The “State of the Climate,” released annually by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that 2014 was a record year for extreme weather: the "warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880." In other words, it was the hottest year ever recorded on Earth. This year is shaping up to be no different, as 2015 has seen record-breaking heat, cold, precipitation, and drought. Here's a running list of this year's frightening new milestones.
Globally, January was the second warmest on record, and the sea ice cover in the Arctic was at its third smallest.
New York and Vermont experienced record cold temperatures for the first three months of the year, beating records set almost a century ago.
California snowpack shrunk to record low levels, as a result of drought and warmer winter temperatures.
South Dakota had its driest January to April ever, reaching a mere 42 percent of its average precipitation for early spring.
Alaska had its warmest May on record.
Florida had its hottest March to May ever.
Tropical Storm Ana, when it made landfall in South Carolina, became the second-earliest tropical cyclone to hit the U.S. in recorded history.
Oklahoma and Texas had their wettest month of any month on record, with widespread flooding across the region.
Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio had their wettest June on record.
Pakistan suffered its deadliest heat wave ever, with the death toll topping 1,100. The heat index peaked at 121 degrees.
California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington all had their hottest June ever.
So did the Earth.
In fact, the first six months combined were the hottest ever. Combined with the last six months of 2014, it was the hottest 12-year stretch in 136 years of record-keeping.
A heat wave brought record temperatures across Europe, as Germany hit an all-time high of 104.5 degrees.
Due to Tropical Storm Dolores, California received more rain over a single weekend than it did during the entire month of January, usually the state’s rainiest month.