2012: warmest and 2nd most extreme year in U.S. history

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:01 PM GMT on January 08, 2013

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The contiguous U.S. smashed its record for hottest year on record in 2012, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The annual U.S. average temperature was 3.3°F above the 20th century average, and was an astonishing 1.0°F above the previous record, set in 1998. It is extremely rare for an area the size of the U.S. to break an annual average temperature record by such a large margin. Nineteen states, stretching from Utah to Massachusetts, had annual temperatures which were record warm. An additional 26 states had a top-ten warmest year. Only Georgia (11th warmest year), Oregon (12th warmest), and Washington (30th warmest) had annual temperatures that were not among the ten warmest in their respective period of records. As wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt reported, of the approximately 5,500 U.S. stations in the NCDC database, 362 recorded their all-time highest temperature during 2012, and none recorded an all-time coldest temperature. This was the most since the infamous Dust Bowl summer of 1936. Approximately 7% of the contiguous U.S. experienced an all-time hottest day during 2012, and every state in the contiguous U.S. except Washington had at least one location experience its warmest year on record. One notable warmest year record occurred in Central Park, in New York City, which has a period of record dating back 136 years.

The 2012 weather was also very dry, and the year ranked as the 15th driest year on record for the contiguous U.S. Wyoming and Nebraska had their driest year on record, and eight other states had top-ten driest years. The area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing moderate-to-exceptional drought peaked at 61.8% during July. This was the largest monthly drought footprint since the Dust Bowl year of 1939.


Figure 1. Historical temperature ranking for U.S. states in 2012. Nineteen states had their warmest year on record, and an additional 26 were top-ten warm. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).


Figure 2. Temperatures for the contiguous U.S. in 2012, compared to the previous record warmest and coldest years in U.S. history. The annual U.S. average temperature was 3.3°F above the 20th century average, and was an astonishing 1.0°F above the previous record, set in 1998. It is extremely rare for an area the size of the U.S. to break an annual average temperature record by such a large margin. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.

Second most extreme year on record
The year 2012 was the second most extreme on record in the contiguous U.S., according to NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI), which tracks the percentage area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% and bottom-10% extremes in temperature, precipitation, and drought, plus winds from landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes. The CEI was 39% in 2012, approximately double the average of 20%. The only year that was more extreme since CEI record keeping began in 1910 was 1998--the United States' previous warmest year on record. Since Hurricane Sandy was not considered a hurricane when it came ashore, that storm did not contribute to the 2012 CEI. If one plots up the CEI without using the tropical storm and hurricane indicator, 2012 is the most extreme year on record, beating out 1998, 46% to 42%. During 2012, a record 87% of the contiguous U.S. had maximum temperatures that were in the warmest 10% historically, crushing the previous record of 62% set in 1934; 74% of the U.S. of the U.S. had warm minimum temperatures in the top 10% in 2012 (2nd highest on record.) The percentage area of the U.S. experiencing top-10% drought conditions was 34%, which was the 4th greatest since 1910. Only droughts in the Dust Bowl year of 1934, and during 1954 and 1956, were more extreme, averaged over the entire year. Heavy 1-day downpours were near average in 2012, though, with 9% of nation experiencing a top-10% extreme, compared to the average of 10%.


Figure 3. NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) pegged 2012 as the second most extreme year on record, with 39% of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% extreme weather. This is approximately double the average of 20% (heavy black line.)

Jeff Masters

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303. WDEmobmet
5:53 PM GMT on January 09, 2013
Quoting hydrus:



