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Earth’s 11th-consecutive warmest month on record » Yale Climate Connections

April 2024 was Earth’s warmest April since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 11th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported May 14. Record heat was unusually widespread, with 14.7% of the world’s surface experiencing record heat. The only month on record with a greater coverage of record heat was September 2023, with 15.0%.

A map showing that most of the land and ocean in the world was warmer than average in April 2024.A map showing that most of the land and ocean in the world was warmer than average in April 2024.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for April 2024, the world’s warmest April since record-keeping began in 1850. Record warm temperatures covered 14.7% of the world’s surface. (Image credit: NOAA/NCEI)

Global weather agencies were in agreement on the April record, including the Japan Meteorological Agency and NASA. NASA placed April at 1.55 degrees Celsius (2.79 °F) above the 1880-1899 period, its best estimate for when preindustrial temperatures last occurred. This beat the previous record (from April 2020) by an impressive 0.19 degrees Celsius (0.34 °F). April 2024 had the ninth-greatest departure from average of any month in the NASA database (the all-time record was +1.71 degrees Celsius above the 1880-1899 period, set in September 2023).

The European Copernicus Climate Change Service also rated April 2024 as the warmest April on record and said that the global average temperature for the past 12 months (May 2023 — April 2024) was the highest on record for any 12-month period, 1.61 degrees Celsius above the 1850-1900 preindustrial average. 

Land areas had their warmest April on record in 2024, according to NOAA, and for the 13th consecutive month, global ocean temperatures were the warmest on record. The record heat in the oceans has brought on a global coral bleaching event (see tweet below).

It was the warmest April on record for South America, second-warmest for Europe and North America, third-warmest for Asia, fourth-warmest for Africa, and 54th-warmest for Oceania. The contiguous U.S. posted its 12th-warmest April with five states experiencing a top-10 warmest April. No states had below-average temperatures. Snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly over Canada, was the lowest on record for April, helping contribute to an early severe fire season in Canada (see tweet below).

Satellite-measured temperatures of the lower atmosphere in April were the warmest on record and had the largest departure from average of any month in the 46-year-long record, according to the University of Alabama, Huntsville (see tweet below).

The January to April global surface temperature ranked warmest in NOAA’s 175-year record. According to NOAA/NCEI’s statistical analysis, there is a 61% chance that 2024 will rank as the warmest year on record and a 100% chance that it will rank in the top five. However, note that this analysis is based purely on statistical comparison with past years and does not take into account the current transition toward La Niña, which will most likely act to reduce the odds of a record-warm 2024 by later in the year.

Highest 1-year increase in CO2 on record: 4.7 ppm

The global average concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in March 2024 was 4.7 parts per million (ppm) higher than in March 2023. This is the highest one-year increase in CO2 levels ever recorded. The previous record was a 4.1 ppm increase from June 2015 to June 2016. In both cases, strong El Niño conditions influenced global weather patterns, helping cause a temporary boost in CO2 levels. However, the primary cause of the CO2 increase is human activities such as fossil fuel burning, deforestation, and agriculture.

Twelve billion-dollar weather disasters so far in 2024

According to NOAA, there have been seven billion-dollar weather disasters in the U.S. so far in 2024 (as of April 11):

Severe weather outbreak, Central and Southern U.S., Mar. 13-15: $4.4 billion
Severe weather outbreak, Eastern and Southern U.S., Jan. 8-10: $2.7 billion
Severe weather outbreak, Eastern and Central U.S., Apr. 1-3: $1.8 billion
Severe weather outbreak, Eastern and Southern U.S., Apr. 8-10: $1.5 billion
Winter weather, Southern U.S., Jan. 14-18: $1.3 billion
Winter weather, Northwest U.S., Jan. 12-15: $1.1 billion
Severe weather outbreak, Southern U.S., Feb. 10-12: $1.2 billion

Gallagher Re lists two other billion-dollar weather disasters outside of the U.S. so far in 2024:

Drought, Brazil, Jan.-Mar., $1.5 billion
Wildfires, Chile, Feb. 1 -Mar. 22, $1 billion

At least three other billion-dollar weather disasters not listed above likely occurred late April through early May. According to Gallagher Re, a U.S. severe weather outbreak during the last week of April cost over $2 billion. According to Aon, damages from a U.S severe weather outbreak May 2-8 will be at least $2 billion, and a Brazil flood disaster that killed 143 people cost at least $1.46 billion. In addition, insured damage estimates for the April floods in the United Arab Emirates are also approaching the $1 billion threshold.

