What you need to know, currently.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its monthly report on global climate trends, including a preview of what the summer months of June, July, and August have in store.
In the contiguous U.S., the March precipitation total was 2.26 inches, which was 0.25 inches below average— making this year’s March the driest third of the 128-year period on record. It was also ranked the third warmest March on record.
March was the warmest it has been since 1880, as temperatures were 1.71° F (0.95 °C) above normal globally.
Parts of South Asia and Southeast Asia had the hottest March on record this year as well. For example, India had its hottest March in its 122-year record. There is also an ongoing heatwave across both India and Pakistan with temperatures expected to rise further.
And, the contiguous U.S. was affected by a bit of heat last month, too, with an average temperature of 44.1°F (6.72°C) — 2.6°F (1.45°C) above the 20th-century average.
March was marked by several severe weather outbreaks, with at least 13 confirmed tornadoes across Iowa— including the one in Winterset, which was ranked an EF4, the second-strongest on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Other major storms wreaked havoc in the southern U.S. including an EF3 tornado in Jacksboro, Texas, and in New Orleans.
After the severe drought in the upper Midwest region last year, the NOAA is predicting a hotter and drier than normal summer yet again, with temperatures above normal across the country.
La Niña will continue through the end of the year as well, possibly drawing out the drought in the West. —Aarohi Sheth