The first 9 months of 2012 were the warmest on record in the Lower 48 by a wide margin. The average temperature during this stretch was 3.8 degrees (F) above normal, and a full 1.2 degrees above the previous record (set in 2006), dating back to 1895.
That’s even after September wasn’t usually warm. It tied September 1980 as the 23rd warmest such month on record, 1.4 degrees above average. It marked the 16th consecutive month of above average temperatures in the contiguous U.S. according to the September 2012 State of the Climate report, released by NOAA today.
Will October finally reverse the trend of warm months in the Lower 48? It might seem that way at first glance. This month to date, record low temperatures have outnumbered record highs by a 1745 to 489 margin.
But Capital Climate says, despite all of these cold weather records, the average temperature over the Lower 48 for the week ending October 6 was 0.1 degree above normal extending a streak of above normal weeks to 43 straight.
Moving forward, the Climate Prediction Center predicts warmer than average conditions in the 6-10 day and 8-14 day periods. As such, unless the tail end of October experiences dramatic cooling, it appears like the streak of warm months will reach 17 straight.