Two very deadly weather disasters in April

Two of the planet’s top three deadliest weather disasters of 2024 occurred in April:

1) Exceptionally heavy rains during the April portion of the annual spring rainy season in East Africa triggered floods that have left at least 518 people dead or missing. The death toll is the highest in Kenya, with 267 dead and 75 missing as of May 9. The April flood death toll is 155 in Tanzania, 14 in Rwanda, and seven in Somalia. In the Conversation, a hydrology consultant says that the floods in Kenya “expose decades of poor urban planning and bad land management.”

2) April’s other very deadly disaster was in Pakistan, where flash floods, landslides, and lightning strikes killed 143 people. The country received 164% more rain than average for the month.

The second deadliest weather disaster of 2024 thus far has been the May floods in Afghanistan, which have claimed at least 315 lives. The Democratic Republic of Congo also had a very deadly flood disaster Jan. 1-17, which claimed 238 lives, according to Gallagher Re.

As discussed in our January post, Africa has suffered an unprecedented number of deadly weather-related disasters over the past two years; an astonishing 23% of the continent’s 30 deadliest weather-related disasters since 1900 have occurred in the past two years. All of these disasters killed over 500 people, with climate change found to be a contributing factor in four of the ones from 2021-2023.

El Niño weakens; La Niña expected by late summer

The El Niño event in the Eastern Pacific weakened during April, NOAA reported in its May monthly discussion of the state of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. Neutral conditions are expected to take hold within the next month, with a 69% chance of La Niña emerging by July-August-September. An area of below-average sea surface temperatures has already emerged in the far eastern tropical Pacific, signaling the imminent demise of El Niño.

For the climatological peak of the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season (August-September-October), the May forecast from NOAA and Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society calls for a 77% chance of La Niña, a 22% chance of ENSO-neutral, and a mere 1% chance of El Niño. El Niño conditions tend to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity through an increase in wind shear, but La Niña conditions tend to have the opposite effect.

Arctic sea ice: 16th-lowest April extent on record

Arctic sea ice extent during April 2024 was the 16th-lowest in the 46-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, or NSIDC. Though is it heartening to see arctic sea ice not at record lows, the ice is quite thin and the total volume of the ice was the seventh lowest on record during the annual March maximum (see tweet below). There is currently less multiyear ice than in 2023, and the oldest ice (greater than four years old) is slightly lower than last year and has been at very low levels since 2012.

Antarctic sea ice extent in April was the 10th-lowest on record.

Notable global heat and cold marks for April 2024

The information below is courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera. Follow him on Twitter: @extremetemps:

  • Hottest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: 48.5°C (119.3°F) at Kayes, Mali, Apr. 3;
  • Coldest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: -50.2°C (-58.4°F) at Summit, Greenland, Apr. 11;
  • Hottest temperature in the Southern Hemisphere: 42.1°C (107.8°F) at Port Hedland, Australia, Apr. 2; and
  • Coldest temperature in the Southern Hemisphere: -80.0°C (-112.0°F) at Vostok, Antarctica, Apr. 29.

Major weather stations in April: 109 all-time heat records, no all-time cold records

Among global stations with a record of at least 40 years, 109 set, not just tied, an all-time heat record in April; no stations set an all-time cold record:

