You've Got to be Kidding Me! The Hottest Year Ever?!
The way I remember the weather in 2014--being a Midwesterner—is Polar Vortex after Polar Vortex bringing record snow and bitter cold temperatures throughout the early part of the year. It was probably August before all the snow drifts melted! Now I just heard the news: "2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record! Ever! Throughout Recorded Meteorological Time!" On what planet is that a fact?
Turns out it is planet Earth. The same one on which my dear Midwest sits. Upon further review… according to both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, every inhabited place on Earth had above average temperatures--except the Eastern United States!
The West sweltered. California and Nevada had their hottest years on record. For the first time in 100 years of records, the temperature in Anchorage, Alaska, never fell below 0°F. Europe had 19 countries experience their hottest year ever, plus there was record heat over much of the Pacific Ocean that fueled a series of monster storms in the region. The oceans were the warmest ever recorded.
Polar Vortexes in Atlanta and tropical heat in Anchorage? What‘s with that? One reason is that the Polar Vortex, a low pressure system that regularly circles the Arctic Regions, has been weakened by warming ocean temperatures. This caused the polar air to "escape" the Arctic and blow deep into the eastern states. In turn, this caused the jet stream to push warm tropical air up into Alaska.
Official meteorological records go back to 1880. So 2014 was the Earth's hottest year in 134 years! The global average temperature in 2014 was about 1.24°F warmer than the average during the twentieth century, NOAA said. The 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1998.
What can we expect in the future? As the saying goes, "Expect the best, prepare for the worst." A good way to prepare for the worst is to insulate your home. It is critical for helping to keep the temperature inside your home warm when the temperature outside is frigid. It is just as critical for keeping the temperature cool inside when the temperature outside is hot.