2012 hottest year on record, federal agency says
September 18th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

2012 hottest year on record, federal agency says

The first eight months of 2012 were the hottest ever recorded in the continental United States and the summer period of June, July and August was the third hottest ever, the National Climatic Data Center reported Monday.

Although the August average of 74.4 degrees Fahrenheit made it only the 16th hottest August on record, the hottest July ever combined with the hottest spring on record to keep January-August 2012 atop the record books.

The nation as a whole is averaging 4 degrees Fahrenheit above average for the year. That's a full degree higher than the same period in 2006, the second hottest January-August on record.

Record keeping began in 1895.

The record warmth is a constant for from cities north to south, from Fargo, North Dakota, at 5.7 degrees F above average, to Tampa, Florida, at 2.2 degrees F above average. Green Bay, Wisconsin, posted the biggest difference to the average, 6.7 degrees F above.

The hottest temperature recorded for the month was 126 degrees F in Death Valley, California, recently recognized as the hottest place on Earth.

If you were looking colder than normal weather, the West Coast was the place to be. San Diego was .2 degrees F below normal for the year, San Francisco was 1 degree F below normal, Portland, Oregon, .7 degrees F below normal and Seattle, 1.1 degrees F below normal.

Outside the continental 48, Alaska and Hawaii temperatures were also below normal.

Meanwhile, drought conditions continued to affect a large chunk of the 48 states. The portion of the country experiencing exceptional drought, the worst level of drought, doubled in August to 6%, the NCDC reported. Overall, 39% of the country was in severe to extreme drought, "indicating that the drought has intensified," it said. Only the droughts of the 1930s and 1950s have been worse, the agency said.

Drought by the numbers

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Filed under: Heat • Weather
soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. Paradise Earth

    I'm hoping to settle down in Death Valley once this world becomes a paradise. (if i survive what's coming) I figure it will take me about 100 years to explore Death Valley in it's entirety, and then it's off! to spend a thousand years cleaning-up what was once called Colorado.
    And on the 1100th year, Philip rested. :)

    September 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jack

      Jeez, ego much?

      September 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ego?

    Hope, not ego. What hope do you have? 401K plan? Lmao :)

    September 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Pete

    It's funny how Bush paid off those scientists years ago to debunk Gores theory of climate change.How he warned of just what is going to happen from world renowned scientists that kept a tab on just this subject,keeping temp logs and their changes from all over this earth and it was fact,something these extremist rightwing idiots kept ignoring for years with getting rid of EPA pollution controls standards in manufacturing nationwide..Bush did that and more for corporate gifts and you republicans evangelists know better but as usual play a dementia patient forgetting everything,right did I hit the nail on the head!!!Now we're paying for it and we have to try to fix what corporate America has done and get our earth back,its important if you want your children to have a better world,not a burned out cinder that used to be a beautiful,vibrant planet.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. ew

    LOL, you are so ignorant

    September 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. oh please

    I guess you didn't notice that the hottest places on the map (wyoming, nebraska, south dakota) are Republican?

    September 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. dave

    Why do people call republicans stupid , then claim they are the one percenters? Having most of the money and power sounds quite preferable to me.

    September 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Dave, There are many 'flavors' of Republicans. The "one per centers" are a very specific breed. As for Republicans, on one end, you have what are called "blue collar republicans" which typically encompasses low income (under 50K per individual), very often white, living in a rural or suburban area, and usually over 50 years old, and identify religiously as Christian. These are ONE version of Republican, which are clearly STUPID - since they vote against their own best financial interest as they have been promised (somehow) by the Republican elite that if they keep voting Republican, they are on the "FAST TRACK" to success - as if by voting Republican, they hold some fairy tail virtual lottery ticket that doesn't exist.

      December 11, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
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