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US temperatures head toward record year


U.S. temperatures continued to break records as the country recorded its warmest year on record thus far, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

In releasing its monthly “State of the Climate” data Tuesday, the organization said January through September had proved the warmest first nine months of any year it has on record in the United States.

Forty-six states recorded temperatures among their 10 warmest, while 25 of those had record warm numbers. The average national temperature during the period was 59.8 degrees Fahrenheit, almost 4 degrees above the 20th century average. Washington state was a rare exception with its temperatures about average for these nine months.

The average temperature in September was also higher than average by about a degree and half at 67 degrees Fahrenheit. It marked the 16th consecutive month that the country has experienced above average temperatures for the contiguous 48 states.

January through September 2012 was the 11th driest period on record with the central United States (Ohio to Rocky Mountains) drier than average.