This December was crazy hot. And not just in England; it was in the eastern U.S. too.
The National Center for Environmental Information has released the December figures, and they’re staggering. Of the 48 states in the conterminous U.S., only 10 had near-average temperature, 3 were above average, 6 were much above average. A whopping 29 out of 48 were the hottest on record.
Many states didn’t just break the record by a little, but by a country mile. Take New Jersey, for instance. This December averaged 6.2 deg.F hotter than any previous. That’s fully 1.48 standard deviations above 2nd place. Not 1.48 standard deviations above average — it’s 1.48 standard deviations above 2nd place.
Consider Delaware. It was 6.1 deg.F hotter than 2nd place. That’s 1.45 standard deviations above 2nd place.
Some states didn’t just break the record for hottest December, they broke the record for hottest temperature anomaly of any month. States like Rhode Island:
And that’s not the only one. Fully 16 out of 48 states broke the record for hottest temperature anomaly of any month.
Of course these record-shattering temperatures are the combination of trend and fluctuation. The fluctuations were hot, and we can expect such fluctuations to happen again. After all, fluctuations gonna fluctuate — they just won’t stop.
But the trend is also toward hotter and hotter temperatures. When the two conspire, you break records. That’s what happened.
It’s bound to happen that fluctuations will go in the other direction. That’s the nature of fluctuations — sometimes up, sometimes down, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. When temperatures fluctuate downward, expect deniers to bray about how cold it is — how there was ice in winter — how they found a snowball! They’ll keep braying until the fluctuations go back up. Then they’ll whine about how a single record month “don’t mean a thing.”
As for the trend … expect that to keep going up.
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