Contiguous U.S. Had Warmest Winter on Record, NOAA Reports

Meltdown: The Science Behind Climate Change
  • Average temperature across the 48 states beat 1999-2000 mark
  • All six New England states set winter records, NOAA says

This winter was the warmest on record for the contiguous U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

The average temperature across the lower 48 states was 36.8 degrees Fahrenheit (2.7 Celsius), breaking the mark set in 1999-2000, NOAA said in a statement. It was 4 degrees higher than the 20th-century average. Meteorologists measure winter from December to February.

“Forty-six states across the U.S. had a winter temperature that was above average,” NOAA said in the statement. “Each of the six New England states had a winter temperature that was record warm.”

A strong El Nino in the equatorial Pacific that roiled global weather patterns is blamed for much of the warmth the U.S. experienced.

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