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. Beatrice

    Dec 21 2012. Just saying.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Evenstar13

      If the Mayans were so good at predicting the future, why did they not see their own demise at the hands of the Eropeans?

      September 18, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • r schier

      Just saying what ?

      September 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. zeus

    Global warming is a joke ehhh? Need more evidence ?

    September 18, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • erik69

      Z – what is the ideal temp? You nuts always say climate is different than weather when its cooler seasonally....whats your excuse this time?

      September 18, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • RunfortheHills

      2012 is the hottest year on record – and the record is only 150 or so years long. That's less than a blink of an eye on the geologic/climatic timescale.

      It's not even close to the hottest year experienced by humans.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      The far righters will still dispute this info .......

      while they have their heads buried in some VERY hot and VERY dry sand......

      September 18, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • angryersmell

      @RunForTheHills – In a decade or so, the oceans are going to be so toxic due to acidification and algae blooms, that most of the species that humans currently rely on will be dead or dying, the northern cap will have melted, raising ocean levels around the world 15-30 feet, destroying hundreds of cities and most ocean front property (on Earth), and billions of people are going to be displaced or dead. Denying it won't make any difference then, just like it doesn't make any difference now. It's happening.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. dave

    I won't believe it until I hear it from Al Gore. Did you know he invented the internet?

    September 18, 2012 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • RunfortheHills

      And pants. He invented pants.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim - Tampa

      WIthout the grant given to the inventors of the Mosaic browser by Gore the internet would not be where it is today. Duh....

      September 18, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. cobra129

    And now the man-made global warming nut jobs will be out in force.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • r schier

      As well as snakes who have some deluded impression that they possess a PhD.......

      September 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. uysfl

    one million uneducated meteorologists giving their opinion in 3....... 2....... 1........

    September 18, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Sinfully Yours

      What other job can you think of where you can be right 50% of the time and not have to worry about getting fired?

      September 18, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jt_flyer

    I suspect it's a record soon to be broken.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sinfully Yours

    I am noticing a trend in the map: the largest increase in average temp is around the Yellowstone Super Cauldera. Coincidence?! I think not! She's a gonna blow!!!!

    September 18, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Biteme

    Yet in 1980 Dallas, TX recorded 113 degrees F for more than 30 days, and 113 degrees F was the top end of the thermometer readings. Yes the climate is changing, but man has nothing to do with it. Demoncraps.like to use this "crisis" to assert more government control.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. erik69

    Not using a full year, not across the entire globe....and what exactly is the ideal temp? does anyone know? and you are saying it should never change? How come mars has the same variation in temps, is the rover causing that?

    September 18, 2012 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      >Not using a full year, not across the entire globe....

      So?

      >and what exactly is the ideal temp? does anyone know?

      Who ever said that there's an "ideal" temperature?

      >and you are saying it should never change?

      Nobody said that either. Fast changes in temperature can cause problems, however.

      >How come mars has the same variation in temps, is the rover causing that?

      Actually, it doesn't. You should consider getting information from more reliable sources.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • angryersmell

      Well, Captain Science. Good thing we've got you to dispute the findings of the worlds top scientists who've worked on this stuff their whole lives. No way they'd know more about it than you, what with the internet and all.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. erik69

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

    September 18, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. erik69

    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.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. erik69

    this article is all over the board with a misleading headline...as usually...the GLOBE is not warmer, just a few cities in teh midwest....keep cookin the books to make your case instead of reporting facts

    September 18, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. me

    The average temperature is probably 10 or 20 higher than the IQ you just displayed....

    September 18, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dave

    Republicans are irredeemably stupid.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • 22X Richer

      Oh Dave, you're so smart. Thank you for the intelligent generalization.

      September 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. drumb47

    This data is "scary stuff." A one degree increase in temperature (32 F +1 F =33 F) is the difference in the freezing point. The Mississippi River even suffered because of the lack of snow run off this year. It still amazes me how many
    people refuse to except that "Global Warming" is real and not a liberal plot.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
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