Selected significant climate anomalies and events, April 2018. Graphic: NOAA

17 May 2018 (NOAA) – While North America had its coldest April since 2013, the rest of the world was downright balmy.

Record and near-record-warm temperatures were felt across Europe and from Argentina to Australia, making it the third hottest April on record globally.

Climate by the numbers

The average global temperature for April 2018 was 1.49 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 56.7 degrees. This was the third highest for April in the 139-year record (1880–2018). Nine of the 10 warmest Aprils have occurred since 2005. April 2018 also marks the 42nd consecutive April and the 400th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average.

The year-to-date average global temperature was 1.37 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 54.8 degrees. This was the fifth warmest average temperature for the year to date on record and the coolest such period since 2014. The years 2015, 2016, and 2017 ranked among the three warmest year to date periods on record.

Minimal sea ice at the poles

  • The average Arctic sea ice coverage (extent) in April was 6.8 percent below the 1981-2010 average, ranking it the second smallest extent since records began in 1979. 
  • Antarctic sea ice coverage in April was 12.3 percent below average and the fifth smallest on record for April.

Warmer-than-average lands and oceans

  • The globally averaged, land surface temperature ranked ninth warmest for April and sixth warmest for the year to date (through April). 
  • The globally averaged sea surface temperature was fourth warmest for April and fifth warmest for the year to date. 
  • South America and Europe led the continents in warmth rankings.
  • South America and Europe had their warmest April on record; Oceania, its second; Africa, its fifth; Asia, its ninth; and North America, its 94th (where 2018 tied with 1918 as 15th coldest).

April 2018 was 3rd warmest on record for the globe

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