CLIMATE: Through April, 2012 is the warmest on record for the U.S.

Posted at 12:57 PM, May 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-09 05:20:36-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – You may not have noticed in April because Virginia was one of eight states experiencing “near-normal” temperatures, but the 2012 record warmth that led to the “Winter that wasn’t” continues for the contiguous United States as a whole. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the official temperature and precipitation reports through April, as maintained by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). In 118 years of record-keeping, January through April this year is the hottest on the books for the Lower 48. The NCDC states that 2012 so far has an “average temperature of 45.4°F, 5.4°F above the long-term average. Twenty-six states, all east of the Rockies, were record warm for the four-month period and an additional 17 states had temperatures for the period among their ten warmest.” Virginia is one of those states with record warmth for this four-month period. Virginia’s year-to-date average temperature through April is 47.8°F, and it is tied with 1990 as our warmest on record for the January to April period. The next warmest year like this one is 1920, with an average temperature of 47.5°F for January through April.

NOAA/NCDC: Contiguous U.S. Average Temperature January – April

Here is the same plot for just Virginia, where you can see the three spikes for our warmest January through April years, including 2012, 1990, and 1920.:

NOAA/NCDC: Virginia Average Temperature for January – April

The U.S. may still be marching on with its record warm year, but we do not know yet (officially) how this fits into the global temperature puzzle.

The global average temperature data has not been released yet (as of this story post). When the April global data is vetted, you can click here for the details.

BONUS: Click here to explore more of the 2012 warmth in the U.S.
BONUS: Click here to learn more about our climate record.

Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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