According to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the combined land and sea temperatures for last month were the warmest April temperatures on record. Individually, sea surface temperatures were the warmest for any April and surface temperatures were the third warmest.
Utilizing data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the agency reported that the combined temperature of 58.1°F (14.5°C) was 1.37°F (0.76°C) above the 20th century average of 56.7°F (13.7°C).
For the period from January to April, temperatures also were the warmest first quarter on record. NOAA said the combined temperature over the period was 56.0°F (13.3°C). That is 1.24°F (0.69°C) above the 20th century average.
Arctic sea ice, long considered a harbinger of global warming, was reported at 2.1 percent below average. NOAA conceded however that sea ice was at its highest April extent since 2001. As reported previously, Arctic sea ice has seen three consecutive years of increasing measurements.
In the United States, NOAA said that April featured above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. Much of the eastern half of the nation experienced warmer than normal temperatures resulting in measurements 2.3°F above average and going down in the books as the 14th warmest April on record.