Sunday, 22 July, 2018

2017 was Australia's third hottest year on record!

This map shows the mean temperatures across Australia in 2017 This map shows the mean temperatures across Australia
Theresa Hayes | 10 January, 2018, 12:15

NOAA and NASA will release their global temperature report next week. NOAA, however, has run the numbers on 2017's impact on the USA, finding it to be the third warmest on record and associated with lots of extreme weather events.

Here are some highlights from the new NOAA report. Global agencies will likely confirm 2017 as the second or third-warmest on record in coming weeks based on average land and sea-surface temperatures going back to the 19th century.

The average USA temperature in 2017 was 54.6 degrees F (2.6 degrees F above average), making 2017 third warmest year in 123 years of record-keeping, according to scientists from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. Notching their hottest annual readings are New South Wales and Queensland. Thirty-two states, including Alaska, had annual temperatures that ranked in their top-10 warmest.

"In 2017, every state in the Lower 48 had an average temperature that was above average, and this is the third consecutive year that has been the case", said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

"Not everywhere was warm, but when we do average those temperatures across the entire USA, it ranked as the third-warmest on record", Jake Crouch, a NOAA climate scientist, said at the briefing.

A year ago was a record-breaker for climate disasters in the United States.

Last year, the US experienced 16 weather and climate disasters each with losses exceeding $1 billion, totaling approximately $306 billion - a new USA record. Climate scientists have long suggested that climate change may lead to a higher risk of certain extreme weather and climate events.

"That warmth was right across the continent but the areas very much above averages to highest-on-record occurred mostly over the east", he said. Last year's trifecta featured Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma at total costs of $125 billion, $90 billion, and $50 billion, respectively. The drought footprint reached a low of 4.5 percent in May, the smallest drought footprint in the 18-year period of the U.S. Drought Monitor. Those numbers include the massive Northern California fires this past fall as well as the blazes that burned through Southern California in December.

Precipitation total for the month was 1.55 inches (0.80 of an inch below normal), making it the ninth driest December on record and the driest in almost three decades.

HEAVY rain in the north and south made 2017 one of WA's wettest years on record - but Perth avoided most of the soaking.