The Making of the Hottest Year on Record: USA Temperature Update

After 16 consecutive months with warmer-than-normal conditions, October brought fairly average temperatures to the United States. Arctic air kept the center of the country cooler than average, while most of the coasts were warmer than average. But are we still on track for the warmest year in the United States’ climate record?

We’ve heard a lot about the record-setting heat in the contiguous United States during 2012. Now compare this to the historical record. We can look at more than 100 years of data. We can start by looking at the year-to-date temperature for the coolest year on record, 1917. And we can also consider the warmest year on record. So far that was 1998. And we have 115 more years to add to this graph, as well. That ends up being 117 years worth of data, all within this gray envelope.


NOAA has the full transcript

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