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.
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.
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?