Spring weather the warmest since 1910, NOAA says
June 7th, 2012
02:26 PM ET

Spring weather the warmest since 1910, NOAA says

Many of us went through a winter that seemed nonexistent. There were no major blizzards or numbing arctic outbreaks. And it looks as if spring continued much of the same weather pattern throughout the United States.

After reviewing the past several months, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that May 2012 will end as the second warmest on record in the United States. It also said that the spring period of March through May will go down as the warmest on record since record keeping began in 1895.

Read full NOAA report

The average temperature in May over the contiguous United States was 64.3 degrees, or 3.3 degrees above normal. For spring, the average was 57.1 degrees, 5.2 degree above normal. The previous record for warmest spring was set in 1910; this spring beat that year by 2 degrees.

If you look back over the last 12 months from June 2011 to May 2012, it is the warmest 12-month period of any 12 months on record, according to NOAA.

The warm temperatures were not tied to any one particular part of the country. In the contiguous United States, only Oregon and Washington had spring temperatures near normal.

Data starting on January 1 through the end of May show many cities are off to their warmest start since record keeping began at the location:

Chicago – Warmest in 54 years

New York City (Central Park) – Warmest in 137 years

New York City (JFK) – Warmest in 55 years

Philadelphia – Warmest in 72 years

Washington (Dulles) – Warmest in 50 years

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Filed under: Heat • Weather
soundoff (222 Responses)
  1. Loki

    all of the planets are getting warmer–right?

    June 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nik green

    Those who are researching climate change and find that the planet is inexorably warming are scientists without an agenda. Then there are those who pretend to research climate change – those answering to the fossil fuel, automobile and defense/war industries, and other vested interests – these charlatans replace real science with wish-casting and propaganda.

    June 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      The earth is warming.... big deal, it has been doing so since the last ice age. The debate is about WHY. Try to keep up.

      June 8, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. dscon

    damn this is bad..................
    but i believe.....
    here's your sign.

    June 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BS

    Do you people realize that the temperature in the US does not equal the global temperature? The US is but a tiny % of the total global surface.

    If you look at the "official" NASA data (data. giss. nasa. gov / gistemp / graphs_v3 / Fig.C. gif), you will see that globally, this past winter (Dec-Feb) were actually some of the coolest months the planet has seen in the past 10-12yrs. Also, the global temperature anomaly for that period (approx +0.4degC) was actually cooler than 12 of the previous 15 years (data. giss. nasa. gov / gistemp / graphs_v3 / Fig. A2. gif). And March and April were average to a little below average compared to the previous 15 years.

    And yet all we can do is focus on how hot it's been in the US. Never do you hear mention of the fact that the planets temperature has been quite stable for the past 10-12 years. Never do you hear mention that the sea level is not rising faster than it has in the past and in recent years the rise may even have slowed (Google University of Colorado Sea Level Trend).

    Never do you hear about how poorly the climate models have predicted the future. You only hear about how they do a good job of replicating the past (because they were built and tuned to match historical data. Duh....)

    Never does anyone go back to 2010 when NASA predicted 2012 would most likely be the hottest year on record and point out that at this point the likelyhood of that happening is basically zero.

    But yes, it's been warm in the Contiguous 48 States.

    June 7, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Thank you for posting this, BS. It's funny that people talk about only select areas of the globe when pointing to global warming, yet conveniently ignore other areas because it doesn't suit a need. Europe, for example, suffered terribly cold temperatures this winter, yet because the US did not, it must be global warming.

      The truth is, we haven't been keeping track of weather in any specific way for a long enough time to draw sweeping conclusions about the effects of pollution on global climate. I don't think anyone is going to debate that pollution negatively affects the environment, but I don't understand why it's so wrong to feel more research is needed.

