The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for February, 2016 is +0.83 deg. C, up almost 0.3 deg C from the January value of +0.54 deg. C (click for full size version), which is a new record for the warmest monthly anomaly since satellite monitoring began in late 1978.
The 1-month increase of +0.29 C in global average temperature from January to February is not unprecedented…for example, during the last El Nino (2009-10) there was +0.38 C warming from December to January.
The February warmth is likely being dominated by the warm El Nino conditions, which tends to have peak warmth in the troposphere close to February…but it appears that isn’t the whole story, since the tropical anomaly for February 2016 (+0.99 C) is still about 0.3 C below the February 1998 value during the super-El Nino of that year. In addition to the expected tropical warmth, scattered regional warmth outside the tropics led to a record warm value for extratropical Northern Hemispheric land areas, with a whopping +1.46 C anomaly in February…fully 0.5 deg. C above any previous monthly anomaly (!):