“Last year was the warmest on records going back to 1895 for the 48 contiguous U.S. states and the second-worst for weather extremes including drought, hurricanes and wildfires, according to a U.S. report.
The average temperature in the region in 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit (12.9 Celsius), 3.2 degrees higher than the average for the 20th century, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climatic Data Center said today in an analysis of the year.
U.S. Climate Extremes Index, which takes into account temperatures as well as tropical storms and drought, showed 2012 followed 1998 into the record books for extreme weather with almost twice the average value, the center said. Eleven disasters caused at least $1 billion in damage, including hurricanes Isaac in August and Sandy in October….”