The winter that wasn't

We all now this was the year we didn't have winter. But this story by the Associated Press is a good look at the details of this year's warming trend, which not only broke records for warm weather, but fried them.

 

The first quarter of 2012 broke the January-March record by 1.4 degrees. Usually records are broken by just one- or two-tenths of a degree. U.S. temperature records date to 1895.

The atypical heat goes back even further. The U.S. winter of 2010-2011 was slightly cooler than normal and one of the snowiest in recent years, but after that things started heating up. The summer of 2011 was the second warmest summer on record.

The winter that just ended, which in some places was called the year without winter, was the fourth warmest on record. Since last April, it's been the hottest 12-month stretch on record, Crouch said.

March was crazy.

In March, at least 7,775 weather stations across the nation broke daily high temperature records and another 7,517 broke records for night-time heat. Combined, that's more high temperature records broken in one month than ever before, Crouch said.

"When you look at what's happened in March this year, it's beyond unbelievable," said University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver.

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