Looking at the temperature maps for March 2013, you might think that Old Man Winter over stayed his welcome or that Mother Nature was trying to make up for last March’s record-breaking heat. Much of the country felt spring would never arrive!
Despite several snowstorms associated with cold-air outbreaks, average January temperatures across the contiguous United States weren’t especially cold according to the latest statistics from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Although the average temperature was spot-on freezing—32.0° Fahrenheit—that was still 1.6° Fahrenheit warmer than the twentieth-century January average.
The average temperature for the contiguous United States for 2012 was 55.3° Fahrenheit, which was 3.2° Fahrenheit above the twentieth-century average and 1.0° Fahrenheit above the previous record from 1998.
October 2012 ended the 16-month streak of above-average monthly temperatures for the contiguous United States, with an average temperature of 53.9° Fahrenheit, 0.3° Fahrenheit below the long-term average.
According to the latest statistics from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, September 2012 marked the sixteenth consecutive month with above average temperatures for the Lower 48. Meanwhile, warm and dry conditions persisting in the Northwest have led to yet another month with above-average wildfire activity in the region.
The average global temperature for August 2012 was more than 1° Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, according to the latest monthly analysis from the National Climatic Data Center, making it the fourth-warmest August since record keeping began in 1880. August 2012 also marked the 36th consecutive August and 330th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th-century average.
Record and near-record breaking temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the nation and contributed to the warmest March in the contiguous United States since records began in 1895. The average temperature was 8.6 degrees above the 20th century average for March. In the past 117 years, only one month (January 2006) has ever been so much warmer than its average temperature.