2012 Hottest Year On Record...By Far
Tornadoes, drought, hurricanes contribute to second most extreme weather on books
- Beth Brogan, staff writer
The year that saw much of the country engulfed in a drought and the east coast submerged by Hurricane Sandy was officially the warmest on record—by far—for the contiguous United States, and saw the second most extreme weather conditions, government officials said Tuesday.
Dry corn in a field as rain clouds threaten near Paoli, Okla., in July 2012. The rain provided a brief respite from the drought. (Photograph: Associated Press / Sue Ogrocki) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's State of the Climate report confirmed recent warnings by experts and a slew of government agencies that climate change is already well underway.
The average temperature in 2012 was 55.3ºF, 3.2ºF above the average temperature for the 20th century and 1ºF above 1998, previously the warmest year on record.