According to GISS NASA, the average global surface temperature anomaly for February was 1.10 °C, which is 0.22 °C lower than the hottest February in 2016 and the second hottest February in the record.
Here is a chart of the average of 12 months to February each year. The 12 months to February 2017 averaged 0.94 °C above the 1951-1980 mean and was almost identical to the 12 months to February 2016, being just 0.01 °C hotter. This makes it the hottest March to February 12 month period on record.
ENSO year comparisons - another El Niño?
Although there was no La Niña after the recent El Niño, I've kept the chart below going. You can see the global mean temperature trend by month in the chart below, for the strongest El Niño years since 1950, which were followed by a La Nina. I've included the 2015/16 period for comparison. NOAA did indicate there was a very weak La Nina. The BoM ENSO update didn't, and is now showing neutral (but with a small chance of a weak El Nino later this year).
Not counting 2015/16, of the seven very strong, strong and strong to moderate El Ninos since 1950, there were only three that were followed by a La Nina. The chart spans a three year period. That is, for the 2015-16 El Niño and subsequent, it goes from January 2015 to December 2017, or would if the data allowed. (For a more detailed explanation see the HW articles: El Niño to La Niña years with more detail here.)
|Figure 3 | Global mean surface temperature for strong or moderate/strong El Nino years that were followed by a La Nina. Also includes the 2015/16 El Nino for comparison. Data source: GISS NASA|
Where was it hot?
Last month it was very hot in the northern latitudes, not just the Arctic. Europe, but particularly North America and Russia were also extremely hot. Few places in the world could be described as cool in February.
|Figure 4 | Map showing mean surface temperature, anomalies for February, from the 1951-1980 mean. Source: GISS NASA|