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Highest March Temperatures Since Records Began

Posted by feww on April 21, 2016

Global Temperature in March a record 1.22°C warmer 

The global temperature for March 2016 was the highest for this month in the 1880–2016 record, at 1.22°C (2.20°F) above the 20th century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F), NOAA reported

  • This tops the previous record for the combined average temperature for global land and ocean surfaces set in 2015 by 0.32°C (0.58°F).
  • It’s also the highest monthly temperature departure among all 1,635 months on record.
  • The nine highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred in the past nine months.
  • March 2016 also marks the 11th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in NOAA’s 137 years of record keeping.

The average global temperature across land surfaces was 2.33°C (4.19°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F), the highest March temperature on record, topping March record set in 2008 by 0.43°C (0.77°F).

  • Most of northwestern Canada and Alaska, along with vast regions of northern and western Asia, observed temperatures at least 3°C (5°F) above their 1981–2010 average.
  • The mean March temperature for Australia was the highest in the country’s 107-year period of record, at 1.70°C (3.06°F) higher than the 1961–1990 average.
  • Arctic temperature over land for 66°–90°N overall was 3.34°C (6.01°F) higher than the 1981‐2010 average… the second highest March, 0.03°C (0.05°F) lower than the record set in 2011.
  • Norway was 3.0°C (5.4°F) warmer than its 1961–1990 average.

March globally averaged SST remained 0.81°C (1.46°F) above the 20th century monthly average… highest global ocean temperature for March in the 1880–2016 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.18°C (0.32°F)

March 2016 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events Map


January – March period

January – March 2016 were the warmest such period on record (global land and SST), at 1.15°C (2.07°F) above the 20th century average of 12.3°C (54.1°F), surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.28°C (0.50°F)

  •  January–March 2016 marked the highest departure from average for any three-month period on record.
  • This record has been broken for seven consecutive months, since the July–September 2015 period.

January–March SST was the highest on record, at 0.82°C (1.48°F) above average… and 0.21°C (0.38°F) above previous records set in 2010 and 2015.

The average land surface temperature was also record high for the period, at 2.05°C (3.69°F) above average, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.47°C (0.85°F).

Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for March 2016, published online April 2016, retrieved on April 21, 2016 from

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