BOOOOOOOOO WRF shows mobile getting nothing from this system
Member Since: February 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
302. HurrMichaelOrl
5:49 PM GMT on January 09, 2013
Central Florida is officially in that "summer lite" pattern that local meteorologist Tom Terry mentioned years ago. Lows will not even fall below 60-62F for the next week with highs of 80-82F. Even Atlanta is not supposed to get below 50F for the next week, which is approximately the City's average high for January. Saturday's low there is supposed to be 58F, which is the average January low of Fort Lauderdale.
Member Since: July 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 950
301. hydrus
5:44 PM GMT on January 09, 2013
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19603
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19603
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19603
Quoting kwgirl:
Good morning all. Bless you Bohonk for being a good son-in-law. I don't know why you injured yourself, but I did the same while trying to care for my mother. It got me a back operation! Anyway, the idea is to not catch them to stop the fall, but to ease them down so they do not hurt themselves or you. I guess if you are not trained, it does make a difference. Just watch your body mechanics. I have to think about that now doing anything.
I caught her with my left arm and tore something in my shoulder, she is overweight and lost her balance. She would have injured herself seriously if I wouldn't have caught her.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19603
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19603
I've gotten over three inches here in College Station with light to moderate rain still continuing. Quite a nice rain.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11567
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19603
51 and sunny in S C IL, think they had high as 48, way past that at 11! Got hit by a little band this a.m. we expected to stay south, waiting for the main event tomorrow. StL upped Friday high to 69! Speaking of 69, Happy 69th to Jimmy Page!
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 682
meanwhile a nice warm day here by me..............
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33454
...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LAKE CHARLES HAS ISSUED A FLOOD
WARNING FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVERS IN LOUISIANA...

BUNDICK CREEK AT BUNDICK LAKE
WHISKY CHITTO CREEK NEAR MITTIE
CALCASIEU RIVER NEAR OAKDALE
CALCASIEU RIVER NEAR OBERLIN
CALCASIEU RIVER NEAR KINDER
CALCASIEU RIVER AT OLD TOWN BAY
CALCASIEU RIVER NEAR SALT WATER BARRIER
BAYOU NEZPIQUE NEAR BASILE
MERMENTAU RIVER NEAR MERMENTAU

.RAIN HEAVY AT TIMES WILL SPREAD OVER THE CALCASIEU MERMENTAU RIVER BASINS
THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. AT THIS TIME ONLY 24 HOURS OF RAINFALL WERE USED
FORECAST THESE RIVER LEVELS AND AMOUNTS OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS ARE GENERALLY
FORECAST TO BE IN THE 2 TO 4 INCH RANGE OVER MUCH OF THE AREA. THE RAINS WILL
BE ENDING THURSDAY MORNING ACROSS THE AREA...HOWEVER ADDITIONAL RAINFALL
ONGOING AT THAT TIME MAY CONTRIBUTE TO HIGHER STAGES THAN CURRENTLY FORECAST.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST STAGE FORECAST AS THESE WILL BE UPDATED
BASED ON THE LATEST RAINFALL FORECAST TRENDS.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33454
one nasty line of red in these storms,be careful....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33454
Here's the link to the Mars One Team page...
Link


I think they should probably re-order they'd get a lot more interest if they had ladies at the top of the page...


Quoting SteveDa1:
Wanted: Mars Colonists to Explore Red Planet
by SPACE.com Staff

Date: 08 January 2013 Time: 10:55 PM ET

If you think you have the right stuff to help colonize Mars, you'll soon get your chance to prove it.

The Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One, which hopes to put the first boots on the Red Planet in 2023, released its basic astronaut requirements today (Jan. 8), setting the stage for a televised global selection process that will begin later this year.

Mars One isn't zeroing in on scientists or former fighter pilots; anyone who is at least 18 years old can apply to become a Mars colony pioneer. The most important criteria, officials say, are intelligence, good mental and physical health and dedication to the project, as astronauts will undergo eight years of training before launch.

Mars One plans to launch a series of robotic cargo missions between 2016 and 2021, which will build a habitable Red Planet outpost ahead of the arrival of the first four colonists in 2023. More settlers will arrive every two years after that. There are no plans to return the pioneers to Earth.

... continued here.
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1032
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Sorry not on blog all the time, trying to get back into shape physically from Holidays, LOL. Injured my shoulder catching my elderly mother in law when she fell outside. It is tough watching my parents and in laws get up there in age.
Good morning all. Bless you Bohonk for being a good son-in-law. I don't know why you injured yourself, but I did the same while trying to care for my mother. It got me a back operation! Anyway, the idea is to not catch them to stop the fall, but to ease them down so they do not hurt themselves or you. I guess if you are not trained, it does make a difference. Just watch your body mechanics. I have to think about that now doing anything.
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
287. eddye
does it still show the cold air for jan 18 for florida
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:
Dennis, you said you received 1.5" last night? radar must be really underestimating then. I looked at this earlier and thought for crying out loud Buda only received half a dang inch.

