Persistent heat across globe makes a baker’s dozen for record books
Fresh out of the oven that was a warm start to the year, global temperatures are on a roll: For the 13th consecutive month, the globe was record warm in May — the longest such stretch in 137 years of record-keeping.
May 2016 broke last year’s record for the warmest May on record for the globe by 0.04 degrees F, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
The more than yearlong heat streak also resulted in other new global heat records.
The seasonal temperature (March–May) for the globe was the highest for this period on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.40 degrees F. On a longer timeframe, the year-to-date (January–May) temperature across global land and ocean surfaces also broke a new record, besting 2015 by 0.43 degrees F.
Some more notable events around the world included:
The globally averaged sea surface temperatures were record high for May, the season (March–May), and the year-to-date (January–May).
The May Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent was the fourth smallest in the 50-year period of record.
Much-warmer-than-average temperatures contributed to North America’s fourth warmest May since continental records began in 1910.
Unusually warm conditions were present across much of northern Europe. In Finland, 20 locations set new all-time high May temperature records.
Much-warmer-than-average conditions engulfed much of Africa during May 2016, resulting in the fourth warmest May since 1910 for the continent.
Record warm sea surface temperatures contributed to New Zealand’s highest May temperature since national records began in 1909, while across the Tasman Sea, Australia recorded its second highest May temperature since national records began in 1910.
More: Find NOAA’s reports and download images by visiting the NCEI website.