Hottest winter on record

Ready for summer. #pool #philadelphia

Well, I hope at least we get one more summer like the last one out of this mess, because it was just about perfect:

It may not make shivering Northeasterners feel any better, but their miserable winter wasn’t shared by the rest of the planet.

The three-month stretch from December through February was the warmest on record, the US National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported this week. Average global temperatures were 0.79 degrees Celsius (1.42 Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average, the highest mark since record keeping began in 1880. February’s average alone was 0.82 degrees Celsius (1.48 Fahrenheit) above the last century’s benchmark, the second highest on record for the month.

While the heavy snowfalls on the US East Coast and even parts of the South got a lot of attention this winter, the American West, Europe, and most of Russia had a warmer-than-average winter. Parts of Siberia saw average temperatures five degrees Celsius (nine Fahrenheit) above normal.

“I had a meeting over in London — it was in mid-February — and people there were saying, ‘Oh, what a nice, early spring,’ ” Donald Wuebbles, a University of Illinois atmospheric science professor and co-author of last year’s National Climate Report, told VICE News.

The latest figures “are a nice indication that things are continuing to happen,” Wuebbles said. But he added: “It’s only one indicator of the many things happening in the Earth’s climate system that we expect to continue.”

3 thoughts on “Hottest winter on record

  1. Both the warmer than usual places and the colder than usual ones are there because of climate change. There’s an Arctic jet stream that circles around the high north. It was slightly wavy, not a perfect circle of course. With the added energy (=heat) in the atmosphere, the amplitude of the oscillations gets bigger, so the Arctic jet stream can “sag” much further south in spots and go further north in others.

    The latter equals warmer in Siberia. Or it could be Europe. The sagging south means snow and cold in the Northeast. Or it could be (and has been recently) Europe, or China. Both too-warm and too-cold are evidence of the same perturbation in the jet stream. Which, to me, makes it even scarier. And, no, it doesn’t tell you much about the kind of summer to expect.

    That’s the bulletin from Debbie Downer for the day. You’re welcome.

  2. “God put snow in DC during February, end of story!” Chair of the Senate Science and Technology Committee.

  3. Are you sure about that jet stream theory, Q? The way I heard it, there is less differential between hold and cold, and so the jet stream is weaker, thus allowing the Artic air to dip farther south than normal, and NE North America has been the ones getting the brunt of the polar air that is no longer being as well contained by the polar vortex winds.

    We hardly had any winter at all this year in Portland. About normal up to Xmas. Then a somewhat mild January, and then an extremely mild/warm Feb (usually the worst weather is late Jan thru late Feb). My gas bills went from 90/mo in Nov and Jan to $30 in Jan to $25 in Feb. I gave up trying to get my cheagle and chiweenie pups to wear their coats around Xmas too.

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