Spring 2013 has brought something fairly unusual in recent years: colder-than-average temperature for the nation as a whole. NOAA's Deke Arndt talks about how spring temperatures in three U.S. climate divisions compare to the local long-term trend.

NOAA released the 2012 installment of the annual Arctic Report Card on December 5, 2012, as part of the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting. This image collection is a gallery of highlights based on the report's major themes. It was developed by the NOAA Climate.gov team in cooperation with Arctic Report Card authors and other Arctic experts.

A scorching July contributed to the third hottest summer on record for the contiguous United States. Most of the U.S. was also drier than average. Rains from Isaac did little to relieve drought.

A series of unusually strong, long-lasting high pressure systems has parked over Greenland this summer. As many a weather forecaster has explained, high pressure generally leads to calm winds and sunny skies, both of which boost temperatures during the all-day sunshine of mid-summer at high latitudes. The conditions contributed to widespread melting of the ice sheet.

In early 2011, stratospheric temperatures rose over the tropics due to La Nina while temperatures over the poles fell below the long-term average.

Data from 2010 indicate that mountain glaciers predominantly lost mass, and preliminary data from 2011 indicate a continuation of the same long-term trend.

In 2011, La Niña and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation cooled parts of the Pacific Ocean, but unusually warm temperatures predominated elsewhere.

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