2012 was hottest year on record in US
POSTED: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - 11:58am
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - 12:04pm
2012 is officially in the books as the hottest year on record for the continental United States.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reports every state in the contiguous US saw above average temperatures last year.
Ninteen states set record-highs of their own.
January-September was already the warmest first nine months, according to temperature data released by the National Climatic Data Center.
At the peak of the heat in July 2012, 61 percent of the country was in drought, NOAA said, including the Midwest, as well as the Southwest and Mountain West, where wildfires charred 9.2 million acres.
It was also the second-worst year for extreme weather, such as tornadoes, hurricanes and the so-called "Superstorm" Sandy.
The country faced 11 major weather disasters, each topped one-billion dollars in losses.
Seven of the ten hottest years in U-S records have occurred since 1990.