LOS ANGELES - Summer was unseasonably hot in many areas of the United States. Not only did August 2020 become the second-warmest on record in the U.S., but the Northern Hemisphere had its hottest summer ever recorded, according to data released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
According to scientists at NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information, the three-month season from June through August 2020 was the Northern Hemisphere’s hottest meteorological summer, surpassing 2019 and 2016, which were previously tied for the hottest.
The globe as a whole also had its third-hottest summer, and according to a statistical analysis, 2020 is likely to rank among the five-warmest years on record.
The average global land and ocean surface temperature in August was 1.69 degrees F above the 20th century average of 60.1 degrees F, making it the second-hottest August, behind August 2016.
Meanwhile, the average Arctic sea ice extent (coverage) in August was the third smallest on record, 29.4% below the 1981–2010 average, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
According to the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), above-average temperatures are likely to continue for meteorological fall.
The CPC issued its fall outlook on Sept. 1, and it showed that warmer-than-normal temperatures were forecast for all of the lower 48 states, especially in the Southwest and Northeast.
Several cities broke temperature records this summer across the U.S.
In August, Death Valley, California recorded a whopping 130 degrees, the hottest Earth has been in more than 89 years and the third-warmest temperature ever measured. That 130 temperature reading is only below the disputed all-time record of 134 degrees at nearly the same spot in 1913.
The summer heat wave in the west was due to an amplified high pressure system, which caused weeks of triple-digit temperatures and dry conditions in Arizona, which has caused a lackluster Southwest monsoon.
According to a United Nations science report released last week, the world is getting closer to passing a temperature limit set by global leaders five years ago and may exceed it in the next decade or so. In the next five years, the world has nearly a 1-in-4 chance of experiencing a year that’s hot enough to put the global temperature at 2.7 degrees (1.5 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial times, according to the reported released by the U.N., World Meteorological Organization and other global science groups.