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December-January Warmer Than Average in Lower 48 States

The months of December and January were warmer than usual in the contiguous U.S., with an average temperature 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.4 Celsius) above the norm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

The eastern half of the U.S. was warmest, while temperatures were slightly lower than normal in the West and Southwest, NOAA said today in its monthly climate report. The two months ranked as the 18th-warmest December-January, while the year from February 2012 through January was the warmest 12 months on record.

An “active storm pattern” in the U.S. East raised the precipitation level for December-January to wetter than average by 0.65 inch (1.7 centimeters), NOAA said.

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