Extreme Weather in June 2012 Makes it the Fourth Hottest on Record

By Chelsea Whyte on July 16, 2012 10:46 PM EDT

thermometer
Skyrocketing temperatures across the world have made June 2012 the fourth all-time hottest June on record. (Photo: Creative Commons: Flickr/akeg)

The hot weather experienced all over the planet this past month has made June of this year the fourth hottest month of June since record keeping began in 1880.

The U.S. National Oceanicographic and Atmospheric Administration released data that shows that June finished out the warmest 12-month period in the lower 48 states since the late 19th century, according to CBS News. Eurasia and northern Africa also saw high-than-average monthly temperatures during that period, according to NOAA.

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In the United States, the heat waves were contained to the eastern two-thirds of the country, leaving the northwestern states cooler than average alongside northern and western Europe and Australia, which saw lower-than-average temperatures as well.

As of the 3rd of July, 56 percent of the continental United States was experiencing drought conditions, which marks the largest area affected by drought in the 12-year record kept by the U.S. Drought Monitor, reports The Huffington Post.

The average 2012 temperature through June was 57.4 degrees Fahrenheit - 4.5 degrees higher than the long-term average for the same period, according to The New York Times. That's 1.5 degrees warmer on average than the second hottest temperatures recorded, in 2006, said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at the data center.

The drought extends into Colorado and with high temperatures and dry weather throughout the Rocky Mountains, recent wildfires have razed homes and forests.

"By the beginning of June, there was no snow in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. That's unprecedented, to my knowledge," climate analyst Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research told The New York Times. He said the reported temperatures are "consistent with the view that climate change is playing a role" in weather patterns.

Though the NOAA report does not mention climate change, the fact that a country as large as the United States is seeing record-breaking heat in a majority of states is significant and could be a symptom of rising global temperatures. 

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