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March global temperature report: 10th warmest March on record

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Even though March 2013 was abnormally cool, wet and snowy in Richmond, and in much of the Mid-Atlantic, globally that was not the story. In fact, we were the anomaly.

The rest of the Earth (both land and sea) recorded its tenth warmest March on record. The National Climatic Data Center report states, “The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for March 2013 tied with 2006 as the 10th warmest on record, at 0.58°C (1.04°F) above the 20th century average of 12.3°C (54.1°F).”

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So what explains our regionally cooler weather? You may recall us talking about the negative Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillation during the month of March. The NCDC global report explains:
“Globally, land surface temperatures were 1.06°C (1.91°F) above average (11th warmest on record), but there were some marked temperature anomaly differences around the world. The Arctic Oscillation (AO), a large-scale climate pattern that can influence temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, was strongly negative during the month, and in fact reached a monthly-averaged record low for March. This negative phase was associated with frigid Arctic air spilling southward into the Northern Hemisphere middle latitudes.”

But that same pattern that made us feel like Winter wouldn’t let go also led to record warmth in parts of northeastern Canada, southeastern Greenland and a large swath of China.

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The March 2013 data continues to show our prolonged trend of global warming, particularly over recent decades. Here is the look at just the period of January through March temperatures changing over time:

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CLICK HERE to read the full analysis.

Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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