January Was Fourth-Warmest On Record

Despite the polar vortex

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This January was the warmest January since 2007 and the fourth-warmest in recorded history, according to new data.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data out Thursday found that the Earth was 1.17 degrees warmer this January than the average temperature dating back to 1880. The only other warmer January months were in 2002, 2003 and 2007. The southern hemisphere had the warmest January on record, and most of Africa, South America, Australia, Asia and Europe were much warmer than usual. But Americans certainly weren’t basking in the heat: The U.S. was one of the few places with very chilly temperatures, thanks to the infamous polar vortex.

Meteorologist Dan Collins of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center told the Associated Press that next week will likely be characterized by freezing temperatures once again.