January 2020 – Hottest January on Record Globally, 2nd Hottest in the Caribbean

January 2020 was the hottest January on record across the world, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Based on globally averaged temperature departure from the average over land and oceans for January, temperatures exceeded the previous record hottest January (2016) and became the hottest January in NOAA’s 141-year global temperature dataset record, dating back to 1880.

The January 2020 global land and ocean surface temperature was the highest in the 141-year record at 2.05°F (1.14°C) above the 20th century average of 53.6°F (12.0°C). This value surpassed the previous record set in 2016 by only 0.04°F (0.02°C).

This was also the fourth-highest monthly temperature departure from average in the 1,681-month record. Only March 2016, February 2016 and December 2015 had a greater temperature departure. 

In the Caribbean, based on NOAA’s data, the region recorded its second warmest January since regional records began in 1910 with a temperature of 1.01°C (1.82°F) above average. Only January 2016 was warmer.

Selected Significant Climate Anomalies and Events: January 2020 (Image: NCEI/NOAA)
Selected Significant Climate Anomalies and Events: January 2020 (Image: NCEI/NOAA)

In Trinidad and Tobago, we also experienced drier than usual conditions, with precipitation coming in between 75% to 100% of our long-term-averages, between a 0 and 20-millimeter deficit.

Much of the Eastern Caribbean also recorded similar deficits, with northeastern South America seeing much lower overall precipitation.

Selected Significant Climate Anomalies and Events: January 2020 (Image: NCEI/NOAA)
Land-Only Precipitation Anomalies: January 2020 (Image: NCEI/NOAA)

According to a statistical analysis done by NCEI scientists, the year 2020 is very likely to rank among the five warmest years on record.

For a more complete summary of climate conditions and events, see NOAA’s January 2020 Global Climate Report. You can also check here for more climate news for T&T.

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