According to the NOAA annual State of the Climate reports, 2012 demonstrated its share of dramatic weather changes across the United States.
Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their latest report, which demonstrates that 2012 presented some of the hottest weather in history. According to the NOAA, the average annual temperature was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit; a full 3.3 degrees greater than that average temperature for the 20th century.
Not only was the average temperature higher than the 20th century average, but it was a full degree higher than the records previously established in 1998. The change in climate demonstrates one of the biggest jumps in record change history.
Not only were Americans struck with higher temperatures, they were presented with some of the most extreme weather events in history. 2012 was one of the worse years for extreme weather, demonstrating a higher number of floods, wildfires, and hurricanes. Flooding in the Upper Midwest, the derecho summertime storm in the mid-Atlantic, the wildfires in the Midwest and the Northeast being struck by Hurricane Sandy, were just some examples of extreme weather in 2012.
Climatologists have worked for years to draw lines from climate changes to specific weather events in order to predict future weather patterns. The changes demonstrated in 2012 are a prediction of future conditions to come. According to Deke Arndt, chief of the climate monitoring branch at the NOAA's National Climate Data Center, "we expect to see a continued trend of big heat events, we expect to see big rain events and with slightly less confidence, we expect to see continued trends in drought. This is consistent with what we would expect in a warming world."
According to Derrick Weitlich, a climate specialist with the National Weather Service office in Melbourne, the average temperature at Daytona Beach International Airport for 2012 was 71.9 degrees. This temperature averaged one degree above normal, tying the 1975 record as the ninth warmest year on record. Weitlich also reports that regional temperatures were anywhere from 2.0 to 2.9 degrees above normal.
Given the conditions of 2012, we can only expect 2013 to move along with similar or worse weather.