It’s official, 2012 was the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States. Which isn’t surprising considering the drought that has affected much of the central US. According to the NOAA, the average temperature was 55.3°F for 2012. This was 3.2°F above the average temperature. This year was also the 15th driest year on record. The average precipitation total was 26.57 inches, which was 2.57 inches below normal. Last year’s Spring started off abnormally warm. Anyone from Chicago experienced this, along with a winter which brought marginal showfall. The Spring of 2012 was the warmest on record, which was 5.2°F above the nations average temperature. Summer was the second warmest on record. Quote from NOAA below…
“The above-average temperatures of spring continued into summer. The national-scale heat peaked in July with an average temperature of 76.9°F, 3.6°F above average, making it the hottest month ever observed for the contiguous United States. The eighth warmest June, record hottest July, and a warmer-than-average August resulted in a summer average temperature of 73.8°F, the second hottest summer on record by only hundredths of a degree. An estimated 99.1 million people experienced 10 or more days of summer temperatures greater than 100°F, nearly one-third of the nation’s population.”
We’re all hoping that this drought will improve in 2013, but the current dry pattern seems to continue. Much of the US is expected to get much needed rain this week from Texas up to Michigan. This won’t be enough to improve much of the drought, but it will help.