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Climate: Despite cool October, 2012 still hottest ever in U.S.

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Drought persists across 62 percent of the country

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — A 16-month string of above-average temperatures in the U.S. ended in October, as repeated surges of cold air dropping into the heartland kept readings below average for the first time since May 2011, at the end of a chilly La Niña winter.

The National Climatic Data Center reported this week that the average temperature across the contiguous U.S. during October was 53.9 degrees, just 0.3 degrees below the long-term average. Even with the October dip, 2012 is still on track to be the warmest year ever in the contiguous U.S. states.

At an average national temperature of 58.4 degrees, the January to October reading is still 3.4 degrees above average and 1.1 degrees warmer than the previous year–to-date record, set in 2000.

During the first 10-months of 2012, 21 states reported record warmth with an additional 25 states reporting readings among their all-time 10 warmest. Only Washington had a statewide temperature near average for the period. Continue reading

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