Eastern North America’s early spring compared to rest of globe

New NASA map depicts eastern two-thirds of North America in March 2012, when temperatures approached 18 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) above normal.

NASA released this map today (April 17, 2012) showing that the early spring affecting the U.S. this year didn’t happen everywhere. This map shows temperature anomalies for March 2012. In other words, it doesn’t show absolute temperatures. Instead, the map depicts changes from the norm.

This map how temperatures in March 2012 rose above, or fell below, average temperatures in March for a 30-year period in the 20th century (1951-1980). NASA image by Robert Simmon, based on data from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Click here to expand image above

In this case, March 2012 temperatures are being contrasted to average temps over a 30-year period in the 20th century (1951-1980). The map – which is based on an ongoing analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies – shows that the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., plus the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba, saw temperatures approaching as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) above normal (deepest reds on the map). NASA also said:

Temperatures were similarly extreme in the Arctic Ocean around Svalbard, the Barents Sea, and the Kara Sea. Far eastern Siberia, Alaska, and northwestern North America were significantly colder, while much of Europe and western Russia were warmer than normal (following a much colder February).

Read more from NASA about this map and March 2012 temperatures here

Deborah Byrd