Connecticut had the warmest year on record in 2012, mirroring the nation as a whole.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s State of the Climate report, released Tuesday, cited Connecticut as one of 19 states that broke records for the warmest year.
The average temperature in the state during 2012 was 4.0 degrees Fahrenheit above the average for the 118-year period that records have been kept. That was 0.6 degrees higher than the second-hottest year - 1998 - when the temperature exceeded the average by 3.4 degrees.
Nationally, 2012 also succeeded 1998 by a full degree to become the hottest year on record.
Winter and spring were the two most unusually warm seasons in Connecticut. The winter of 2011-2012 ranked second in the state’s history, with temperatures 6.9 degrees above the twentieth century average. Spring ranked fourth, with temperatures 5.8 degrees above average. Summer and autumn were also above normal, but did not make the top ten.
Bridgeport and Hartford both had their warmest years on record. Temperatures in the Park City averaged 55.7 degrees, 3.3 degrees above the 30-year average of 52.4 degrees. With an average of 53.7 degrees, the Capitol did not fare much better; it was 3.2 degrees above normal.
Despite the extreme weather, none of Connecticut's weather stations reported any single-day records for the year. At least 356 other stations around the country tied or broke previous records. The report notes that some data may not be included because some stations send their reports via mail.
The NOAA report also says Connecticut, like much of the nation, had a relatively dry year. Although the Northeast generally escaped devastating drought plaguing the Midwest and other regions, 2012 ranked as the thirty-third driest year on record.
One decidedly wet spell came in October with Storm Sandy, which was one of the most destructive cyclones to hit the Northeast in a century and was part of the third-busiest season of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic's history, according to NOAA. The year's 19 named storms tied it with 2011,2010, 1995, and 1887.
Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a press release in November saying his office would seek $3.2 billion from the federal government for infrastructure improvements to handle future storms. Congress has stalled on approving the bulk of an aid package to help states affected by the storm.
In the release, Malloy pointed out that “changing weather patterns are a reality, and we must assume that the worst Mother Nature can throw at us hasn’t happened yet.”
Although records from January through July are final, NOAA's report says the rest of the year's data remain preliminary. Some of the ranks and percentages may change as the rest of the data is analyzed.