NCDC Releases April 2012 U.S. Monthly Climate Report: U.S. Temperatures for April Third Warmest on Record

According to NOAA scientists, several warm periods across the contiguous United States during April brought the national average temperature to 55°F, 3.6°F above average, making this the third warmest April on record. These temperatures, when added with previous 11 months, mark the warmest 12-month period the United States has experienced since records began in 1895.

Warmer-than-average temperatures were present for a large portion of the nation during April—nine states in the Central and Northeast regions had April temperatures ranking among their ten warmest. Above-average temperatures were also present for the Southeast, Upper Midwest, and much of the West. Eight states—Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia—had average April temperatures cooler than their March temperatures, but these temperatures were still above the long-term average for the month.

Statewide precipitation totals were mixed during April, with wetter than average conditions across the West Coast and Northern and Central Plains. Drier than average conditions were present in Texas, along the Gulf Coast, and stretched northward toward the Great Lakes. The national precipitation average was for the month 2.23 inches, 0.20 inch below average.

The 12-month period (May 2011–April 2012), which includes the country’s second hottest summer, fourth warmest winter, and warmest March on record, was the warmest consecutive May-to-April year-long  period for the contiguous United States. Twenty-two states were record warm for the 12-month period and an additional 19 states were top ten warm. The 12-month running average temperature for the contiguous United States was 55.7°F, 2.8°F above the 20th century average.

This monthly analysis from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business, and community leaders so they can make informed decisions. Read the full report at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2012/4