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Continental US Experienced Warmest 12 Months in 117 Years

Posted by feww on July 10, 2012

Contiguous U.S. 2 degrees warmer in June than 20th century average

Continental U.S. experienced record-warm first half of the year and the warmest 12-month period since recordkeeping began in 1895.


Temperature Chart for Contiguous U.S. (January-June 1895-2012; 6-month average). Source: NOAA/NCDC

Scorching temperatures during the second half of June led to more than 170 all-time high temperature records broken or tied, NOAA reported.


Contiguous U.S. Temperature, July-June 1896-2012; 12-month average (year, temperature) – Source: NOAA/NCDC

  • The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 71.2°F last month, which is 2.0°F above the 20th century June average.
  • The July 2011-June 2012 period was the warmest of any 12-months on record for the contiguous U.S.
  • The average temperature for the U.S. was 56.0°F, or 3.2°F above the long term average for the 12-month period, with every state across the contiguous U.S. experiencing warmer than average temperatures, except Washington, which was near normal.
  • Precipitation total of 2.27 inches (national average), were 0.62 inch below long-term average.
  • “Temperatures in South Carolina (113°F) and Georgia (112°F) are currently under review by the U.S. State Climate Extremes Committee as possible all-time statewide temperature records,” NOAA reported.
  • Colorado experienced its warmest June on record, with a statewide temperature of 6.4°F above average.
  • As of July 3, 76.33 percent of the contiguous U.S. was Abnormally Dry or in Drought, with about 56.0 percent of the contiguous U.S. experiencing D1 – D4 drought conditions, marking the largest percentage of the country experiencing drought conditions since the U.S. Drought Monitor began over 12 years ago.
  • “Drought conditions worsened across much of the West, Central Plains, and the Ohio Valley, causing significant impacts on agriculture in those regions.” (see previous posts for details).
  • A list of select June temperature and precipitation records is posted  here.


U.S. Drought Map. Released July 5, 2012

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