BOSTON, Mass. – The Caribbean region observed its warmest year since record-keeping began in 1891, according to a new State of the Climate Report. The report confirmed that 2019 was among the three warmest years in records dating to the mid-1800s with a short-term warming, but weak, El Niño influence early in the year.

The report, issued by the American Meteorological Society (AMS), found that the major indicators of climate change continued to reflect trends consistent with a warming planet. Several markers such as sea level and greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere once again broke records set just one year prior.

Tropical Storm Karen caused flooding and storm surges in parts of the southeastern and northeastern Caribbean, impacting Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Puerto Rico, and other islands. The storm impacted Puerto Rico the day after the island experienced 6.0 Tropical cyclones were well above average overall.

There were 96 named tropical storms during the Northern and Southern Hemisphere storm seasons, well above the 1981-2010 average of 82. Five tropical cyclones reached Saffir-Simpson scale Category 5 intensity. In the North Atlantic basin,

Hurricane Dorian caused unprec¬edented and tremendous devastation, with over 200 fatalities and damages totalling $3.4 billion (U.S. dollars) in The Bahamas. Tropical Cyclones Idai and Kenneth severely impacted south¬eastern Africa in March and April, respectively. Idai resulted in total damages of at least $2.2 billion (U.S. dollars), the costli¬est storm on record for the South Indian Ocean basin, as well as the deadliest with over 1,200 fatalities across Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Madagascar.

Tropical cyclones were well above average overall. There were 96 named tropical storms during the Northern and Southern Hemisphere storm seasons, well above the 1981-2010 average of 82. Five tropical cyclones reached Saffir-Simpson scale Category 5 intensity. In the North Atlantic basin, Hurricane Dorian caused unprec¬edented and tremendous devastation, with over 200 fatalities and damages totaling $3.4 billion (U.S. dollars) in The Bahamas. Tropical Cyclones Idai and Kenneth severely impacted south¬eastern Africa in March and April, respectively. Idai resulted in total damages of at least $2.2 billion (U.S. dollars), the costli¬est storm on record for the South Indian Ocean basin, as well as the deadliest with over 1,200 fatalities across Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Madagascar.

The 30th annual issuance of the report, for which NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information serves as lead editor, is based on contributions from more than 520 scientists from over 60 countries around the world and reflects tens of thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets (highlights, full report). It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments located on land, water, ice, and in space.

The report’s climate indicators show patterns, changes, and trends of the global climate system. Examples of the indicators include various types of greenhouse gases; temperatures throughout the atmosphere, ocean, and land; cloud cover; sea level; ocean salinity; sea ice extent and snow cover.

The State of the Climate in 2019 is the 30th edition in a peer-reviewed series published annually as a special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The Journal makes the full report openly available online.