In the United States, reports of abnormally warm temperatures have been the norm in 2012. Average temperatures in the contiguous United States (the “lower 48”) were 51.1°F (10.6°C) in March and 77.6°F (25.3°C) in July. Both months were so warm that they broke all-time records.
As seen in the top map, the Midwest and Great Plains experienced below-average temperatures, while the Northeast and the Southwest saw warmer temperatures. Overall, nineteen states experienced monthly temperatures below their 20th-century averages.
Despite the cool October, the first ten months of the year were still uncharacteristically warm, as seen in the year-to-date (lower) map. “We will most likely finish with the warmest year on record and by a huge margin,” said Deke Arndt, chief of the climate monitoring branch of the National Climatic Data Center, in a video that charts how 2012 compared to the historical record.