Nara (Mali) max. 47.7°C, April 1;
Tambacounda (Senegal) max. 47.0°C, April 2;
Kolda (Senegal) max. 46.4°C, April 2;
Gaoua (Burkina Faso) max. 43.3°C, April 2;
Hat Yai (Thailand) max. 40.2°C, April 2;
Kayes (Mali) max. 48.5°C, April 3: New national record high for Mali;
Segou (Mali) max. 46.0°C, April 3;
San (Mali) max. 45.8°C, April 3;
Koutiala (Mali) max. 44.2°C, April 3;
Kaedi (Mauritania) max. 48.0°C, April 3;
Belize City (Belize) max. 37.7°C, April 3;
Phuket (Thailand) max. 39.4°C, April 6;
Dawei (Myanmar) max. 40.7°C, April 9;
Pinlaung (Myanmar) max. 33.5 10 April
Krabi (Thailand) max. 39.9°C, April 10;
Hambantota (Sri Lanka) max. 37.5°C, April 10;
Barton Creek (Belize) max. 42.3°C, April 10: New national record high for Belize;
Puerto Barrios (Guatemala) max. 40.4°C, April 10;
Flores (Guatemala) max. 43.0°C, April 10;
Agalega Island (Mauritius) max. 35.8°C, April 15;
Mexico City (Mexico) max. 34.2°C, April 15;
Victoria Point (Myanmar) max. 40.0°C, April 16;
Tuxtla Gutierrez (Mexico) max. 42.2°C, April 16;
Toluca (Mexico) max. 32.0°C, April 16;
Bokoro (Chad) max. 47.4°C, April 16;
Mongo (Chad) max. 46.5°C, April 18;
Santa Cruz (Costa Rica) max. 40.1°C, April 18;
Chawang (Thailand) max. 41.1°C, April 19;
Kenieba (Mali) max. 45.9°C, April 19;
Zinder (Niger) max. 45.1°C, April 24;
Nguigmi (Niger) max. 47.1°C, April 24;
N’Djamena Airport (Chad) max. 46.6°C, April 24;
Malaybalay (Philippines) max. 36.6°C, April 25;
Sangley Point (Philippines) max. 38.7°C, April 25;
Pakchong  (Thailand) max. 40.0°C, April 25;
Ba To (Vietnam) max. 41.8°C, April 26;
Phu Ly  (Vietnam) max. 41.8°C, April 27;
Petchabun (Thailand) max. 44.1°C, April 27;
Kanchanaburi (Thailand) max. 44.0°C, April 27;
Kosumphisai (Thailand) max. 43.6°C, April 27;
Bua Chum (Thailand) max. 43.4°C, April 27;
Tha Phra (Thailand) max. 43.2°C, April 27;
Chok Chai (Thailand) max. 43.1°C, April 27;
Wichian Buri (Thailand) max. 42.7°C, April 27;
Takfa (Thailand) max. 42.5°C, April 27;
Ayutthaya (Thailand) max. 42.2 27 April
Hue  (Vietnam) max. 42.2°C, April 27;
Hung Yen  (Vietnam) max. 41.2°C, April 27;
Nam Dinh  (Vietnam) max. 40.5°C, April 27;
Parkxanh  (Laos) max. 42.0°C, April 27;
Manila Airport (Philippines) max. 38.8°C, April 27;
Haikou (China) max. 40.9°C, April 27;
Lingao (China) max. 41.3°C, April 27;
Chengmai (China) max. 41.2°C, April 27;
Xuwen (China) max. 39.7°C, April 27;
Leizhou (China) max. 39.0°C, April 27;
Preah Viehar (Cambodia) max. 42.8°C, April 27: New national record high for Cambodia;
Svay Leu (Cambodia) max. 42.8°C, April 27: New national record high for Cambodia;
Aunglan (Myanmar) max. 45.3°C, April 27;
Lac Son (Vietnam) max. 42.0°C, April 28;
Tha Ngon (Laos) max. 43.6° C, April 28: New national record high for Laos;
Bagan (Myanmar) max. 46.0°C, April 28;
Sagaing (Myanmar) max. 45.5°C, April 28;
Tada U (Myanmar) max. 45.4°C, April 28;
Taungdwingyi  (Myanmar) max. 45.0°C, April 28;
Zaung Tu  (Myanmar) max. 43.1°C, April 28;
Dong Ha (Vietnam) max. 44.0°C, April 28;
Roi Et (Thailand) max. 43.2°C, April 28;
Lampang (Thailand) max. 44.0°C, April 28;
Chayaphum (Thailand) max. 43.5°C, April 28;
Srakew (Thailand) max. 42.5 28 April
Lom Sak  (Thailand) max. 43.0°C, April 29;
Angeles (Philippines) max. 39.1°C, April 29;
Anantapur (India) max. 44.7°C, April 29;
Phonhong  (Laos) max. 42.8°C, April 29;
Bengkulu (Indonesia) max. 36.4°C, April 29;
Seno (Laos) max. 43.6° C, April 29: Tied national record high for Laos;
Tinh Gia (Vietnam) max. 43.9°C, April 30;
Tuyen Hoa (Vietnam) max. 43.1°C, April 30;
Ba Don (Vietnam) max. 43.2°C, April 30;
Siam Reap (Cambodia) max. 41.2°C, April 30;
Nakhon Ratchasima (Thailand) max. 44.0°C, April 30;
Surin  (Thailand) max. 43.8°C, April 30;
Mukdahan  (Thailand) max. 43.5°C, April 30;
Sakhon Nakhon  (Thailand) max. 43.4°C, April 30;
Kamalasai  (Thailand) max. 43.3°C, April 30;
Ubon Ratchathani  (Thailand) max. 43.3°C, April 30;
Si Sakeht  (Thailand) max. 43.2°C, April 30;
Khon Kaen  (Thailand) max. 43.1°C, April 30;
Nakhon Phanom  (Thailand) max. 43.0°C, April 30;
Aranya Prathet  (Thailand) max. 42.4°C, April 30;
Don Muang  (Thailand) max. 41.1°C, April 30;
Canning  (India) max. 43.6°C, April 30;
Udhagamandalam (India) max. 29.4°C, April 30;
Thakhek (Laos) max. 42.8°C, April 30;
Vientiane (Laos) max. 42.6°C, April 30;
Saravane (Laos) max. 42.5°C, April 30;
Ha Tinh (Vietnam) max. 43.2°C, April 30;
Dong Hoi (Vietnam) max. 43.2°C, April 30;
Vinh (Vietnam) max. 42.9°C, April 30;
Lingao (China) max. 42.8°C, April 30;
Chengmai (China) max. 42.0°C, April 30;
Changjiang (China) max. 41.6°C, April 30;
Chongzuo (China) max. 41.5°C, April 30;
Haikou (China) max. 41.3°C, April 30;
Danzhou (China) max. 41.2°C, April 30;
Qiongshan (China) max. 40.7°C, April 30;
Leizhou (China) max. 39.5°C, April 30; and
Zhanjiang (China) max. 38.8°C, April 30.

