NOAA released its State of the Climate report Tuesday and confirmed that 2012 was the warmest year on record in the contiguous United States. The average temperature was 55.3 degrees and topped the old record by a full degree Fahrenheit. Here is a map of all the states that had above average temperatures.
- Heat Rankings 2012
The numbers 0-118 represent the number of years that records have been kept. So, if it says 118, that means it was the hottest. 19 states carry that number on it. 2012 ranked the second warmest in Maryland (117) and Virginia came in with the third warmest (116). For the most part, we fit right in with the majority of the country, Washington Reagan and Dulles also both achieved a record warm year.
The heat was most noticeable in the summer months. 99.1 million Americans (that's 1/3rd of the population) experienced 10 days or more of 100 degree temperatures. Overall there were 357 all time record maximum temperatures broken. Washington D.C. hit 104 on June 29, 2012 and not only was it a daily record, but it was the hottest temperature ever recorded for the month of June. There were only 4 all time record cold temperatures in the U.S. last year.
In addition to the heat, it was a dry one. 2012 was the 15th driest year on record and by November, more than 60 percent of the country was in drought. Here is a map of rankings for the lower 48 of precipitation.
- Precipitation Rankings 2012
Again, this is based on 118 years of record keeping. Maryland experienced its 38th driest year on record, and Virginia at 29th. The drought was one of the worst in living history and it made the list of our country's billion dollar natural disasters that year. The full report can be read at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2012/13/#over So far, 2013 has started warm as well. No records..... yet.