The US National Climatic Data Center has just finished compiling data concerning the meteorological conditions that manifested themselves in all American states over the course of the past 12 months.
Their conclusion is quite troubling: the year 2012 was the hottest on record for the contiguous US.
Thus, the average temperature for the year 2012 went above the previous record, which was established back in 1998, by 1 degree Fahrenheit. As well as this, it was a tad higher than the average temperature for the 20th century.
“According to NOAA scientists, the average temperature for the contiguous U.S. for 2012 was 55.3°F, which was 3.2°F above the 20th century average and 1.0°F above the previous record from 1998,” reads the official website for the US National Climatic Data Center.
Apparently, this year's American spring was one of record warmth, and the summer months that followed it also scored some very impressive high temperatures.
Following in these two seasons' footsteps, 2012's autumn and winter also proved to be warmer than average.
As far as precipitation goes, the researchers who looked into this issue explain that, given the rather limited rainfall, 2012 can now be referred to as the country's 15th driest on record.
This is because the average precipitation level was one of 26.57 inches, 2.57 inches below average.
When put together, said information concerning average temperatures and precipitation leads to the conclusion that 2012 was the second most extreme that people living in this part of the world ever got to experience.
“The U.S. Climate Extremes Index indicated that 2012 was the second most extreme year on record for the nation. The index, which evaluates extremes in temperature and precipitation, as well as landfalling tropical cyclones, was nearly twice the average value and second only to 1998,” the US National Climatic Data Center explains.
As was to be expected, climate change and global warming are listed by many as the main culprits behind these extreme weather manifestations.