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Posted at 03:39 PM ET, 03/07/2012

December through February, meteorological winter: 4th warmest on record in U.S.


Regional temperatures from December 2011 through February 2012 relative to average. (NOAA National Climatic Data Center)
Throughout the Lower 48 states, there was no escaping milder than average weather this past meteorological winter (December through February). Overall, it was the 4th warmest in the last 117 years.

The Ohio/Tennessee Valley region was the warmest part of the country relative to average, recording its second warmest winter on record. The Northeast and Midwest were not far behind, with December through February temperatures ranking third warmest.

Twenty seven states in these regions and the Southeast had winter temperatures among their ten warmest on record.


Temperature departure from average during the 2012 meteorological winter. Warmth dominated much of the country for both high and low temperatures. (NOAA, adapted by CWG)
Note the following cities which had extremely mild winters:

Washington, D.C.: 4th warmest on record
Chicago: 9th warmest on record (tied)
Detroit: 6th warmest on record
Boston: 2nd warmest on record
Syracuse: 3rd warmest on record
Philadelphia: 4th warmest on record
New York City: 2nd warmest on record

Link: A list of select winter and February temperature and precipitation records

For the contiguous U.S. as a whole, the average temperatures almost 4 degrees above the 1901-2000 average - the warmest year since 2000.

The warm temperatures coupled with drier than average conditions resulted in much below average snowfall. Data from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab indicate snow cover extent was third lowest in its 46-year record.

Link: Tallying the Statistics of a Warm, Dry Winter in the U.S.

Below average temperatures were found in Alaska, which had its 35th coldest winter on record (in the last 94 years).

Related: Coldest January on record for parts of Alaska

For more information see National Climatic Data Center’s State of the Climate Report.

By  |  03:39 PM ET, 03/07/2012

Categories:  U.S. Weather, Latest

 
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