GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR JANUARY HIGHEST ON RECORD,
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The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the highest for any January on record, according to scientists at NOAA’s
The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 1.53°F (0.85°C) warmer than the 20th century average of 53.6°F (12.0°C) for January based on preliminary data, surpassing the previous record set in 2002 at 1.28°F (0.71°C) above the average. Last month’s record was greatly influenced by a record high land-surface temperature, which was 3.40°F (1.89°C) warmer than average. Separately, the global ocean-surface temperature was fourth warmest in the 128-year series, approximately 0.1°F (0.05°C) cooler than the record established during the very strong El Niño episode in 1998.
A moderate El Niño episode that began in September 2006 continued into January, but weakened during the month. The presence of El Niño along with the continuing global warming trend contributed to the record warm January. Monthly mean temperatures more than 8°F above average covered large parts of Eastern Europe and much of , and temperatures more than 5°F above average were widespread in
During the past century, global surface temperatures have increased at a rate near 0.11º F (0.06º C) per decade, but the rate of increase has been three times larger since 1976, or 0.32ºF (0.18ºC) per decade, with some of the largest temperature increases occurring in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.
The average January temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 31.8°F (-0.1°C), or 0.9°F (0.5°C) above the 20th century average of 30.9°F based on preliminary data. In the central and eastern
The same upper-level wind pattern responsible for the warmer-than-average temperatures in the East, brought colder-than-average temperatures to the southern Plains and much of the West in January. Hundreds of daily low temperature records were either tied or broken during a mid-January cold outbreak that extended snowfall as far south as
The warmer-than-average temperatures in the eastern half of the nation helped reduce residential energy needs for the nation as a whole. Using the Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI - an index developed at NOAA to relate energy usage to climate), NOAA scientists determined that the nation’s residential energy demand was approximately 3 percent lower than what would have occurred under average climate conditions for the month. This was much less than the estimated 20 percent temperature-related reduction in residential energy demand that occurred during the record warm January last year.
January 2007 precipitation for the contiguous
A series of snow and ice storms struck the central in January, with severe winter weather as far south as
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, drought covered 25 percent of the contiguous
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of
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