“Records are made to be broken,” as the old saying goes, and July 2015 was a good reminder of that. NOAA reports that July 2015 was officially the hottest month on record worldwide.
Parts of the Midwest actually tracked near average or slightly cooler than average for July. But extreme heat elsewhere more than compensated for the difference, including record heat in parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and large portions of the Pacific and Indian oceans.
Worldwide, the July average temperature was 1.46°F above the 20th century average. As for the record books, global data has been collected since 1880, and the July 2015 average monthly temperature worldwide was 61.86°F, which slightly edged out the prior record set in 1998 by 0.14°F.
Arctic sea ice measured 350,000 square miles in July. That is below the 1981-2010 average; however, it was also the largest since 2009, according to NOAA and NASA analyses. Meantime, Antarctic sea ice measured above the 1981-2010 average and is the fourth-largest July Antarctic sea ice on record.
Some regional climate events of note for July included:
- United States – the Northwest and Southeast regions were warmer than normal, while the central U.S. was relatively cool. Record precipitation in areas of California did not close the gap on existing drought conditions.
- South America – the continent saw the fifth-warmest July on record.
- Europe – Western and central Europe saw warmer-than-average weather, but the northern part of the continent was cooler than normal.
- Africa – much of the continent saw warmer-than-average conditions, with record heat in the east.
- Australia - Snow in July? That’s what parts of New South Wales and Queensland saw after cold fronts descended upon the continent July 11-17.
This year as a whole is also trending toward record-setting warmth on a global scale. Year-to-date average temperatures was the highest since 1880, narrowly surpassing 2010 by 0.16°F.