New Extreme Weather Map to Reveal Weather Records Shattered in 2012; Thousands of Records Broken

Published Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 11:31 am

recordJan. 15, 2013. Thousands of monthly weather records were broken in communities throughout the US, including more than 57 in North Carolina, as detailed in an updated interactive extreme weather mapping tool and year-end review to be released at noon EST on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). 2012 tallies reveal even more monthly weather records set than the 3,251 records smashed in 2011, with record-breaking heat, rainfall and snow catalogued by state. 

In 2012, Americans experienced several unforgettably devastating extreme events. Climate scientists say these types of events are fueled by climate change:

* 2012 was the warmest year ever recorded in the US, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) State of the Climate report released last week. 

* Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge height, 13.88 feet, broke the all-time record in New York Harbor, and ravaged communities across New Jersey and New York with floodwaters and winds. 

* The summer of 2012 was the worst drought in 50 years across the nation’s breadbasket, with over 1,300 US counties in 29 states declared drought disaster areas.

* The hottest March on record in the contiguous US, and July was the hottest single month ever recorded in the lower 48 states.

* Wildfires burned over 9.2 million acres in the US, and destroyed hundreds of homes.  

NOAA has estimated that 2012 will surpass 2011 in aggregate costs for U.S. annual billion-dollar disasters, in large part due to the trails of destruction from Superstorm Sandy and the yearlong drought.

The weather map will be available as of noon EST on January 15, 2013 at www.nrdc.org/extremeweather

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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