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The warmest May in more than 40 years

Last month was the warmest May on record globally since at least 1979.

The scorching heat that roasted Siberia in May contributed to the warmest May on record globally since at least 1979, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, a division of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

High temperatures ranging from 77 F to 95 F (25 C to 35 C) were common across parts of Russia this May, including in Siberia, according to The Sun. Average high temperatures in Siberia, considered one of the coldest regions on Earth, are usually around 63.5 F (17.5 C) for the month of May.

Consequently, temperatures were mostly above average compared to the rest of the world over parts of Siberia, where they were roughly 18 F above average, according to the Copernicus data.

Globally, it was 1.13 F (0.63 C) warmer than the 1981-2020 average for May, topping the previous warmest May since at least 1979 by 0.08 F (0.05 C), which was set in 2016.

The 12-month period from June 2019 to May 2020 was 1.18 F (0.66°C) warmer globally than the 1981-2010 average. This matches the average temperature of the warmest earlier 12-month period, from October 2015 to September 2016.

According to the Copernicus data, 2016 is the warmest calendar year on record, with a global temperature 1.13 F (0.63° C) above that for 1981-2010. The second-warmest calendar year since at least 1979 is 2019, with a temperature of 1.05 F (0.59° C) above average.

Along with Siberia, temperatures were also much above average over western Alaska, along the Andes bordering Chile and Argentina and over regions in West and East Antarctica. The weather was also much warmer than average over western North America, the far north and south of South America, northwestern, central and southwestern Africa and southeastern Asia.

Temperatures in Europe "deviated quite substantially" from the 1981-2010 average in May, according to the Copernicus report. They were well above average over the southwest and far northeast of the continent to well below average over a substantial region extending from Scandinavia to the Balkans and the northern coast of the Black Sea.

Regions of below-average temperatures include most of central and eastern Canada, the eastern United States, southern Brazil, Australia and parts of southern Asia.