2006: hottest year in U.S. history.
The average temperature for 2006 was 12.8[degrees]C (55[degrees]F), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists reported on the agency's website Jan. 9. That's about 1.2[degrees]C above the average temperature for the 20th century and 0.04[degrees]C warmer than the previous yearly record, set in 1998, says Richard Helm, a meteorologist at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
That year began during the strongest El Nino ever recorded (SN: 12/11/99, p. 374). Changes in weather patterns during E1 Ninos typically warm winter temperatures across much of North America.
The latest El Nino began around the end of September, says Helm. Despite a frigid start to December in many areas, five states had their warmest Decembers ever, and no state measured below-average temperatures for that month. "Mother Nature fooled all of us and gave us a warm spell," he notes.
With temperatures above average from October through December, the nation's home-energy consumption was about 13.5 percent lower than it would have been if temperatures had been normal, the NOAA scientists estimate.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Date:||Jan 20, 2007|
|Previous Article:||Of penguins' range and climate change.|
|Next Article:||Salmonella illnesses traced to pet rodents.|