Hot on the heels of a new record set in May, average global temperature also reached a record high in June 2014.
Drought conditions across a large swath of the Western United States are unlikely to improve during May, according to the Monthly Drought Outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
Average temperatures across the contiguous United States in February ranged from frigid to balmy.
While heat is stored and mixed throughout the depth of the ocean, it is the temperature at the surface—where the ocean is in direct contact with the atmosphere—that plays a significant role in weather and short-term climate.
In July 2013, the Pacific Northwest was relatively dry, while the Southeast got a soaking.
The Southwest received a double-whammy welcome to summer in June: the region was both much hotter and much drier than usual.
Summer thunderstorms are likely to improve drought conditions in the Southwest, but drought will likely persist across much of the West.
Rain and snow across the contiguous United States during April 2013.
Data from 2010 indicate that mountain glaciers predominantly lost mass, and preliminary data from 2011 indicate a continuation of the same long-term trend.