2012 was the third hottest year on record in the Baltimore area, according to the National Weather Service.
It was the warmest year ever recorded at BWI airport since 1950 when temperatures were first recorded there, said Jared Klein, a NWS meteorologist.
The average temperature in 2012 at BWI was 58.6 degrees, just a half degree lower than the 59.2 degree average in 1931 and 1949 when temperatures were recorded at the customs house in downtown Baltimore City, according to Klein.
“We had one of the warmest winters on record, the warmest spring on record and the thirteenth warmest summer on record,” said Klein. “Each month was consistently above normal, except November.”
The 2012 average was 3.5 degrees warmer than the 1981-2010 normal, according to NWS.
July 18 and July 7 were the hottest days in 2012, with an average recorded temperature of 104 degrees both days, tying for the eighth hottest days since 1871, when records were first recorded in Baltimore. July 2012 was the fifth hottest month ever recorded, coming in at an average of 81.4 degrees during the month, according to NWS.
But Baltimore actually bucked a trend nationally, where many large cities experienced their hottest years ever recorded.
2012 was the hottest year for Washington DC, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, New Orleans, New York City, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and St. Louis, among many others, climate data shows.
In fact, 2012 was the hottest year ever recorded (55.3 degrees) in the contiguous 48 states, coming in a full degree warmer than the previous record in 1998, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
In a New York Times article about the recently released figures, the Times wrote, “the 10 warmest years on record all fell within the past 15 years, a measure of how much the planet has warmed. Nobody who is under 28 has lived through a month of global temperatures that fell below the 20th-century average, because the last such month was February 1985.”
In Maryland, significant weather events during 2012 included the fast-moving derecho that swirled through the state in late June, knocking down trees and leaving thousands without power. Afterwards, in early July, a significant summer heat wave rolled through, possibly contributing to record average highs experienced in the area that month.
Then in October, Superstorm Sandy pummeled the region with rains, marking the second hurricane-strength storm to make landfall in Maryland in the last two years.
“2012 was a historic year for extreme weather that included drought, wildfires, hurricanes and storms; however, tornado activity was below average,” reads the first sentence of the National Climatic Data Center’s report on the state of the climate in 2012, which was released Tuesday.
Do you think global warming is changing our climate? Tell us your thoughts in comments.