The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for March 2016 was the highest for this month in the 1880–2016 record, at 1.22°C (2.20°F) above the 20th century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F). This surpassed the previous record set in 2015 by 0.32°C / (0.58°F), and marks the highest monthly temperature departure among all 1,635 months on record, surpassing the previous all-time record set just last month by 0.01°C (0.02°F). Overall, the nine highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred in the past nine months. March 2016 also marks the 11th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in NOAA’s 137 years of record keeping.
The average global temperature across land surfaces was 2.33°C (4.19°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F), the highest March temperature on record, surpassing the previous March record set in 2008 by 0.43°C (0.77°F) and surpassing the all-time single-month record set last month by 0.02°C (0.04°F).
Hat tip Gail Zawacki.