Earth records its warmest winter on record

Think It's Cold? Think Again!
Think It's Cold? Think Again!

By Chris Dolce for WEATHER.COM

The winter of 2014-15 was the warmest on record worldwide, according to the state of the climate report released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Wednesday.

NOAA says that December through February – for meteorological record-keeping purposes, winter is defined as those three months in the Northern Hemisphere – was 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average for all land and ocean areas. This tops the previous warmest winter of 2007 by 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit. Global temperature records are available for the period 1880-2015.

Individually, here is how each month ranked for the earth:

  • December 2014: Warmest on record.

  • January 2015: Second warmest on record.

  • February 2015: Second warmest on record.

Though it was a cold winter overall in eastern North America, including the United States, the Northern Hemisphere also saw its warmest winter on record. This was due to widespread above-average temperatures in western North America, Europe and Asia. NOAA says that record warmth was observed in the western United States, portions of central Siberia and eastern Mongolia.

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(MORE: Warmest Winter For Many U.S. Cities)

For the United States alone, winter 2014-15 was the 19th warmest on record.

(MORE: U.S. Winter Recap)

The Southern Hemisphere also saw warmer-than-average temperatures for this period, which constitutes the summer months there. Overall, the December-February period ranked as the fourth warmest on record for all land and ocean areas. Australia recorded its fifth warmest summer on record.

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