April 2018 Was Earth's 400th Consecutive Warmer-Than-Average Month and the Third Warmest April on Record

Chris Dolce
Published: May 17, 2018

Cold temperatures in the central and eastern United States during April 2018 were no match for the rest of the world's overwhelming warmth.

The month ranked as the third warmest April on record and also the 400th consecutive month the globe has recorded above-average temperatures.

(MORE: Two U.S. States Were Record Cold in April)

The last time temperatures across all of earth's land and ocean surfaces were below average was in December 1984, or the same year Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers was born and the original Ghostbusters movie made its premiere.

(MORE: Here's What Was Happening in Earth's Last Colder-Than-Average Month)

Temperatures compared to average in April 2018. (NOAA)

April's average temperature was 1.49 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, topped only by 2016 and 2017 which were 1.94 degrees Fahrenheit and 1.60 degrees Fahrenheit above average, respectively.

Those departures from the average April global temperature may not sound like much, but in the realm of climatological records, it's a significant margin.

Record or near-record warmth in parts of Europe, Argentina and Australia helped propel April 2018 to the third warmest April on record. Breaking it down a bit further, April 2018 was record warm in Europe and South America, the second warmest in Oceania, the fifth warmest in Africa and the ninth warmest in Asia, NOAA said.

On the flipside, North America had its 15th coldest April, tied with 1918.

NOAA reported that nine of the top 10 warmest Aprils on record have now occurred since 2005. The database of temperature records NOAA uses extends back to 1880.

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies said April 2018 was also third warmest, only topped by April 2016 and 2017 in their 138-years of records.

Orange and red shaded location had above-average temperatures overall in April 2018. Blue shaded locations, most prominent over eastern North America, were colder-than-average in April 2018. (NASA)

Blue shadings depicting colder-than-average temperatures last month over eastern North America stand out like a sore thumb compared to the above-average temperatures shown across most of the earth's other land and ocean surfaces, according to NASA's analysis. 

Two other agencies also calculated April 2018 as third warmest, including the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service, operated by the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts

JMA's analysis placed April 2018 in a tie with 1998 and 2014 for third place.

Through April, 2018 also continues to rank in the upper echelon of warmest years on record. January-April 2018 ranked fifth warmest for the world in records dating to 1880, NOAA said. 


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