US roasts to hottest year on record by landslide
by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer
January 08, 2013 02:15 PM | 376 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This July 6, 2012 file photo shows Timmy Benson wearing a wet towel on his head as he cools off in a fountain set up outside Busch Stadium before a baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins Friday in St. Louis. Federal meteorologists say America was deep fried in 2012, becoming the hottest year on record by far. The National Climatic Data Center in Ashville, N.C., calculates that the average U.S. temperature in 2012 was 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit. That's a full degree warmer than the previous record of 1998. Normally, records are broken by about a tenth of a degree. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
This July 6, 2012 file photo shows Timmy Benson wearing a wet towel on his head as he cools off in a fountain set up outside Busch Stadium before a baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins Friday in St. Louis. Federal meteorologists say America was deep fried in 2012, becoming the hottest year on record by far. The National Climatic Data Center in Ashville, N.C., calculates that the average U.S. temperature in 2012 was 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit. That's a full degree warmer than the previous record of 1998. Normally, records are broken by about a tenth of a degree. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
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This July 6, 2012 file photo shows six-year-old Alexander Merrill of Sioux Falls, S.D., cooling off in a cloud of mist at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb., as temperatures reached triple digits. Federal meteorologists say America was deep fried in 2012, becoming the hottest year on record by far. The National Climatic Data Center in Ashville, N.C., calculates that the average U.S. temperature in 2012 was 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit. That's a full degree warmer than the previous record of 1998. Normally, records are broken by about a tenth of a degree. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
This July 6, 2012 file photo shows six-year-old Alexander Merrill of Sioux Falls, S.D., cooling off in a cloud of mist at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb., as temperatures reached triple digits. Federal meteorologists say America was deep fried in 2012, becoming the hottest year on record by far. The National Climatic Data Center in Ashville, N.C., calculates that the average U.S. temperature in 2012 was 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit. That's a full degree warmer than the previous record of 1998. Normally, records are broken by about a tenth of a degree. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Government meteorologists say 2012 was by far the hottest year on record in the United States.

The average temperature was off the charts at over 55 degrees. That’s a full degree warmer than the previous record of 1998. Normally, temperature records are broken by about a tenth of a degree.

Scientists blame the heat on global warming and weather variations. That includes the drought that gripped almost two-thirds of the nation.

Last July was also the hottest month on record. The entire year was 3.2 degrees warmer than the average for the 20th century.

The tally was released Tuesday by the National Climatic Data Center.

U.S. temperature records go back to 1895. They’re based on reports from more than 1,200 stations across the Lower 48 states.

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