Dry conditions across much of the country; 2012 still on track to be warmest year ever
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — These days, it takes more than a 2-degree temperature anomaly to set records. This past month will go down as “only” the 20th-warmest November on record (tied with 2004) even though the average temperature for the lower 48 states was 2.1 degrees above the 20th century average.
For the year to-date, temperatures are still far above average and barring any significant shifts in December, 2012 will likely become the warmest year on record for the contiguous states, according to the National Climatic Data Center’s monthly update.
The January-November period was 3.3°F above average, and degree above the previous record warm January-November of 1934. During the 11-month period, 18 states were record warm and an additional 24 states were top ten warm.
Colorado contributed to the above-average temperatures with a November that ranked among the 10 warmest for the state, along with Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming and Idaho. Most of the above-average readings were in the western two-thirds of the country and into the central plains.
By contrast, the Southeast, the Eastern Seaboard and the Ohio Valley were colder than average, with the coldest readings in Virginia and North Carolina.
November also ended up as a very dry month, with average rainfall across the lower 48 states nearly 1 inch below average. As a result, nearly two-thirds of the country remains under some level of drought classification. Drought conditions improved in the northern Rockies, which reported above average early season snowfall.
Information compiled from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: National Overview for November 2012, published online December 2012, retrieved on December 6, 2012 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2012/11.