COCOA BEACH, Florida -- According to the latest statistics from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, the average temperature for the contiguous United States for 2012 was 55.3° Fahrenheit, which was 3.2° Fahrenheit above the twentieth-century average and 1.0° Fahrenheit above the previous record from 1998. The year consisted of the fourth-warmest winter, a record-warm spring, the second-warmest summer, and a warmer-than-average autumn.
The map above shows where the 2012 temperatures were different from the 1981–2010 average. Shades of red indicate temperatures up to 8° Fahrenheit warmer than average, and shades of blue indicate temperatures up to 8° Fahrenheit cooler than average—the darker the color, the larger the difference from average temperature.
Florida's temperature was 1.2° Fahrenheit warmer than average, making 2012 Florida 8th warmest year on record. Nineteen states, stretching from Utah to Massachusetts, had annual temperatures which were record warm. An additional 26 states had one of their 10 warmest years. Only Georgia (11th warmest year), Oregon (12th warmest), and Washington (30th warmest) had annual temperatures that were not among the ten warmest in their respective period of records.
Each state in the continental U.S., except Washington, had at least one location experience its warmest year on record. One notable warmest year record occurred in Central Park, in New York City, which has a period of record dating back 136 years.
VIDEO: Thousands of vacationers flocked to the beach on Florida's Space Coast for the 2012 4th of July weekend to beat the Florida heat that feels like 100 degrees when humidity and lack of wind are factored into the 90 degree temperatures. BREVARD TIMES / FILE