U.S. experiences warmest 12-month period on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:09 PM GMT on May 08, 2012

Share this Blog
42
+

The past twelve months were the warmest twelve months in U.S. history, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on Tuesday, in their monthly "State of the Climate" report. Temperatures in the contiguous U.S. during May 2011 - April 2012 broke the previous record for warmest 12-month period, set November 1999 - October 2000, by 0.1°F. The past twelve months have featured America's 2nd warmest summer, 4th warmest winter, and warmest March on record. Twenty-two states were record warm for the 12-month period, and an additional nineteen states were top ten warm. NOAA said that the January - April 2012 period was also the warmest January - April period since record keeping began in 1895. The average temperature of 45.4°F during January - April 2012 was 5.4°F above the 20th century average for the period, and smashed the previous record set in 2006 by an unusually large margin--1.6°F.


Figure 1. The ten warmest 12-month periods in the contiguous U.S. since record keeping began in 1895. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.


Figure 2. The average temperature of 45.4°F during January - April 2012 was the warmest on record: 5.4°F above the 20th century average for the period, and was 1.6°F above the previous record set in 2006. January - April temperatures have been rising at about 1.9°F per century since 1895. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.

April 2012: 3rd warmest on record
April 2012 was the third warmest April in the contiguous U.S. since record keeping began in 1895. Ten states had a top-ten warmest April, and no states were cooler than average. But what's really remarkable about April was that eight states--Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia--had average April temperatures cooler than their March temperatures, even though their April temperatures were still above the long-term average for the month. These statistics show just how remarkably warm March 2012 was. Most extreme was Illinois, where April 2012 temperatures ranked in the top 20% for warmest Aprils, yet were cooler than March 2012 temperatures.


Figure 3. Temperature rankings for April 2012 in the Contiguous U.S. Ten states had a top-ten warmest April, and no states were cooler than average. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.


Figure 4. NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) for January - April shows that 2012 had the most extreme weather on record.

Most extreme January - April on record
NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI), an index that tracks the highest 10 percent and lowest 10 percent of extremes in temperature, precipitation, and drought, was 42% during the January-April period, over twice the average value, and the greatest on record. Remarkably, 82% of the contiguous U.S. had maximum temperatures that were in the warmest 10% historically, and 68% had warm minimum temperatures in the top 10%, with records going back to 1910. The previous records were 56% (2000) and 57% (1992) for maximum and minimum temperatures, respectively. The percentage area of the U.S. experiencing top-10% drought conditions during January - April was 19%, which was the 17th greatest since 1910. Extremes in precipitation as computed by the CEI were near average for the January - April period.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 234 - 184

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32Blog Index

Quoting PlazaRed:

Right:-
"1" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculus

"2" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logarithm

"3"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slide_rule

All means of calculating that we had to use before the invention of electronic calculators, the first of which I got in about 1970.
Without calculus probably very little of today's modern technology could exist including a lot of weather predictions.
PS I'm so glad we have computers now it saves so much time!


Oh I'm glad too
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
I'm so happy we got some rain this afternoon.It was quite humid as well here.So uhhhh who is ready for some tropical action?.I hope Alberto forms next month and deliver some good rains to the southeast mid-Atlantic,and northeast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Suzanne Goldenberg US environment correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Tue 8 May 2012 21.44 BST

A network of ultra-conservative groups is ramping up an offensive on multiple fronts to turn the American public against wind farms and Barack Obama's energy agenda.

A number of rightwing organisations, including Americans for Prosperity, which is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, are attacking Obama for his support for solar and wind power. The American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which also has financial links to the Kochs, has drafted bills to overturn state laws promoting wind energy.

Now a confidential strategy memo seen by the Guardian advises using "subversion" to build a national movement of wind farm protesters.

http://m.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/may/08/c onservative-thinktanks-obama-energy-plans?cat=envi ronment&type=article
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


Operation Fast and Furious!!!!

The storm actually looks to be avoiding TX


Lol. Yeah we're special that way. Just had some break up over me and reform over Louisiana. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Type your zip code in and check out the new layout.


One of the changes that went through well in my book.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting weatherh98:


Calculus is feared by every school boy

Log tables must be a log book I'm assuming

Slide rules im not sure about, cut me some slack I just made 14

I know what a cb radio is

Hey gro what's your 10 20

Right:-
"1" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculus

"2" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logarithm

"3"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slide_rule

All means of calculating that we had to use before the invention of electronic calculators, the first of which I got in about 1970.
Without calculus probably very little of today's modern technology could exist including a lot of weather predictions.
PS I'm so glad we have computers now it saves so much time!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Looks like a line we have forming in la
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting KoritheMan:


Yeah, my phone camera isn't the greatest.

no problem
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7832
Quoting KoritheMan:


The guy next to me is... Marty Hope? I think? Hydrologist.

