Record Warm December


December 2015 ended as the warmest on record at the airport where records have been kept since 1949. Further, since 2000, December 2015 also featured the warmest average sea surface temperatures measured by the Bermuda Weather Service. Defining the mean monthly temperature as the mean of all observations (as has been done since 1996), December had a mean monthly temperature of 70.0ºF (21.1ºC). However, if we define the mean as half the sum of the daily high temperature and the daily low temperature (as has been done since 1949), December had a mean monthly temperature of 69.8ºF (21.0ºC), tying the record set in 1998. Sea surface temperatures were the highest on record for the month, averaging 71.4ºF (21.9ºC) for the month, breaking the previous record of 69.4ºF (20.8ºC) set in 2012 for the period 2000-2015. The below tables and figures summarize this information.

Mean Monthly December Temperatures
Mean Monthly December Temperatures in ºF at the airport from 1949-2015. The blue curve represents the mean temperature as max+min/2, while the red curve represents the mean of all the hourly temperature measurements for the month.

 

1 Highest Daily Hi Temperature 76.5ºF (24.7ºC) 19th
2 Highest Daily Lo Temperatures 70.3ºF (21.3ºC) and 70.5ºF (21.4ºC) 18th and 22nd
2 Highest Daily Mean Temperatures 72.6ºF (22.6ºC) and 72.1ºF (22.1ºC) 18th and 23rd
Highest Monthly Mean Temperature 70.0ºF (21.1ºC) or 69.8ºF (21.0ºC) Previous record was 69.8ºF (21.0ºC) in 1998
Highest Monthly Lo Temperature 66.2ºF (19.0ºC) Previous record was 65.7ºF (18.7ºC) in 1956
Highest Monthly Mean Sea Surface Temperature 71.4ºF (21.9ºC) Previous record was 69.4ºF(20.8ºC) in 2012

The record warmth wasn’t confined to Bermuda’s corner of the Atlantic; much of eastern North America experienced their warmest December on record. Further, much of Europe and parts of Russia were also near or at their record warmest Decembers.

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