Hottest Year only sort of
The headlines and quick national news stories all said about the same thing. This year so far is the warmest on record in the United States and many major cities including Washington, DC.
This data from the National Climatic Data Center. Not only that but the last 12 months have been, "The warmest 12 month period on record"
Sounds pretty ominous and here in Washington we have had temperatures for 12 of the last 13 months above average and the long term temperature trends in the country are rising
But while much of North America has been in this warm pattern, look at the temperature anomoly pattern around the globe for January-March, the latest period I could find.
Folks in central Asia might take some of our warm pattern and it was a very cold winter in many parts of Europe where the Danube River iced over and snow fell in Venice. Actually for January to March the long term temperature anomoly around the globe was only +0.7° and was the coolest Jan.-March since 1996 according to the National Climatic Data Center where many of these graphs are from .
What does this all mean? Well it's important to read beyond the headlines. The general long term global warming is still there as you can see above and many scientists think we may be in for a continuation of these large scale persistent patterns of unusual warmth and dryness in some parts of the world yet unusual cold and wetness or flooding in other parts. Extremes becoming more probable? Maybe so. This coming summer in Washington?
Right now I would not bet against this current trend. The pattern may change, but right now I think it will be another long hot summer. But that's another blog to come soon. But remember with stories about global change and "record warmth" and yes, global warming . . . read the entire story, as I've tried to give you above