Reread his comment...its a joke.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
348 PM CDT TUE MAY 8 2012

GMZ330-335-TXZ163-164-176>179-195>200-210>214-226 -227-235>238-
092100-
AUSTIN-BRAZORIA-BRAZOS-BURLESON-CHAMBERS-COLORADO -FORT BEND-
GALVESTON-GALVESTON BAY-GRIMES-HARRIS-HOUSTON-JACKSON-LIBERTY-
MADISON-MATAGORDA-MATAGORDA BAY-MONTGOMERY-POLK-SAN JACINTO-
TRINITY-WALKER-WALLER-WASHINGTON-WHARTON-
348 PM CDT TUE MAY 8 2012

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS.

.DAY ONE...THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT

DAYTIME HEATING AND AN APPROACHING UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE WILL
HELP GENERATE SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING
ALONG A SEA BREEZE BOUNDARY JUST INLAND. A BROAD AREA OF WIDELY
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS MAY BE POSSIBLE TONIGHT AS AN UPPER LEVEL
DISTURBANCE MOVES ACROSS THE AREA. SOME STORMS COULD BE STRONG BUT
NOT EXPECTED TO BE SEVERE.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY

AN UPPER LEVEL LOW IS EXPECTED TO MOVE INTO TEXAS ON FRIDAY.
MOISTURE IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY AS THE
SYSTEM APPROACHES WITH INCREASING LIFT. THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED
THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH MUCH OF FRIDAY. THE MAIN THREATS WILL BE
HEAVY RAINFALL ACROSS THE AREA. THIS TIME PERIOD WILL BE MONITORED
FOR A FLOOD WATCH. THE UPPER LEVEL LOW WILL BE SLOW TO MOVE OUT OF
THE AREA AND RAIN CHANCES MAY CONTINUE INTO THE WEEKEND.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Type your zip code in and check out the new layout.


Very Nice!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:

Nice...these images are a bit blurry though


Yeah, my phone camera isn't the greatest.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
,,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:


So we are not supposed to question ideas? No one was insulting Dr. Masters! Im through with it! And you wonder why people groan when we see a drought map posted in the blog. I'm out!

Sorry, but I had the distinct impression that you were implying that the photo was faked.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Type your zip code in and check out the new layout.


I like that!
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Type your zip code in and check out the new layout.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting KoritheMan:
Yesterday I mentioned I went to Mississippi for two days. A visit with the Jackson NWS was the fruits of my labor:










Nice...these images are a bit blurry though
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7832


Small yet intense
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting weatherh98:


Look at it this way, all weather freaks have a sense of humor only understood by other weather freaks



Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


learn to spell, friek. :)


huh? i did its freak
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting KoritheMan:
Yesterday I mentioned I went to Mississippi for two days. A visit with the Jackson NWS was the fruits of my labor:











Hey, Kori? I recognize you, but who is the guys in the blue shirt and stripes standing next to you on the right?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25345
Red alert

3 more coming along
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Repost for anybody that missed it earlier:

Thanks in advance for reading.

2012 Atlantic hurricane season forecast
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting weatherh98:


Look at it this way, all weather frieks have a sense of humor only understood by other weather frieks


learn to spell, friek. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
This storm better not cross the border without proper documentation, that would be illegal.

(my sorry attempt at humor)



Look at it this way, all weather freaks have a sense of humor only understood by other weather freaks
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
This storm better not cross the border without proper documentation, that would be illegal.

(my sorry attempt at humor)



I thought it was funny. :/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:



This one is intense

V4 75 dBZ 43,000 ft. 80 kg/m² 100% chance 100% chance >4.00 in. 25 knots WNW (289)
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


Operation Fast and Furious!!!!

The storm actually looks to be avoiding TX

Yep. It's moving south east.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This storm better not cross the border without proper documentation, that would be illegal.

(my sorry attempt at humor)

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting bappit:
Actually ncstorm's question is quite insulting to someone. The first candidate is Dr. Masters for posting the photo. Next might be whoever made the photo available to Dr. Masters. Next might be whoever took the picture. Next might be the people posing in the picture. It also insults the people looking at the photo.

