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. Pika

    The global warming/ climate change deniers teamed up with the creationist have built a pact that creates an envisable forcefield my brain cannot pass or comprehend. I guess I'm saying my brain won't allow me to associate with the weird ways of the right any longer, too bad becuase they used to be a good party until their average IQ dropped about 20 points in the last 10 years.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Georgie Peorgie

    American Indians crossed the frozen Bering Straits from Mongolia during the last Pleistocene ice age, about 12,000 years ago. Are you blaming the Indians for the ice age? Absurd. Weather happens, independent of man's activity. The temperature of earth is not static. Tell me, what is the normal temperature for earth? On what day did that occur?

    In your imagination you think something bad is happening, so you want to compel a solution upon others and because you modify your behavior you feel righteous and deride others as bad. Really, you're not good – you're just an enviro leftist control freak.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. LarryB

    That comment is living proof that internet access is available in looney bins.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. zefe

    First question: if it is such a dire problem, why does every solution include higher taxes or distribution of rich nations wealth to poorer nations? Next question: if the earth has been warming for years naturally, and even if man is contributing, why is it necessarily a bad thing? Liberals see the glass not 1/2 empty, but 3/4 empty. The world is fine, and will do just find with or without man's help.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. walter sobchack

    Global warming/temperature change would go away if everyone prayed. If god gets enough requests, he'll change it for us.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Ken

    I see hate speech is alive and well in the USA!

    September 18, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ctboland

    Ban Fracking Now.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Common Sense

      hydrocarbon are EVIL!...we're hydrobarbon based life forms...we're EVIL

      September 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Maverick

    It's Bush's fault

    September 18, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. JB

    Does emphasizing his middle name really make your point? Because his middle name is 'Hussein', somehow that speaks to the immorality of the country as a whole? Buffoonery such as this is one of the biggest causes of our current political mess.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Loathstheright

    All the brain dead conservatives will say global warming is a fake when it snows somewhere this winter...conservative logic isn't logical.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Common Sense

      Global warming is a good thing means the Ice age is over

      September 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • rrock

      Global warming means most of our port cities will be under water.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tomk777

      All the brain dead liberals see hotter weather and ASSUME it must be from man made sources, sorry the electromagnetic field surrounding the earth is weakening, it's now 30% weaker than just 100 years ago, and as it weakens, more solar. Radiation hits our atmosphere, which raises temperature on earth, combine that with our suns solar cycle, 12 years long, and currently increasing in its activity, and you get the hottest year on record. Only the average liberals arrogance would let them believe that A: we have the power to cause this, and B: we have the power to stop it.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sam

    If the earth is warming, winter will be milder.
    If winter is milder, we'll need less energy to warm ourselves.
    If we use less energy to warm ourselves, the earth will cool.
    Problem solved.
    No democrats or new regulations or tax or cap & spend required.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • snowdogg

      Hotter summers place higher energy use requirements to cool people, food, etc.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Conservative logic at it's finest! LOL

      September 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • C J

      That is not how it works. With mild/hot winters, you have less snow melt, with less now melt you have a lower water supply ands subsequent drought. Drought means less food, less food means higher prices. Mild winters also fail to keep insect and pest populations under control, eg explosions of mosquito and west Nile virus across the south.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ivwo

    Woo-hoo! We're number one! Go 2012!

    September 18, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Elmer Fudd

    I would generally call this a "scientific" article, with stuff like facts, numbers, etc.
    So, referencing religion and/or politics is just kind of off base, don't you think?

    September 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Bill

    We are living in a time where fools still draw hilarious conclusions based on someone's name. Are you racist also? It would seem so.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Denny

    We need to get rid of the 99 weeks of unemployment checks and welfare and make people work for a living. That is what is wrong with this country. Too many lazy democrats wanting something for nothing. The jobs are out there. Democrats are just too lazy to work. Especially as long as they can live off of us that do.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Solar Energy Saves Lives

      .......

      Wrong article buddy.

      But I'm glad you got your political talking point out there. I'm sure a few hundred people will believe it.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
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