National Climate Center: 2012 Hottest Year on Record for U.S.

The weather-tracking agency says the first 8 months of this year have been the hottest so far ever recorded in the continental U.S.


So far, 2012 is tracking to be the hottest year ever recorded in the continental United States, according to the most recent report from the National Climatic Data Center.

"The January-August period was the warmest first eight months of any year on record for the contiguous United States," the agency said in its report. "The national temperature of 58.7°F was 4.0°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above the previous record warm January-August of 2006. During the eight-month period, 33 states were record warm and an additional 12 states were top ten warm. Only Washington had statewide temperatures near average for the period."

The report by the climate center, which is operated by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, also states that the summer of 2012 is the third-hottest summer since 1895, when climatic record-keeping in the U.S. began, and that July of this year was the hottest July ever.

Temperatures nationally averaged 74.4 degrees, which was 2.3 degrees higher than average, and nationally-averaged summer rainfall of 7.39 inches was .86 inches below average, making the summer of 2012 the 18th driest on record so far for the contiguous United States, the data center report says.

Emily September 18, 2012 at 03:11 PM
This is great news. As the Earth's temperature rises humans do better. As a race we struggled though the last major and minor ice ages. Now (hopefully) the planet is getting even warmer. That is good for us. To borrow a phrase from Mr. Spock. Maybe now we will live long and prosper.
Jim G. September 18, 2012 at 03:27 PM
It's good for you if you live in one of the northern climes that are poised to become the new "breadbasket" areas. It's bad if you live in a currently productive area that will likely become a semi-desert. It's really, really bad if you have a national boundary between the two. The planet has gone through many such shifts, for many reasons. There will be casualties of various kinds, but as a globe, we'll survive. However, the shift of food resources across nations and regions is likely to be the cause of the most sustained and bloody wars in 100 years. It will be brutal in Africa, horrific in Asia... and we'd better do all we can to keep Canada thinking kindly of us.


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