2014 was the hottest year on record. That’s according to data released Friday by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the Northwest, temperatures also rose above normal.
After a warm summer and winter, last year was the second hottest on record for Oregon and the fifth hottest on record for Washington.
The hottest year for both states is still 1934, when the Dust Bowl plagued the West.
Karin Bumbaco is the assistant state climatologist in Washington.
She says, although one year’s spike in temperatures can’t be attributed to climate change, global climate models do show the warming trend will continue.
Bumbaco: “So it is an indication of what’s might be coming in the future.”
Climatologists were surprised by one part of the data. 2014 was not an El Niño year. Those ocean conditions usually lead to record-breaking temperatures. That means this record was set without El Niño’s help.