2017 was third warmest year on record for the planet

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – NOAA came out with their latest data on the past year and how warm it was.  The good news, it was not the warmest year on record, the bad news, it was close.  Not only was it a top five warmest globally, but it was in the US, Ohio, and Columbus as well.


On a global level, this was the 3rd warmest on record

According to NOAA, this was the 3rd warmest year on record when combined land and sea temperatures are factored in.  This year the average temperature was 58.51°, which is 1.51° above the 20th century average temperature for the planet.

Below is a listing of the top 10 warmest years on record, again the 20th century average is 57.0°

  1.  58.69°    2016
  2.  58.62°    2015
  3.  58.51°    2017
  4.  58.33°    2014
  5.  58.26°    2010
  6.  58.21°    2013
  7.  58.19°    2005
  8.  58.15°    2009
  9.  58.13°    1998
  10.  58.12°    2012

On top of the fact that we had the 3rd warmest year on record globally, we also had many different significant weather/climate events last year.  This graphic below compiled by NOAA shows how many events we had all over the planet.


For the United States, it was also the 3rd warmest year on record

According to NOAA it was another very warm here in the states as well.

Our 20th century average temperature for the United States is 52.0°, and this past year was 2.6° above normal.

  1. 55.3°    2012
  2. 54.9°    2016
  3. 54.6°    2017

Also, this was the 3rd year in a row, where every single state was above normal for their average temperature for the year.

In addition, it was stated early this year, that in the United States there were 16 natural disasters in 2017 that cost a billion dollars or more.  That means one occurred almost every 23 days.  NOAA again had a great graphic to show all these disasters from last year in the US.


Locally it was also one of the warmest on record as well

In Ohio, we ranked as the 5th warmest year on record, and much of that was driven by the super warm start to the year with temperatures that were near record levels at the end of winter and very near in spring.

Below is a graphic from the National Centers for Environmental Information at NOAA showing state ranks for temperatures.  Notice we have a 119, 123 is the hottest on record, so our 119 would be 5th warmest.


In Columbus, 2017 ranked as the 3rd warmest year on record too

We were only behind 2012, and 1998 for the warmest years on record here.

Rank Year Temp
1 2012 56.5
2 1998 56.3
3 2017 55.5
4 1931 55.4
5 1991 55.3
6 1938 55.3
7 2016 55.2
8 1999 54.9
9 1946 54.9
10 2007 54.9

Part of the reason we had such a warm year here in Columbus was due to our exceptionally warm start to the year.  Both February and April ranked as the warmest of each months on record.

In fact, in February 24th we hit 78 degrees marking the warmest day ever in winter.  It was also warmer than any temperatures ever recorded in December, January, or February in Columbus.

2017 temp +/- rank
Jan 36.8 +7.7 12th
Feb 42.2 +11.1 1st
Mar 43.1 +2.5 42nd
Apr 59.7 +8 1st
May 63 +0.8 54th
Jun 72.2 +1.1 52nd
Jul 75 0 62nd
Aug 72.4 -0.8 87th
Sep 67.8 +1.1 49th
Oct 58.6 +3.6 22nd
Nov 43.6 +0.8 56th
Dec 31.2 -1.6 96th
Year 55.5 +2.9 3rd


The year went out on a very cold note that extended into 2018

We had temperatures that dropped below freezing on Christmas eve, and never got back above freezing for the rest of 2017.  We had an 8 day below normal streak to end the year.  Both of these streaks extended into the new year, as we saw the 2nd coldest start to a year ever when we hit -2 early on January 1st.

We also continued the below normal streak for the 1st seven days of 2018, making it 15 straight days below normal.  We also went 2 straight weeks below freezing as well.


Even though our temperatures are on average more than 9 degrees below normal to start the year, we should see a big upswing in temperatures the next 2 weeks that should bring January’s average back up.  Still this month will be one of the coolest compared to normal in some time.  When that number is final we will figure out how long it has been.


If you ever have questions about climate, cold, or any other weather questions, email me, dmazza@wcmh.com


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