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U.S. Govt: Hottest March Recorded Globally

April 15, 2010

By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, James West

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March`s combined global land and ocean surface temperatures set a monthly record and it surpassed the long-term average by more than a degree, the U.S. government`s National Climate Data Center released April 15.

The combined average surface temperature during the month was 56.3 degrees Fahrenheit, 1.39 degrees above the 20 th century average of 54.9 degrees Fahrenheit. Available global records date back to 1880.

Separately, the worldwide ocean surface temperatures were the warmest recorded for the month and was more than a degree warmer than the long-term average. A moderate El Nino, the periodic abnormal warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean, helped to contribute the overall ocean temperature in March. The land temperature was 2.45 degrees warmer than the 40.8 degree Fahrenheit average.

Even with the higher than normal global temperatures, there were several locations that saw cooler than normal conditions in March. This included Mongolia, eastern Russia, northern and western Europe, Mexico, northern Australia, western Alaska and the southeastern U.S. Meanwhile, Northern Africa, south Asia and Canada were warmer than normal.

March is a continuation of a warm start to the year. The combined global land and ocean-surface temperatures for 2010`s first quarter are running 1.19 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

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Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Climatic Data Center

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