With each passing month, 2015 is edging closer and closer to locking in its ranking as the warmest year on record for the planet, and the chances of that happening are now at 93 percent, according to calculations from NASA. The strong El Niño event that has taken shape this year and could rank among the strongest on record has been a large factorMore
Residents of much of the eastern U.S. spent November wondering if they had been transported back to September, as temperatures for much of the month were decidedly un-November-like.
In fact, several cities in the East saw their warmest November on record, flipping on its head the “warm west, cold east” pattern that dominated the first half of the year.
Of course that wasn’t the only part of the world that had an unusually balmy month: From Australia to Japan to Scandinavia, temperatures were well above normal in many places, and while many official rankings have yet to be announced, those hotspots are clear on global temperature maps.
That heat comes at the tail end of a year that is expected to be the hottest on record globally, beating out the previous record set just last year. While a strong El Niño and other climate patterns are playing a role in regional and global temperatures, the vast majority of the excess heat this year comes from manmade global warming, a Climate Central analysis showed.
Here’s a roundup of where the world was particularly warm:
The country experienced its third-warmest November on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, and the second-warmest spring (remember, the seasons are opposite in the Southern Hemisphere).
Springs in Australia tend to be hot and dry in El Niño years, the BoM noted in a statement, so the temperatures aren’t entirely surprising. But overall, the background warming of the globe from the heat trapped by greenhouse gases has tipped the odds in favor of heat records over cold ones.
And while maximum and minimum daily temperatures were both above average (in some cases by a lot) across the country in November, the average minimum temperature tied for the warmest on record. A hallmark of warming has been that overnight lows have been warming much faster than daytime highs, as colder times of day (just like colder places and colder times of year) warm faster than warmer ones.
It was a mild November, indeed, for much of eastern half of the country, especially when compared to the last couple of cold seasons East Coasters have shivered through.
Several cities had months that ranked among their warmest, with many setting records. Boston had a top-10 warmest November, while Philadelphia had its second warmest and every New York City area airport set or tied a record for warmest November, as did Central Park.
Dozens of locations across the Southeast had a top-5 warmest November, with several, mostly concentrated in Florida, charting a new record. Among the cities that posted new marks were Huntsville, Ala., Valdosta, Ga., Tallahassee, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla., Daytona Beach, Fla., and Vero Beach, Fla.
Climate patterns over the North Atlantic were likely what kept temperatures across the East so elevated, Jake Crouch, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climatologist, said in an email. Record and near-record warm ocean waters gave Florida even more of a heat boost, he said.
The exact temperature rankings for each state and the Lower 48 as a whole will be released by NOAA on Dec. 8.
England and the U.K. as a whole had their third warmest November, according to the Met Office.
Parts of the continent, particularly France and Germany, and up into Scandinavia were also noticeably on the toasty side. Sweden had a temperature “well above normal,” according to its meteorological agency, while Germany had its warmest November in records going back to 1881, according to the Deutscher Wetterdienst.
Much of that heat came early in the month, when a strong high-pressure system parked over the region brought in warm air from the southwest, according to Météo-France.
Much of the northern half of South America also had elevated November temperatures, particularly parts of Brazil, which has been suffering from an intense drought this year.
Japan and the Korean Peninsula also show up as decidedly red spots on the map of global temperatures, though the exact rankings for Japan and South Korea have not yet been released.
India and parts of China were also unusually warm last month, in particular, parts of the Tibetan Plateau recorded exceptionally high temperatures.
The story for the globe for the year is one of exceptional heat, with 2015 likely a slam-dunk for warmest year in the books. While natural climate shifts and weather mean that not every point on the globe is record warm all the time, the overall trend is for the planet to continue to run an ever-higher fever.