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Warmest Year on Record in South Dakota



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Its official… it is the warmest year on record for the state of South Dakota and Nebraska.  Not a surprise considering it was the warmest year on record for the Black Hills area and the top 3 warmest for 4 cities in the east.  This all on top of the warmest year on record for the United States.  According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the average temperature for the contiguous U.S. for 2012 was 55.3°F, which was 3.2°F above the 20th century average and a degree 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.  So hot in fact, that nearly 100 million Americans experienced 10+ days where temperatures where above the century mark.  The only month that was collectively below average was October, and not by much.  Combine all of that warmth with an expanding drought, and it was not a fun year for most of us.  Below is a look at how the country faired compared to normal, the 100 degree heat this summer, and the average temperature of the United States.  These pictures speak volumes.



(This is what the U.S. average temperature looks like when thrown into a graph.  It is one of the easiest ways to see the colder and warmer time periods, especially in the fall and winter months.)



Here is a collection of weather observing stations (typically airports) that experienced at least 1 100°+ day.  The top image is from 2011 and the bottom image is from 2012 to give you an idea of where the core of the heat has been over the last 2 years.  The biggest difference is that the heat in 2011 was very concentrated on the southern Plains of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and of course, the Desert Southwest.  But 2012 was much different, spreading 100 degree heat across the country.  Many locations in the north and east rarely experience this heat.  The table below will help identify the features of these maps.
















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