From the ABC 7 Weather team

U.S. Record Warmth In 2011 For Select Cities

January 7, 2012 - 12:54 PM
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Some cities experienced warmest year on record during 2011. 

So is anyone else as confused as I am about which season it really is? Earlier this week, we were bundled up from head to toe braving the unseasonably cold temperatures and brutal wind. Just days later, I’m driving to work with the sunroof open enjoying 60 degree temperatures. It definitely makes for a wardrobe challenge, I’ll tell you that.

Even though the DC area experienced a brief cold snap earlier this week, overall, the weather pattern has brought us relatively warm conditions this winter. Just yesterday, numerous records were tied or broken, over the Plains.

Not only has it been an unseasonably warm start to 2012 for many locations, 2011 seems to have been a record breaking warm year for some. The NCDC (National Climactic Data Center) released a preliminary report yesterday displaying “Selected Yearly Records for 2011”. This map shows areas that experienced record warm, dry, and wet conditions. 

 

Chocolate strawberries
This is the caption for the photo (Photo: Andrew Adams)

Focusing on the warmth, the red dots indicate cities that broke annual temperature records in 2011. (Keep in mind this is only preliminary data, so these locations and records could be adjusted and new records may be added to the list when the official annual climate report is issued about two weeks from now.)

The heart of the record warmth from 2011 is centered in the South, but also includes parts of the Northeast.  Cities in Texas, Florida, and even New Jersey had the warmest year on record. 

According to the NCDC, "during 2011, the contiguous U.S. was warmer than average, with a temperature anomaly of 1.0 degree F, ranking in the top third of the historical distribution". 

Take a look at the number of states that experienced above average temperatures during 2011.  Delaware featured record warm temperatures, with an annual temperature of 58.2 degrees F, or 3.5 degrees F above average. Chocolate strawberries

This is the caption for the photo (Photo: Andrew Adams)

It will be interesting to see what the final climate report for 2011 looks like when it is released Thursday, January 19th. 

For those of you wondering where the cold is now, well, head to Nome, Alaska.  On Friday, Nome reached 40 below for the first time in nearly 13 years!

For us here in Washington, it looks like we're in for a nice weekend ahead with, go figure, above average highs.  No complaints from me, though.  Enjoy!

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