NOAA didn't say it quite that way, but that's what they meant. September in the U.S. was hotter than a normal September by more than two degrees F, and the drought in the southeast got worse. And NOAA earlier predicted a warmer than usual winter.
One-fourth of the southeastern United States now has "exceptional drought," the worst stage in NOAA-speak. I had blogged already about some effects the drought there is having. Over the past decade the five Great Lakes have been getting less great, losing water. Now Lake Superior is at the lowest level ever recorded for the lake in September. This is not good news because the Great Lakes normally contain one-fifth of all the fresh water on the Earth's surface. And I can't help repeating, only 2% of the world's water is potable.
Too bad we don't have any way to save all that fresh water from the ice melting in the Arctic. NOAA also came out with their report card on climate change there. Here's some of what they found:
"Permafrost temperatures are stabilizing in both North America and Eurasia, but permafrost melt remains a serious problem. Shrubs are moving northward into tundra areas, but causes for treeline movements are difficult to assess because forest management practices are as influential as climate change. Changes in Arctic animal populations show mixed tendencies over decades. Many caribou and reindeer herds have declined (some up to 80 percent relative to their peaks), while Arctic goose populations have generally expanded."
No mention of the polar bear.
That map is from NOAA and it shows how hot it was in New Jersey, explaining why fellow-blogger Heather has been so touchy about things climatic 'cause she lives there in tropical Jerseyside.