2012 Warmest Year on Record for U.S., 9th Warmest for World (Infographic)

Infographic: Nearly every month of 2012 was warmer than in nearly every one of the years recorded since 1895.

From January to November 2012, the average temperature in the United States was 57.1 degrees F (13.9 degrees C). 

Nearly every month of 2012 was warmer than in nearly every one of the years recorded since 1895, when reliable record-keeping began.

After 2012, the record-holders for warmest years are 1998, 2006, 1934, 1999 and 1921. The five coolest years on average are 1903, 1924, 1895, 1912 and 1917.

Only record-breaking cold in December could prevent 2012 from taking the title as hottest year. Temperatures in December would have to be more than 1.0 degree F (0.55 degrees C) colder than the coldest-ever December for 2012 to not break the record.

The coldest December occurred in 1983, when the nation’s average temperature dropped to 25.54 degrees F (minus 3.59 degrees C).

In November warmer-than-average conditions prevailed in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

November 2012 was also the 8th driest November on record. The nationally-averaged precipitation total of 1.19 inches was 0.93 inch below the long-term average. A report on Nov. 27th declared that 62.7 percent of the contiguous United States was experiencing moderate-to-exceptional drought, up from October.

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