Published On: Thu, Dec 6th, 2012

2012 could be warmest in U.S. history; state experiencing drought

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.

ONE FEATHER STAFF

 

It has been unseasonably warm in Cherokee the past week.  Actually, it has been unseasonably warm in a lot of places in the United States recently.  This year is shaping up to break the record for the warmest year in United States history.

“The January-November period was the warmest first 11 months of any year on record for the contiguous United States, and for the entire year, 2012 will most likely surpass the current record as the warmest year for the Nation,” states information released by the National Climatic Data Center (NDCD).

The current record for warmest year was 1998 with a mean temperature of 54.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

The NDCD states, “It appears virtually certain that 2012 will surpass the current record as the warmest year for the nation.  December 2012 temperatures would need to be more than 1.0 degrees Fahrenheit colder than the coldest December (1983) for 2012 to not break the record.”

November 2012 was the 20th warmest November and the 8th driest in recorded history.

North Carolina is currently experiencing moderate drought conditions for 65 counties and abnormally dry conditions for another 16.  Swain is currently classified as abnormally dry and Jackson is in a moderate drought according to the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council (NCDMAC).

Tom Reeder, director of the N.C. Division of Water Resources, said in a statement on Thursday, Dec. 6, “Although we still haven’t had any reports of public water supplies being affected, we are seeing impacts to streams, groundwater levels and inflows to reservoirs.”

Ryan Boyles, a climatologist with the N.C. State Climate Office and NCDMAC member, commented, “November was the seventh driest on record in terms of statewide average rainfall since 1895.  Meterologists do not have a clear picture of the winter forecast this year.  If the state does not receive adequate rainfall this winter, it could create bigger problems next year if spring and summer months are also dry.”

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