Eleven all-time national/territorial heat records beaten or tied as of the end of April

Cocos Islands (Australia): 32.8°C (91.0°F), Feb. 28, Feb. 29, Apr. 7 (tie);
Costa Rica: 41.0°C (105.8°F) at Cerro Huacalito, Mar. 6; broken again with 41.5°C, Mar. 23, at the same location;
Comoros: 36.2°C (97.2°F) at Hahaya Airport, Mar. 12;
Congo Brazzaville: 39.6°C (103.3°F) at Impfondo, Mar. 13;
Maldives: 35.1°C (95.2°F) at Hanimadhoo, Mar. 24; tied at the same location on Apr. 11;
Togo: 44.0°C (111.2°F) at Mango, Mar. 31;
Mali: 48.5°C (119.3°F) at Kayes, Apr. 3;
Belize: 42.3°C (108.1°F) at Barton Creek, Apr. 10;
Chad: 48.0°C (118.4°F) at Faya, Apr. 24 (tie);
Cambodia: 42.8°C (109.0°F) at Preah Viehar and Svay Leu, Apr. 27; and
Laos: 43.6°C (110.5°F) at Tha Ngon, April 28; tied at Seno on April 29.

Ninety-three monthly national/territorial heat records beaten or tied as of the end of April

In addition to the 11 all-time national/territorial records set so far in 2024, 82 nations or territories have set or tied monthly all-time heat records as of the end of April 2024, for a total of 93 such records:

  • Jan. (15): Mayotte, Dominica, Saba, Cocos Islands, Malta, Hong Kong, Ivory Coast, Maldives, Andorra, Portugal, Costa Rica, UK, Seychelles, Martinique, St. Barthelemy
  • Feb. (18): Maldives, French Guiana, Guyana, Dominica, Curacao, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, U.S. Virgin Islands, Belize, North Korea, Morocco, French Southern Territories, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Peru, Laos, Chad, Togo
  • Mar. (24): Paraguay, Samoa, Zimbabwe, Dominica, Cameroon, Ghana, Guyana, French Guiana, Dominican Republic, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Saba, British Indian Ocean Territories, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Guatemala, Croatia, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Benin, Burkina Faso
  • Apr. (25): Dominica, French Southern Territories, Costa Rica, French Polynesia, French Guiana, Guyana, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Saba, Comoros, Briitish Indian Ocean Territories, Mauritius, China, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Cape Verde, Nepal, Zimbabwe, Cyprus, Turkey, Niger, Jordan, Israel, Vietnam

Two monthly national/territorial cold records beaten or tied as of the end of April

China set an all-time cold record for the month of February.
Qatar set an all-time cold record for the month of March.

Hemispherical and continental temperature records in 2024

  • Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in January in Asia: 28.5°C (83.3°F) at Bangkok Klong Thoey, Thailand, Jan. 14
  • Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in February in Asia: 29.1°C (84.1°F) at Diego Garcia (British Indian Territories), Feb. 18
  • Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in March in South America: 31.6°C (88.9°F) at Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay, Mar. 17
  • Highest temperature ever recorded in April in Africa: 48.5°C (119.3°F) at Kayes, Mali, Apr. 3

Bob Henson contributed to this post.

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