month, which was the 14th-smallest May coverage in the 44-year Arctic record, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center offsite link.
  • Eastern Pacific hurricane season began: May 2022 produced four named storms globally, including two that reached tropical cyclone strength (winds of at least 74 mph) — which was near normal. The most impactful storm was Hurricane Agatha in the Eastern Pacific, which caused heavy rain and flooding in southern Mexico. Agatha was the first named storm in the Western Hemisphere in 2022 and the strongest hurricane to make landfall along Mexico's Pacific coast in May. 

More > Access NOAA’s climate report and download images from the NCEI website.

 

 

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