Summer sizzles to hottest on record worldwide – USA TODAY
If you sweated out the summer, you weren’t alone.
The months of June, July and August were the planet’sÂ hottest on record, according to aÂ report released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This year remainsÂ on track to beat the hottest on the books worldwide, crushingÂ 136 years of records.
âThe world is dominated by areas that are record warm or more than average right now,â said NOAA climate scientist Deke Arndt. âThe warmth has truly been widespread across the oceans and land.â
From January to August, global temperatures soaredÂ 1.51 degreesÂ above average. Six of those months hit record highs.Â Countries in the Middle East suffered a stifling heat wave this summer, with Iran soaringÂ to a heat index of 163 degrees in July.Â Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada are also seeing record heat.
Compounding the situation is a growingÂ El NiÃ±o, aÂ climate pattern defined by warmer-than-average water in the tropical Pacific Ocean.Â Some of this year’s heat records come from El NiÃ±o, but climate change also plays a role, Arndt said.
âLong term climate change is like climbing a flight of stairs, El NiÃ±o is like standing on your tippy toes on those stairs,â Arndt said. âWe would not have threatening records repeatedly if we had not been climbing the stairs for years.â
An earlier report found aÂ 97% chanceÂ thatÂ El NiÃ±o, whichÂ typically brings wetter-than-average conditions to the Southwest,Â will continue through the 2015-2016 winter, rivaling the strongest one on record in 1997.Â
About aÂ third of the regionsÂ facingÂ drought in the U.S. could get much needed rainfall this winter as a result of El NiÃ±o. About 97% of California is in drought, fueling the state’s raging wildfire season.
Still, there’s aÂ high probability the dryÂ conditions will continue in theÂ Northwest and northern California in the coming months, according to Thursday’s report. Montana, parts of which are already in a dry spell, could also see drought develop.
Here is NOAA’s temperature forecastÂ for autumn:
Here is the agency’sÂ precipitation forecast for autumn: