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2012 Warmest Year on Record for Northeast, Cornell Says

The first seven months of 2012 have been the warmest in the U.S. Northeast on records going back to 1895, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.

The average temperature from Delaware to Maine for the period ended July 31 was 49.9 degrees Fahrenheit (9.9 Celsius), said the center, which receives funding from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The 12 months that ended July 31 were also the warmest in 117 years in every Northeastern state except West Virginia, “where the average temperature of 54.7 degrees missed tying the record set in 1932 by 0.1 degree,” the researchers said.

The 12 states assigned to the center by NOAA include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia.

The U.S. National Climatic Data Center will issue its July statistics for the U.S. as a whole tomorrow.

High summer temperatures in the Northeast and Midwest have boosted electricity demand, helping natural gas end July by rebounding 69 percent from a 10-year low in April.

Last winter’s warmer temperatures helped make natural gas futures the worst performer on the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index of 24 commodities in April.

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