Jeffrey Masters, Director of Meteorology at Weather Underground, Inc, (Wunderground) predicts that a warm November and record-breaking heat in early December means 2012 will be the warmest since record keeping began in 1895 for the 48 contiguous states.
Additionally, eight of the months racked up their warmest temperatures ever.
During the 11-month period charted above, 18 states were record warm, and twenty-four states were top ten warm.
Wunderground’s weather historian, Christopher Burt reported that our early-December heat wave this week set records for the warmest December temperature on record in seven states. December is well on its way to being in the top-20% warmest Decembers on record.
Masters’s summary of the year: “A record 86% of the contiguous US had maximum temperatures that were in the warmest 10% historically during the first eleven months of 2012, and 71% of the US had warm minimum temperatures in the top 10%–2nd highest on record.
“The percentage area of the US experiencing top-10% drought conditions was up 32 %, which was the 4th greatest since 1910.
“Only droughts in the Dust Bowl year of 1934, and during 1954 an 1956, were more extreme for the January-November period.
“Heavy 1-day downpours have been below average so far in 2012, though, with 9% of the nation experiencing a top-10% extreme, compared to the average of 10%.”
Source: ThinkProgress, December 9, 2012