Extreme warmth across the southern half of Europe brought exceptional temperatures across Spain, southern France, and NW Italy in early February. Dry Foehn winds resulted in extremely high early February values with locally 26-28 °C peak afternoon temperatures. Turin and Cuneo in NW Italy reached almost +27 °C – the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Piedmont region (NW Italy) during winter! Southern Switzerland stopped at +24 °C while Valencia reported +28.4 °C! That is exceptional for this period.
This became Norway's warmest January day since records began. While many were enjoying the warm weather, there are concerns that it is another example of climate change. A few days earlier a new maximum temperature for December was recorded in the UK when a temperature of 18.7 deg C, (66 deg F) was reached at Achfary, in the Highlands of Scotland, the hottest day of December ever recorded in the UK. The old record stands at 18.3 deg C, in Achnashellach in the Highlands on 2 December 1948. In the UK, Hedgehogs and other animals did not hibernate this winter, after ‘unprecedented’ mild weather. the effects and implications of this ‘unheard of’ phenomenon are yet to be discovered, but we should be worried. Reports of frogs and toads still being out in people’s gardens is weird, they should be deep in hibernation because they are cold-blooded animals. It’s absolutely unheard of, reported the Sussex Times.
Meanwhile, Christmas was so mild in Moscow authorities dumped thousands of tons of artificial snow onto the streets of the capitol after the Russian capital city enjoyed its mildest Christmas since 1888.
The Met Office of the UK claimed that provisional early statistics showed that for the UK as a whole was the sunniest April on record (figures dating back to 1929). Between the 1st and 27th of April 215.8 hours of sunshine have been recorded, nearly 50% above the average for April, and beating the previous record set in 2015 of 211.9 hours of sunshine. This has been the result of persistent high-pressure systems over or close to the UK resulting in an extended spell of fine, dry and sunny weather since late March. The same high-pressure systems are causing the record warm October and November here as I write this.
For most of April 2020, a similar high-pressure system had been situated over the Gulf of Alaska, but shifted into the western Lower 48 states, causing a blistering heatwave which gripped much of the Southwest and spread into the Rockies and Southern Plains, smashing records from California to Texas.
On the 12th of July, Death Valley in California recorded a temperature of 128 deg F, (53 deg C). According to the Weather and Climate Extremes archive, the hottest temperature ever recorded was in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California at 134.06 deg F, (56.7 deg C) on 10 July 1913, however, some weather historians have questioned the accuracy of old temperature records. Many other states in the US broke heat records too at the beginning of July. A heatwave with Borger in Texas, Springs, California and Tucson, Arizona all recording temperatures in the high 40s C or 115 F plus.
June 2020 tied as Earth’s 3rd hottest on record. The first half of 2020 saw near-record warmth for the globe. Earth’s persistent warming trend last month vaulted June 2020 to the third-hottest June on record — a tie with 2015. Warm temperatures from January-through-June pushed the year to date to second highest in the 141-year climate record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
On the 13th of August along the West coast of Holland where I live, we entered the 10th day in a row when temperatures hit the mid-to-high 30sC (100+F). Because Holland is so humid the actual temperature felt like 50 deg C, 122F and had been mostly unbearable. The evening temperature stayed well above 30 deg C (86+F) rendering sleep almost impossible. This was the second debilitating heatwave we had endured this summer.
Covid-19 increased the sunshine.
The measured solar radiation (sunshine) between mid-March and mid-June was about 3 per cent higher than the average over the same period in the past four years. Since the measures against the spread of the coronavirus were announced, more solar radiation, (sunshine) was able to reach the Earth's surface. This was evident from research by KNMI and TU Delft.
Remarkably warm October 2020 fueled a march toward 2nd-hottest year ever recorded.
Earth continued to endure exceptional heat last month with October 2020 ranking fourth-hottest October on record. The year to date (January through October) ranked second-hottest for the globe as Arctic sea ice coverage shrank to historic lows for the month, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
Below are more highlights from NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report:
Climate by the numbers October 2020
The average global land and ocean surface temperature for October 2020 was 1.53 degrees F (0.85 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average and the fourth-highest October temperature in the 141-year record. The 10-warmest Octobers have occurred since 2005, and the seven warmest have all occurred in the last seven years (2014–2020). Europe had its warmest October on record, which surpassed its previous record set in 2001. South America had its second-warmest October since regional records began in 1910.
Year to date (YTD) | January through October
The year-to-date global land and ocean surface temperature was 1.80 degrees F — a full 1.00 degree C — above the 20th-century average, making for the second-warmest YTD on record. This was 0.05 of a degree F (0.03 of a degree C) shy of tying the record set in 2016.
Europe and Asia had their warmest YTD period on record, while South America and the Caribbean region had their second warmest. According to a statistical analysis of site link done by NCEI scientists, 2020 is very likely to rank among the three-warmest years on record.
More notable climate events in this report:
Arctic sea ice set a new record low:
October’s Arctic sea ice coverage was 36.8% below the 1981–2010 average, the smallest October extent on record. This surpassed the previous October record-low coverage — set just last year — by 173,700 square miles.
Heat records were set around the world:
Record-warm October temperatures were observed in parts of the northern and western Pacific Ocean; southern North America; South America; Eastern Europe; the northern Middle East; eastern Mediterranean Sea; southern Asia; and in small areas across the Indian and Atlantic oceans.
No land or ocean areas had record-cold October temperatures. October snow cover was abundant: Despite the global warmth, the Northern Hemisphere’s snow cover last month was the 10th-largest October extent in the 53-year record. North America’s snow cover was the largest on record for October.