Some features of this site are not compatible with your browser. Install Opera Mini to
better experience this site.
Cooling off in October
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
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.