Hot Streak Continues: May 2012 Second Warmest on Record
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, has released its State of the Climate Global Analysis for May 2012. This analysis looks at weather recordings from monitoring points all around the world. Temperatures from the last month were compared to baseline levels which is the average taken from 1961-1990. For most of the planet, both over land and over sea, southern and northern hemisphere, temperatures were higher. In fact, they were the 2nd highest of all time, just below the all-time record set in 2010.
The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for May was 0.66 deg C (1.19 deg F) above the average 14.8 deg C (58.6 deg F). For the northern hemisphere, home to the majority of land area and human population, May was the warmest ever. In the Southern hemisphere, it was the 9th warmest ever.
The average land surface temperature was highest around the world. It was temperatures over the ocean that brought down the global average to 2nd place.
For the boreal spring 2012 (March to May), the combined global land and ocean temperatures were the seventh warmest on record, 0.59 deg C (1.06 deg F) above the average. Year to date, it was the 11th warmest January to May around the world.
There were a few highlights precipitation-wise as well. Two tropical storms formed in the North Atlantic before the official start of the hurricane season on June 1st. These storms brought relief to the drought-stricken states of the southeastern US.
Spain and much of India suffered under dry conditions during May. However, the dryness in India is no longer an issue since the monsoon season began in early June.
The La Nina weather phenomenon dissipated in April, creating dry condition across Australia. The nation-continent received just 60 percent of its average monthly amount, and Western Australia received a mere 22 percent of the average.
More information on global weather and climate can be found at the NOAA website.
Image credit: NOAA