The data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which covers the whole of the U.S except Alaska and Hawaii, indicates that the average temperatures for year 2012 are 3.2 degrees higher than the 20th century average with less precipitation for large parts of the western territory.
According to NOAA, during July 2012, around 60% of the country was in drought, while wildfires burnt more than 9 million acres in the Southwest and Mountain West regions. More extreme weather conditions have been noted only in 1998 before.
In the continental part of the U.S, during this year alone, there have been 11 weather related disasters which resulted in damages worth more than $1 billion. These include Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac, as well as a number of damaging tornadoes in the Great Pains, Texas, and Ohio.
In addition, above average temperatures were measured in all states within contiguous U.S., with 19 states having a new highest temperature record. The month with the highest difference in temperature compared to previous years was March, while the spring season was 2 degrees warmer than ever recorded. July is characterized with the month with the highest temperatures ever observed in the U.S. In one third of the areas, temperatures exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 10 consecutive days.
Surprisingly, the number of tornadoes for 2012 is the smallest since the year 2002. The only parts of the country that has not experienced new record temperatures are Alaska and Hawaii.