How hot was last month? It was so hot that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released some amazing charts and factoids, including:
- Every state in the nation experienced at least one record warm daily temperature during March. According to preliminary data, there were 15,272 warm temperature records broken (7,755 daytime records, 7,517 nighttime records). Hundreds of locations across the country broke their all-time March records. There were 21 instances of the nighttime temperatures being as warm, or warmer, than the existing record daytime temperature for a given date.
- A persistent weather pattern led to 25 states east of the Rockies having their warmest March on record. An additional 15 states had monthly temperatures ranking among their ten warmest. That same pattern brought cooler-than-average conditions to the West Coast states of Washington, Oregon, and California.
- NOAA’s U.S. Climate Extremes Index, an index that tracks the highest 10 percent and lowest 10 percent of extremes in temperature, precipitation, drought and tropical cyclones, was 39 percent, nearly twice the long-term average and the highest value on record for the January-March period [see figure]:
U.S. Climate Extremes Index was the highest on record so far in 2012.
It was so hot that “March heat records crushed cold records by over 35 to 1“ and top scientists and meteorologists said that global warming loaded the dice. If you prefer sports metaphors, like a baseball player on steroids, our climate system is breaking records at an unnatural pace.
And yes, most meterologists say that global warming is a factor.