2020: Earth’s 2nd Warmest Year on Record
The warmth from 2019 carried over into 2020 worldwide; setting up 2020 to have the 2nd warmest year on record, while knocking 2019 into 3rd place.
According to NOAA climate scientists, temperatures in 2020 were 1.76°F above the 20th-century average but just off by 0.04°F from tying the all-time record, which was set in 2016. 2020 also marked the 44th consecutive year with temperatures above the 20th-century average. 2020 also continued the streak of 7 consecutive warmest years taking place, starting with 2014.
The Northern Hemisphere had its warmest year on record, but also the continents of Asia & Europe, which both recorded departures over 2.0° above average for the 1st time. Snow cover over the Northern Hemisphere was sparse; with its 4th smallest coverage at 9.31 million square miles. 2020 also tied a record for the most named tropical systems worldwide at 103; with the North Atlantic basin setting its own record of 30 named storms. However, storms of hurricane (45) and major hurricane (21) strength were near average.
The Antarctic sea ice saw a near average melting season; however it recorded its smallest extents within the top 10 for the months of January and July respectively. The Arctic sea ice saw its 2nd smallest minimum extent during the melting season; combined that with its 11th smallest maximum extent during the growing season.
Locally, Salisbury had its 3rd warmest year on record at 59.3°F, but also recorded its 3rd wettest year on record at 63.78″. Salisbury also set other top 5 records mostly in the precipitation department, with its wettest August at 13.09″, 4th wettest December at 8.08″ and 3rd wettest summer at 23.36″.