This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Global Temperature Hits New Record for March
March 2002 was the warmest March on record, placing 2002 in a dead heat with 1998 in the competition for the warmest year on record, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). March global temperatures averaged 1.39 degrees Fahrenheit above the 122-year average. The period from January through March was 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit above the long term, tying with 1998, which is the warmest year on record thus far. See NOAA's National Climatic Data Center Web site.
Meanwhile, NOAA continues to predict an El Nino event, which tends to elevate global temperatures. NOAA is not yet able to predict the intensity of the event, but expects that the United States will feel its effects by mid-summer. See the NOAA press release.
In the United States, March was actually cooler than normal, although anyone on the East Coast could tell you that April appears to be compensating for that shortfall. The East and parts of the Midwest experienced record-breaking temperatures this past week. As noted in the Long Island story above, LIPA experienced record demand for April due to last week's heat wave.