The odium can fall on the person asking the question, too, as indicated in my previous sarcastic post. If they question the validity of the photo on the grounds given, why stop there? Why stop the accusations with just this picture? It really is a nasty question that was raised regardless of how it is phrased.



So we are not supposed to question ideas? No one was insulting Dr. Masters! Im through with it! And you wonder why people groan when we see a drought map posted in the blog. I'm out!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ameister12:
There is another impressive storm in Mexico. Likely would be warned if it was north of the border.


Operation Fast and Furious!!!!

The storm actually looks to be avoiding TX
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
An interesting history of the climate science of greenhouse gases dating to the 1800's and what has gone wrong! This is an absolute must see! This scientific meeting took place in 2007, and at one point she asks the question "so why are we now stuck here?" Well, it's 5 years later and we are still stuck there.

It's fascinating that anthropogenic global warming was well understood by the 1930's!

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
A friendly reminder from last night...


Thanks for posting that! I wasn't on last night to see that message.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Some of the animated ones you can't post. Which one are you trying to post?


Thanks anyway but ameister got me going!
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Yesterday I mentioned I went to Mississippi for two days. A visit with the Jackson NWS was the fruits of my labor:









Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ameister12:
There is another impressive storm in Mexico. Likely would be warned if it was north of the border.


Oh yea!! thats getting ready to jump
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting weatherh98:


How do u post radar on here?


Some of the animated ones you can't post. Which one are you trying to post?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25345
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
A friendly reminder from last night...




When you posted that i thought i got banned
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
There is another impressive storm in Mexico. Likely would be warned if it was north of the border.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Bring on the rain
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
A friendly reminder from last night...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting nigel20:

I'm must say that some of the comments being posted are quite insulting...i'm from Jamaica and most of the population is quite educated despite the fact that Jamaica lacks the resources of richer countries


Where in my question did I call ANYONE uneducated???..I asked how with such limited resources are they aware of climate change? Who is informing them? How is the information given to them or how is it accessible to them. My grandparents were farmers and if you walked up to them today and tell them the reason their corn isnt growing because of climate change, they would be like what? Most farmers have seen these conditions before in their lifetime..there have always been droughts, famine, rain, no rain..etc and most farmers will always go back back to a time in their life where this has happened before. Just tell me who is informing these tea farmers that this is not changeable..that this will continue because the earth is going through GW.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It looks like it will go tornado warned soon as well.

I don't know. I don't see any strong rotation and it's also bowing out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It looks like it will go tornado warned soon as well.

Yeah... TVS just popped up... It was tornado warned earlier but rotation weakened... It's coming back now though
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7612
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

And you have every right to feel insulted... Once again today, several of the comments posted, in additon to being way off topic, have been very rude... Before you hit that Post Comment button, think:
1. Is this on topic? If not, don't post it
2. Could this be perceived as rude by someone or insulting to someone? If yes, don't post it.
3. Is this comment going to make some type of positive contribution to the blog? If no, don't post it.


It is my fault, i started us down that road.
Had no idea it would lead to there.
Sorry.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Beautiful structure.

77.5 dBZ in that darkest area where very large hail is likely falling.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


What about AP Calc.
Brain frier.
Cant wait.


That and mathxl make me wanna cry
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting nigel20:

I'm must say that some of the comments being posted are quite insulting...i'm from Jamaica and most of the population is quite educated despite the fact that Jamaica lacks the resources of richer countries

And you have every right to feel insulted... Once again today, several of the comments posted, in additon to being way off topic, have been very rude... Before you hit that Post Comment button, think:
1. Is this on topic? If not, don't post it
2. Could this be perceived as rude by someone or insulting to someone? If yes, don't post it.
3. Is this comment going to make some type of positive contribution to the blog? If no, don't post it.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7612
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It looks like it will go tornado warned soon as well.



It's gettin a nice hook
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting weatherh98:


Calculus is feared by every school boy

Log tables must be a log book I'm assuming

Slide rules im not sure about, cut me some slack I just made 14

I know what a cb radio is

Hey gro what's your 10 20


What about AP Calc.
Brain frier.
Cant wait.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I said I didn't think it had one


My bad
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting weatherh98:


How do u post radar on here?

Go to the View/Save This Image feature. When you're on that page, just copy and past the URL under 'Image' just like you would do with a regular picture.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 234 - 184

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32Blog Index

Top of Page

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.