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The term is used quite often, but what exactly does it mean for our seasons? We explain.

April 2014 the warmest on record

Dayna Vettese

Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 4:29 PM - North Americans may find it difficult to believe, but April 2014 officially tied April 2010 for the warmest on record globally.

The latest "State of the Climate" report from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) puts April 2014 at a global average temperature of 14.47 C which is 0.77 C above the 20th Century average.

It also marks the 350th straight month where global temperatures were above the 20th century average and is the 38th consecutive April above average. The globe has not seen a single month averaging below normal since February 1985.

You are probably thinking: “How can this be? April was so cold!”

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Well, if you’re living in Canada or the United States you are correct. The information above is with respect to global temperatures. In Canada, the majority of areas east of the Rocky Mountains were below normal for April. This goes to show how much temperatures can vary in even a month’s time across the globe. For example, Australia experienced its seventh highest average temperature for April since records began. 

Temperature anomalies (above or below normal) for the month of April 2014.

Temperature anomalies (above or below normal) for the month of April 2014.

It’s quite clear that the world will continue on the current trend of warmer-than-average years, but it is important to recognize the variability amongst regions.

April is a great example of that.

A warming average temperature for Earth does not necessarily mean that each region will experience above average temperatures, but it is important to recognize the changes occurring on a global scale. Another point to take from the latest results is that the warmer average temperature of the world is not indicative to Canada being above normal for all months to come.

As we saw with April, we can be below normal here in Canada but the global temperature can still average above normal. We have been in El Nino neutral condition for the last while but forecast models are still trending toward us moving into an El Nino phase later this year. 

Generally, El Nino tends to increase global temperatures. However, El Nino will cause certain regions around the world to be cooler than normal but on average, the world tends to skew above normal for temperatures during El Nino events. 

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