Sorry not on blog all the time, trying to get back into shape physically from Holidays, LOL. Injured my shoulder catching my elderly mother in law when she fell outside. It is tough watching my parents and in laws get up there in age.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
We received about Half of what Models were showing which is OK with me. There is No water standing and no water caught in the Ponds. Hearing heavier rains fell in the San Antonio area where flooding was reported.


I haven't even received that much here, but getting ready to change by what's coming from my SW.

Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
Quoting MahFL:


It will take several days for the run off to reach the lake.
Very Little runoff here the rains were not heavy, going in the creeks and rivers were not running so this rain all soaked into the ground, even the ponds behind my backyard did not go up. It will take 2 or 3 of these kind of systems close to each other to put water into anything around this area.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
It is coming!

Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 597
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
2.3 inches since rain started, about 1.8 last night and this morning, Sun has been out this morning already, system seems to breaking up around here, maybe some light rains later but it seems to be ending from South and West?
We received about Half of what Models were showing which is OK with me. There is No water standing and no water caught in the Ponds. Hearing heavier rains fell in the San Antonio area where flooding was reported.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
Quoting RitaEvac:
Dennis, you said you received 1.5" last night? radar must be really underestimating then. I looked at this earlier and thought for crying out loud Buda only received half a dang inch.

2.3 inches since rain started, about 1.8 last night and this morning, Sun has been out this morning already, system seems to breaking up around here, maybe some light rains later but it seems to be ending from South and West?
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
Quoting SteveDa1:
Wanted: Mars Colonists to Explore Red Planet
by SPACE.com Staff

Date: 08 January 2013 Time: 10:55 PM ET

If you think you have the right stuff to help colonize Mars, you'll soon get your chance to prove it.

The Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One, which hopes to put the first boots on the Red Planet in 2023, released its basic astronaut requirements today (Jan. 8), setting the stage for a televised global selection process that will begin later this year.

Mars One isn't zeroing in on scientists or former fighter pilots; anyone who is at least 18 years old can apply to become a Mars colony pioneer. The most important criteria, officials say, are intelligence, good mental and physical health and dedication to the project, as astronauts will undergo eight years of training before launch.

Mars One plans to launch a series of robotic cargo missions between 2016 and 2021, which will build a habitable Red Planet outpost ahead of the arrival of the first four colonists in 2023. More settlers will arrive every two years after that. There are no plans to return the pioneers to Earth.

... continued here.

Hey, I know someone who I would like to send......

Hi, Press.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
279. beell
Some rotation well offshore of the TX/LA border AOA the 9:54 CST mark on the loops.

ADDED: If the SPC is correct in their latest Day 1-it should begin to fade as it reaches the coast.
Almost has a bit of a MCV look to it.

THE SRN-MOST WARM FRONT WHICH
DELIMITS THE NRN EXTENT OF A HIGH THETA-E...MT AIR MASS WILL REMAIN
OFFSHORE THROUGH THE PERIOD. THIS COUPLED WITH WIDESPREAD CLOUDS
AND PRECIPITATION WILL LIMIT AIR MASS DESTABILIZATION ALONG THE
COASTAL PLAINS OF TX INTO SWRN LA. THIS IS CONFIRMED BY
MODEL-DERIVED FORECAST SOUNDINGS WHICH SHOW THE MAINTENANCE OF A
SHALLOW...NEAR-SURFACE STABLE LAYER AND MLCAPE VALUES GENERALLY LESS
THAN 500 J/KG.





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Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19603
This should help the Mississippi river level a bit.. hopefully (Forecast for tomorrow afternoon )

Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1032
Wanted: Mars Colonists to Explore Red Planet
by SPACE.com Staff

Date: 08 January 2013 Time: 10:55 PM ET

If you think you have the right stuff to help colonize Mars, you'll soon get your chance to prove it.

The Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One, which hopes to put the first boots on the Red Planet in 2023, released its basic astronaut requirements today (Jan. 8), setting the stage for a televised global selection process that will begin later this year.

Mars One isn't zeroing in on scientists or former fighter pilots; anyone who is at least 18 years old can apply to become a Mars colony pioneer. The most important criteria, officials say, are intelligence, good mental and physical health and dedication to the project, as astronauts will undergo eight years of training before launch.

