It was the second-warmest February worldwide — coming in only behind February 2016 as the warmest in the 138-year global record.
Global temperatures on land and sea combined were 1.76 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 53.9 degrees, compared with 2.16 degrees over average in 2016. It edged out February 2015 by 0.18 of a degree, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information announced Friday.
It was also the second-warmest February across the U.S. behind 1954.
“The February global land and ocean temperature has increased at an average rate of plus-0.13 F per decade since 1880; however, the average rate of increase is twice as great since 1980,” the agency said.
February temperatures in Florida ranged from plus-2.5 degrees in Fort Lauderdale to plus-8.9 degrees in Pensacola, according to the Florida Climate Center.
“February 2017 was the second-warmest in Pensacola, third-warmest in Fort Myers, and fifth-warmest in Tallahassee and Tampa,” analysts said. “Several high temperature records were tied or broken across the state.”
FIREWORKS ON THE SPACE COAST: A heat and moisture plume from Saturday night’s Delta-IV rocket launch is shown in this photo released by the National Weather Service in Melbourne. It was taken by the GOES-16 satellite 26,000 miles above the Earth. The launch occurred at 8:18 p.m. after a 40-minute delay due to a ground system issue. (Credit: NWS-Melbourne)
COOL SNAP CONTINUES: Yet another cold front will sweep down the Florida peninsula Sunday night, dropping high temperatures Monday to nearly 10 degrees below normal. But since winds will quickly swing around to the northeast, overnight lows early this week will be in the low 60s rather than the 50s and even 40s seen with last week’s front.
High pressure building in mid-week should drive highs back to around normal in South Florida, with lows in the upper 60s to near 70 by the end of the week, National Weather Service forecasters said.
Rain chances also increase next weekend into the 20-30 percent range, forecasters said, as a developing low pressure system in the eastern U.S. draws moisture into the Florida peninsula from the south.
Through Saturday, major South Florida reporting sites have had five straight days of below normal temperatures.