What do you get when you add hefty snowfall to the Polar Vortex and sprinkle in a bit of Bombogenisis on top? The fourth warmest January on record.


It’s been a good old fashioned winter here in Boston, complete with 2 degree nights, 21.8 inches of snow, and (hyperbole alert) 8,342 stories in the local press about whether you can use a lawn chair to save your parking space.

It's been cold elsewhere too. In Chicago, they averaged a positively chilly 15.7 degrees for the month of January, 8 degrees lower than average. Then there was that snow and ice storm in Atlanta that made the highways there look like a winter version of REM’s Everybody Hurts video.

But don’t be such a xenophobe. Outside the Eastern US, it’s been a different story.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which keeps track of temperatures all over the world -- by land and by sea -- has just finished crunching the numbers for January 2014. Turns out, it was positively balmy:

During January 2014, most of the world's land areas experienced warmer-than-average temperatures, with the most notable departures from the 1981–2010 average across Alaska, western Canada, Greenland, Mongolia, southern Russia, and northern China.

The average global land temperature was the highest since 2007 and the fourth highest on record for January. Over the oceans, temps were highest since 2010 and seventh highest on record for January. Combined, it adds up the warmest January since 2007 and the fourth warmest on record.

You can check out NOAA’s website for more detailed analysis than you can shake a stick at, but here are a few highlights:

It's a big world out there (about 196.6 million square miles to be exact) and as these and many other numbers suggest, despite our chilly winter, it's getting warmer.