2012: Hottest Year on Record

For some this may not come as a surprise, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just released that 2012 was the warmest year on record in the contiguous United States. I have to say I’m not surprised, this summer was pretty bad. Though for Oklahoma 2011 was even worse.

Map by NOAA climate.gov team

Map by NOAA climate.gov team

The average temperature for 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 3.2 degrees above normal, 1 degree higher than the previous record in 1998. Every state in the contiguous U.S. had an above-average annual temperature last year. Nineteen states had a record warm year.

It was not only hot, precipitation was down as well. The average total precipitation for the contiguous U.S. was 26.57 in 2012. That’s 2.57 inches below average, making it the 15th driest year on record. In July, 61 percent of the nation was experiencing a drought. The drought fueled many wildfires, burning 9.2 million acres, third highest on record.

2012 was also declared the second “most extreme” on record. Tropical cyclone activity across the North Atlantic was above-average, with 19 named storms. The widespread drought peaked with approximately 60 percent of the nation under the drought. And it was the third worse year for wildfires. Oklahoma was so dry and windy, that the governor had to issue a statewide burn ban.

Map by NOAA climate.gov team

Map by NOAA climate.gov team

One thing was below average though, tornado activity was down with the final county being likely less than 1,000. There was a large tornado outbreak in March and April but the typical tornado season, May and June, had less than half the average number of tornadoes.

The U.S. isn’t the only country with big news due to heat, Australia has been so hot they had to add a new color to the weather map!

As a record-breaking heatwave hovers over many regions and territories (which are in their summer months now), the continent’s  Bureau of Meteorology has added two new colors to the weather map to reflect the rising mercury.- Yahoo! News

The past two summers in Oklahoma have me dreading summer. The heat the last two years has been unbearable at times, the lack of rain can almost make you crazy, and the dust storms bring fears of a new dust bowl. Thankfully as I write this we are getting much needed rain but it will take a lot to pull us out of this drought. How was the weather this past year where you live?


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  1. says

    It was in the mid 50’s in NY today. So yea. Global warming is so not a problem. We just need to change the start and end dates of seasons. Or eliminate some seasons all together.

    • says

      Yeah, until Christmas Eve when we had a cold front come in, Oklahoma had been very warm for winter. I hadn’t had to wear more than a light sweater. And last winter I think I wore my jacket like two or three times.

      Where I am in Oklahoma is becoming two seasons, summer and fall. With like a couple of weeks of spring and a couple of weeks of winter. Our drought is getting really scary as well.

  2. says

    I am so disappointed that this is not being widely covered in the news. While people really should understand this on their own I know it has so much more power when the news actually covers it. So many people feel if the news does not cover it then it must not be an issue.

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