(Reuters) - The
contiguous U.S. states posted record warmth from May 2011 through April,
and drought conditions spread across more than a third of this area
during the first months of 2012, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration NOAA.L said on Tuesday.
The contiguous United States
had a national average temperature of 55.7 F (13.2 C) from May 2011 to
April 2012, 2.8 F (1.6 C) above the 20th century average, NOAA said in a
It was the warmest ever
May-to-April period in the lower 48 states. It included the
second-hottest summer, fourth-warmest winter and the warmest March.
Twenty-two states posted record warmth for the period.
first four months of the 2012 were the warmest on record. The average
temperature for the contiguous states during these months was 45.4 F
(7.4 C), 5.4 F (3 C) above normal.
states, all east of the Rocky Mountains, had record warmth for the
May-April period, NOAA said. U.S. temperatures for April were the
third-warmest on record.
said 38.2 percent of the contiguous United States was experiencing
drought conditions as of May 1, up from 31.9 percent at the start of the
year. Drought worsened across the Northeast, Southeast and the interior
The U.S. Climate Extremes
Index was a record 42 percent for the first four months of the year,
more than twice the average value. The index tracks the highest and
lowest 10 percent of extremes in temperature, precipitation, drought and
tropical cyclones across the 48 states.
read more: Warmest May to April ever for U.S