Chart: How much monthly temperatures were above or below normal 1880-2016

Jugal Patel, New York Times | NASA

In the historical record, months early in the year, like February and March, have moved further away from the norm than the rest of the year. Scientists expect that the early months of 2017 will continue to show levels of warming beyond the norm, but likely not at the level of 2016 because a strong El Niño weather pattern is now subsiding.