Warmest March Ever: In Like a Lamb, Out Like One Too

ICTMN Staff
4/9/12

Nope, it's not just you.

A "State of the Climate" report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirms what many people all around Turtle Island have been thinking: That March 2012 was one of the warmest ever. For all we know, it was the warmest ever—since the NOAA started keeping records in 1895, no March has recorded higher temperatures. March 2012 also saw 15,292 warm temperature records broken—a nearly even split between record highs and record high overnight lows—and the month capped a warmest-ever first quarter. NOAA spokesman Chris Vaccaro was quoted by CNN.com as calling the temperatures "tremendously excessive."

Though the month was record-setting on the whole, not everyone felt the heat. The highs occurred mainly east of the Rockies, with states west of the range experiencing lower than average temperatures.

The NOAA report also drew attention to side-effects of warmer weather, in particular tornadoes. There were 223 preliminary tornado reports during March, a month that averages 80 tornadoes annually, the agency reported.

Scientists at the NOAA are reluctant to cite global warming or climate change as the cause of the high temperatures, according to an article at USAToday.com—but the effects of the mild winter are easily predicted, and could be significant, as ICTMN science expert Ruth Hopkins reported in a recent article, "Native Knowledge and Modern Science Foresee Ill Effects of Mild Winter."

Warmest March Ever

Warmest March Ever

This animation by the NOAA shows the locations of each of the 7,755 daytime and 7,517 nighttime records (or tied records) in sequence over the 31 days in March:

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