JUST IN: Florida suffers hottest four months in 122 years
Florida’s average temperature was the highest on record for the first four months of 2017 as the state suffers widespread brush fires and drought.
According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, Florida’s average temperature for January through April was 66.6 degrees, which is the warmest since records began in 1895.
Florida wasn’t alone in setting a heat record. Fourteen states stretching from the southwest to the mid-Atlantic also reached their highest average temperatures for January through April.
Forty states were much warmer than average through April.
Climate scientists and meteorologists had trouble pointing to one reason for the heat this year.
“This is our 15th consecutive month of above normal temperatures,” said Florida climatologist David Zierden. “January of 2016 was our last month that had below normal temperatures.”
Zierden is hesitant to say the streak of warm months is global warming, but he said there is a chance 2017 will again break heat records.
“This consistent above average temperature trend for the past two years makes you ask the question if it’s global warming,” Zierden said. “A two-year period is not enough to exclusively attribute it to climate change, but it is certainly enough to ask the question.”
Jake Crouch, a NOAA climatologist, told Climate Central, that the February heat wave is what pushed the rankings so high.