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. scieng1

    More distortions from the religious libs. What is reported is for the Continental U.S. only, not a global condition. Libs take such information to support their religious views that whatever happens in the U.S. is both global and manmade. Thankfully, the conservatives support science

    September 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • What?

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! You have GOT to be employing sarcasm rightnow, right? RIGHT? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      September 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cannuck

      LOL that has to be sarcasm. If not you just won the stupid award for all time.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dan I

    All anyone needs to no about the GOP view on science is the following:

    Republicans in NC have attempt to make it ILLEGAL for scientists to measure ACTUAL sea level rise and have stated that they can only use historical rates of sea level rise (not current, actual measured rates) and can only say sea levels have risen in a linear fashion. They cannot state that sea level rise in increasing in rate even if measurements demonstably show that it has been.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. ricciap

    On July 10, 2012, hundreds of scientists from 48 countries released their annual State of the Climate report, which, for the first time in its history, shows that 2011 weather extremes are connected to MAN-MADE global warming. The scientists state that all greenhouse gases are on the rise, at the largest and highest levels they’ve seen since they’ve been keeping records. They state that they are not able to detect natural rises in greenhouse gases, that evidence shows that the rises are due to MAN-MADE increases in carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. And they state that global warming is accelerating.

    And in August 2012, the American Meteorological Society officially released its new statement on climate change: There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is HUMAN ACTIVITIES.

    Primary man-made sources of carbon dioxide include the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas; man-made deforestation (the burning and cutting of about 34 million acres of trees each year); and vehicle emissions. Primary man-made sources of methane include fossil fuel extraction, agriculture, and the decay of organic waste in landfills. Primary man-made sources of nitrous oxide include the use of fertilizers in agriculture; the production of nylon; and the production of nitric acid, which is used in agricultural and industrial industries.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. lefty avenger

    Global Warming and Climate change are a Fact.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cannuck

      So is evolution. Unfortunately most Republican nutjobs don't believe in it. Good luck on this one too.

      September 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Southerner

    Let me get this right... it was hotter in 2006 and now it is hot again in 2012... what happened between 2006 and 2012? why was it not hotter in 2007, again in 2008, 2009, etc. Why are people so stupid as to jump on "global warming" when they know next to nothing...

    September 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cannuck

      Ah....the statistical trend line is that yes, it was. You really sound stupid. Don't be a lawyer....they never ask a question they don't know the answer to. Giant FAIL.

      September 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jimmy Jay

    The myth of manmade global warming is among the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cannuck

      No, you forgot the bible.

      September 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Burbank

    It's all from overpopulation! Why do people keep igoring that huge gorilla in the room? Nothing will get better until we get the birth rate down to a sustainable level. If we don't do it willingly, Mother Nature is going to do it for us, she's already started, and people are not going to like how she does it!

    September 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. lesliedevereaux

    The summer months were relatively cool for us Texans. The summer of 2011, though, presents a different story.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RF Burns

    "2012 Hottest Year on Record"

    That means in the whole history of this planet's existance, right?

    September 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Rodeo_Joe

    We have the highest CO2 levels in 800,000 years. Big Oil would rather have you NOT know that.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. JeffinIL

    The Mercury Deniers are out in force.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Cannuck

    "As a scientist, only the GOP offers any hope for a scientific approach to modern challenges."

    Hello from Canada. WOW...that takes the cake! Yeah, lets put Sarah Palin (preferring a book of myths to the observable billions-year-old geologic record to date the earth) Michelle Bachman (C02 is completely harmless) in charge. Seriously, what planet do you live on? Thanks for the laughs. The republican freakshow continues to entertain.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mason

    Just beautiful weather up here in the Pacific Northwest for months!

    September 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Cannuck

    Nice racism, very nice.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Cannuck

    "Seems the earth may be unhappy with our Muslim president"

    Seems you have a PHD in ignorance.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Roberto

      Of course it is Borat's fault. He is the president. You know why my mom named me Roberto? I was born with a rubber toe !

      September 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Roberto, although Borat is a fictional character, your comment about your name made me laugh out loud, and for that I thank you.

      September 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
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