Mars One plans to launch a series of robotic cargo missions between 2016 and 2021, which will build a habitable Red Planet outpost ahead of the arrival of the first four colonists in 2023. More settlers will arrive every two years after that. There are no plans to return the pioneers to Earth.

... continued here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
275. skook
... Record daily maximum rainfall set at College Station...

A record rainfall of 1.10 inches was set at College Station
yesterday. This breaks the old record of 0.95 set in 1968.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
274. VR46L
error
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6623


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detai lpage&v=mQf1RQA-GjA
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
Interesting earthquake swarm at Carlsburg Ridge the past 24 hours.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:
The past, present and future walk into a bar.....it was tense...


Afterwards they had to rename the bar to, "The Black Hole". No one gets back out.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4728
Quoting bappit:

Parts of TX could have been wiped off the map.


NAH
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
269. MahFL
Quoting bappit:

Parts of TX could have been wiped off the map.


They would still be there, just crushed and moved around a bit by flash floods.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
268. MahFL
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Lake Travis west of Austin Tx down over 50 feet from being full caught 2 inches of water overnight. Wow it takes so much water to fill up a Lake.


It will take several days for the run off to reach the lake.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:
If that offshore activity would of been onshore, this drought would of been wiped of the map for SE TX, actually a lot of TX

Parts of TX could have been wiped off the map.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If that offshore activity would of been onshore, this drought would of been wiped off the map for SE TX, actually a lot of TX
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
Models were off, bulk of rain was offshore









Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
Dennis, you said you received 1.5" last night? radar must be really underestimating then. I looked at this earlier and thought for crying out loud Buda only received half a dang inch.

Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
The past, present and future walk into a bar.....it was tense...
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ECMWF still show plenty of rain for the rest of today.



Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11567
261. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Disturbance Summary
21:00 PM JST January 9 2013
================================

At 12:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression, Former Sonamu (1006 hPa) located at 3.0N 111.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots. The depression is reported as moving southeast at 15 knots.

Another tropical depression (1004 hPa) located at 3.0N 129.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots. This depression is reported as moving west northwest slowly.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Yep. I'm brainwashed and all the data produced by the NCDC and NOAA has been manipulated. I agree. Lol.

I'm 15, to be exact.


Good on you. Just goes to show the young mind can be far more open to challenging ideas than the minds of those stuck in their own mental rut for 30 years.
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Good Morning from Wet South Central Texas, No flooding around here but creeks and rivers are running. Since rain started 36 hrs ago almost 2 inches here, about 1.5 inches overnight. It is more of a general rain than a heavy rain. But it is awesome and was past due, have a great day!
That would seem like the kind of rain you need.......SOAKER! In any event, hope it continues with more systems to follow, as what is good for you, is good for me, as a green moist Texas makes it hard for the deathridge to come back again, and expand it's grip northeastward.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
Looks like some more heavier stuff may be coming up from the south.





My PWS (~20 miles N of Austin) has picked up almost 1.75" since yesterday. Decent and steady rainfall rates this morning with a few t-storms embedded and some downpours. One of the main highways here flooded out in the left lane due to a backed up storm drain drain. 25 min commute took me an hour 40 this morn.
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Quoting Chapelhill:
Heading to the Upstate in hopes of seeing some winter,eh? You might get lucky by the end of the month. Atlanta not bad;you just have to drive like you live there --fast and reckless!


Yeah..hoping it will snow..
It usually does when I go up..
Only 1" or less on average..
Well,on my way..
TTYL.. :)
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I see people were highlighting yesterday night how warm the tropical Atlantic and gulf was this year.Inhad discussed this earlier but as usual people clear the blog when I'm on.
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Looks like some more heavier stuff may be coming up from the south.



Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11567
Quoting whitewabit:


24hrprof has a blog dedicated to him ..

There was a comment from TA on this blog yesterday. Had three different blog posts to comment on from Dr. M yesterday so it might be easy to overlook.

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The entire weather community is mourning the loss of Johnathan Racy, lead forecaster at the Storm Prediction Center. He died today after a long fight against cancer.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33454

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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.