      June 8, 2012 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Timothy C

      @BS. I'm familiar with NASA data you referenced–good that you're looking at reliable sources, and thanks for posting an intelligent and interesting comment. However, I can't but feel that you're missing the forest for the trees. Figure C does look relatively stable in isolation, but bear in mind that that's singling out ONLY 1996-2012, and EVERY year in that period is warmer relative to the baseline average for 1951-1980 that forms the graph's baseline. Even if some years were cooler (which, coincidentally, they weren't), so many years in a row averaging higher than the 1951-80 average is clearly significant. And, as you rightly point out, that graph is for global temperatures, not just the US.

      June 8, 2012 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
    • cjd

      Not to mention that almost nobody understands what "average" means conceptually. It does not mean "normal" - by definition, half of the temperatures will be below the average and half will be above the average (assuming that the temperatures are at least roughly normally distributed). Unless they report what the standard deviation of the sample is, we have no way of knowing whether or not these temperatures are statistically significant.

      Drives me insane...

      June 8, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • BS

      Timothy C,

      Yes, I am aware that the longer-term trend of global surface temperatures shows steady warming. I have no idea how much of that warming is caused by carbon emissions, but the point is that climate scientists have consistently over-estimated the rate at which the planet will warm. This leads one to the conclusion that the models are not accurate. And if the models are not accurate, one would also come to the conclusion that carbon emissions do not have as great an impact as they would like you to believe.

      June 8, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Caz in BOS

      Thank you!

      June 8, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      BS – it's also 5:00 somewhere, go get a drink and calm down.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. clarinet

    Hey, weather happens. And as science knows – the only constant is change.

    June 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. omega99

    Why is Sec Panetta gallivanting across the globe when all the information that he could ever possibly need is available within 5 miles of the White House - at the Pentagon? Why does the U.S. government continue to be the single largest consumer and waster of energy, and the single greatest polluter of the planet, while at the same time promoting energy conservation, energy efficiency, and a clean environment?

    June 7, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. @HIDEBEHAIND

    You are so misinformed. An American chesseburger has a larger carbon footprint than the one made by an avg. African citizen in 24 hours of living.
    You have been officially nominated for my "Get a Clue 2012" award to be handed-out 12/13/2012.

    June 8, 2012 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Lady America and her boots

    Just eating an American Cheeseburger meal places you in the top 17% biggest carbon footprints for that day.
    The avg. US citizens carbon footprint is roughly 7 times larger than the avg. African citizens. Other dissimilarities include amount of body fat, undigested red meat hard-dried by dairy in huge colons, and a 'holier than thou' national attitude.

    June 8, 2012 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. ug

    Just more bs lies by the lying liberal left...no wonder cnn is lost...LOL!

    June 8, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • gary

      not too science literate, eh? Not read the IPCC reports? Not read the works of James Hansen? You are not properly informed.

      June 8, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      ...goddammit, morons like you are destroying this country.

      No, don't bother to honestly consider that there's a lot of science behind this, not "lliberal bs," listen to what your buddies the GOP tell you is the REAL truth... regardless of the **90+%** of climate scientists who say otherwise (scientists are not, in fact, liars – you're confusing politicians with them).

      June 8, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. Gant

    So what happened in 1911? Normal year? Colder?

    June 8, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. blake

    Two questions:
    1) The U.S. is not the globe, what happened with the other 95% of the world in May?
    2) Were folk panicing and blaming it on human caused global warming in 1910 when it was warmer in the U.S. OR did they see it as part of a normal deviation in average temperatures?

    June 8, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Journicus

    OMG!!!!! Someone call Al Gore!!!!! It's global warming!!!!! Oh wait, they had weather in the 1910s before all this came about. Just something to think about.......

    June 8, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. Brian

    Europe had a record cold winter.... so what?

    June 8, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. gary

    Climate change global warming is here, we did it, and it will get expensive. Those who don't think so or don't think the change is bad don't understand ecology, science, the biosphere. "Tough guy" bully USA will suffer at the hands of nature.

    June 8, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. JohnQPubliqu

    Geeeee....where was Uncle Al and his band of psuedo-scientists back in 1910 to bring this global-warming issue to the forefront??? Oh, wait...where's Uncle Al and his band of psuedo-scientist today as more and more factual, scientific evidence comes into play against "global warming".

    June 8, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
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