WASHINGTON (AP) - The globe cozied up to the fourth warmest January on
record this year, essentially leaving just the eastern half of the United
States out in the cold.
the northern and eastern United States can expect another blast of cold
weather next week.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday that Earth
was 1.17 degrees warmer in January than the 20th century average. Since
records began in 1880, only 2002, 2003 and 2007 started off warmer than this
Almost all of Africa, South America and Australia and most of Asia and
Europe were considerably warmer than normal. China and France had their
second warmest Januaries. Land in the entire Southern Hemisphere was hottest
for January on record.
While more than half of America shivered last month, it was one of the few
populated spots on Earth cooler than normal. The opposite happened in 2012,
when the United States had its warmest year ever and the globe was only the
eleventh hottest on record.
Looking ahead, forecasters are seeing a large area of temperatures much
below normal starting midweek in the upper Midwest and then plunging south.
But it won’t be quite as frigid as the deep freeze of early January that
came from the polar vortex, said meteorologist Dan Collins of NOAA’s Climate
polar vortex is a high-altitude wind pattern that normally keeps Arctic air
bottled up in northern Canada and around the North Pole. In January, a big
chunk broke off and allowed that ultra-chilly air to meander south. That’s
likely to happen again next week, Collins said.
national forecast for March through May predicts no drought relief in the
West and cooler than normal temperatures in the upper Midwest. Warmer
temperatures in the Southwest in March are expected to spread across the
entire South in April and May.