Our incredible March warmth capped off the warmest 12 months ever recorded in the USA! Details from NOAA:
"•The previous 12-month period (April-March), which includes the second hottest summer (June-August) and fourth warmest winter (December-February), was the warmest such period for the contiguous United States. The 12-month running average temperature was 55.4°F, which is 2.6°F above the 20th century average."
Check out this cool NOAA animation which shows the USA peppered with 15,000 temperature records in March.
More from NOAA here on the incredible month of March in the USA.
U.S. records warmest March; more than 15,000 warm temperature records broken
"First quarter of 2012 also warmest on record; early March tornado outbreak is year's first "billion dollar disaster"
Record and near-record breaking temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the nation and contributed to the warmest March on record for the contiguous United States, a record that dates back to 1895. More than 15,000 warm temperature records were broken during the month.
The average temperature of 51.1°F was 8.6 degrees above the 20th century average for March and 0.5°F warmer than the previous warmest March in 1910. Of the more than 1,400 months (117+ years) that have passed since the U.S. climate record began, only one month, January 2006, has seen a larger departure from its average temperature than March 2012.
Note: The March 2012 Monthly Climate Report for the United States has several pages of supplemental information and data regarding the unprecedented early 2012 temperatures."
•The cold season, which is defined as October 2011 through March 2012 and an important period for national heating needs, was second warmest on record for the contiguous U.S. with a nationally-averaged temperature 3.8°F above average. Only the cold season of 1999-2000 was warmer. Twenty-one states across the Midwest and Northeast, areas of the country with high annual heating demands, were record warm for the six-month period.