By Ben Olson
Last April made the 12th consecutive month of record-breaking monthly temperatures around the globe. This makes it the longest hot streak in the 137-year record, which dates back to 1880.
During April, the average global temperature was 1.98 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 56.7 degrees F, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. This temperature departure from average was not only the highest for the month of April in the 1880-2016 record, but also the fourth highest among all months on record.
The globally average sea surface temperature for April was also highest for this month on record and surpassed the same period in 1998 by .43 degrees F. 1998 was the last time an El Niño of similar strength occurred.
This April we also saw the smallest Northern Hemisphere snow pack extent recorded in 50 years of snow pack data collection. According to the Rutgers Global Snow Lab data, the Northern Hemisphere snow pack extent during April was 890,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average. The snow pack extent was the 11th smallest on record for North America.
For the four months of 2016 (January—April), the average temperature for the globe was 2.05 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 54.8 degrees F. This was the highest temperature for this period in the record, breaking the previous record set in 2015 by .54 degrees F.
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