Through August worldwide average temperatures had reached record highs for 16 consecutive months in the federal database.
At long last, that streak has ended as September finished with an average temperature a mighty 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit lower than that of September 2015.
The estimated global average surface temperature came in at 59.4 degrees, or 1.6 above the 20th Century average.
The margin of error is plus or minus 0.27 degrees Fahrenheit. That margin tends to vary slightly from month to month.
The records date to 1880.
The global average temperature is the best estimate based on analysis of more than 2,500 measuring points in more than 180 countries, notes Deke Arndt, the climate chief at the National Centers for Environmental Information.
Some countries are quite as reliable and timely with their monthly reports as others, he says, and that explains the subtle differences in the margins of error.
Also, that also helps explain why the federal monthly report isn’t issued until deep into the following month.
Meanwhile, the previous nine months constituted the warmest such period on record, and 2016 remains on track to become the warmest year.