Ag Weather Forum

Warming Dominated March

Bryce Anderson
By  Bryce Anderson , DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
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The March 2017 globally averaged temperature over land was the second-highest for the month of March in NOAA's 138-year record set. The year-to-date global temperature was also second warmest on record. (NOAA graphic by Nick Scalise)

Warming does it again. Climate reports for March show that the steady march ever-upward in land and sea temperatures kept on keepin' on. Highlights from the NOAA State of the Climate Report are below.

Bryce

The March temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.89 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 54.9 degrees F. This was the second-highest for March in the 138-year period of record, behind 2016 by 0.32 degree F. This was the first time the monthly temperature departure from average surpassed 1.80 deg F (1.0 deg Celsius) in the absence of an El Nino episode in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

(NOTE: The near-2 degree Fahrenheit above the 20th century average is a LEAP, not a STEP -- above the average. BA)

The March globally averaged land surface temperature was 3.56 deg F above the 20th century average of 40.8 deg F. This value was also the second highest March land global temperature in the 1880-2017 record, trailing 2016 by 0.68 deg F. March 2017 had the highest monthly global land temperature departure from average of any month since March 2016 and the third-highest land monthly temperature departure among all months (1,647) on record. (NOTE: Three and one-half degrees Fahrenheit is again a LEAP above average. BA)

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The March globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.28 deg F above the 20th century monthly average of 60.7 deg F -- the second-highest global ocean temperature for March in the record, behind the record year 2016 by 0.18 deg F. This was the highest global ocean temperature departure from average since October 2016 (+1.30 deg F).

March Snow Cover and Sea Ice

According to data from NOAA analyzed by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during March was near average at 20,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average. This was the 24th smallest value in the 51-year period of record. The North American snow cover extent was the 20th smallest on record, while the Eurasian snow cover extent was near the middle of the record.

The average Arctic sea ice extent for March was 452,000 square miles (7.5%) below the 1981-2010 average. This was the smallest March extent since records began in 1979 and 23,000 square miles smaller than the previous record set in 2015, according to an analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center based on data from NOAA and NASA. The Antarctic sea ice extent for March was 580,000 square miles (34.2%) below the 1981-2010 average. This was the smallest March Antarctic sea ice extent since records began in 1979 and 210,000 square miles smaller than the previous record set in 2006. (NOTE: Ice caps at both poles shrank. BA)

Year-to-Date (January-March) Temperature

The year-to-date temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.75 deg F above the 20th century average of 54.1 deg F. This was the second highest for January-March in the 1880-2017 record, behind the record year of 2016 by 0.32 deg F.

The year-to-date globally averaged land surface temperature was 3.15 deg F above the 20th century average of 38.5 deg F. This was also the second-highest for January-March in the 138-year record, behind 2016 by 0.56 deg F.

The year-to-date globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.22 deg F above the 20th century average of 60.6 deg F. This was the second-highest for January-March in the record, behind 2016 by 0.25 deg F.

There is much more to the report at this link: https://goo.gl/…

Bryce Anderson can be reached at Bryce.anderson@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @BAndersonDTN

(CZ)

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