Despite cold spells in U.S., world had fourth warmest January on record

BY Joshua Barajas  February 20, 2014 at 3:12 PM EST
Although freezing temperatures wrecked havoc in parts of the U.S. last month, the world experienced the fourth warmest January on record. Image courtesy of NOAA National Climatic Data Center

Although freezing temperatures wrecked havoc in parts of the U.S. last month, the world experienced the fourth warmest January on record. Image courtesy of NOAA National Climatic Data Center

Even though large-scale winter storms have bombarded parts of the U.S. in the last few weeks, global temperatures in January were the fourth warmest on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday.

Since records have been kept, beginning in 1880, the average global temperature — 54.8 degrees Fahrenheit — in January was 1.17 degrees higher than the 20th century average and the highest since 2007, NOAA reported. The 2000s have seen the hottest global temperatures for January, with 2002, 2003 and 2007 being the warmest.

The U.S. had its warmest year in 2012 with the world experiencing its 11th warmest on record, the Associated Press reports.

Another cold front is expected to blanket parts of the U.S., starting Sunday.