By Todd Nelson
And just like that, we close the books on the warmest year in recorded history for the U.S. and one of the warmest years on record for the Twin Cities. We'll join the ranks of that in 1931 when the average yearly temp for the Twin Cities was almost 5F above average!
The massive hot dome across the nation for much of the spring and summer had a big impact on the lack of severe weather and tornadoes across the country. According to the Storm Prediction Center, there was a record low in the number of tornado and severe weather watches issued for 2012. Since moving into their Norman, OK office in 1997, there has never been as few watches as this year's 697. 2012 will also finish with nearly 400 less tornado reports than the 7 year average. According to NOAA's NCDC, 2012 will finish nearly 140 less than the 1991-2010 average.
To the record Minnesota warmth and record Duluth flood, 2012 will be remembered mostly for it's warm and dry characteristics. Other than October, every month finished with above average temperatures in the Twin Cities. As of today, nearly 83% of the state is still in a severe drought or worse. Here's hoping for a more normal 2013! -Todd Nelson
Todd's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
NEW YEAR'S DAY: Cold start to 2013! Bright sun. Wind Chills: -10 to -20. High: 13. Winds: SW 5-10.
TUESDAY NIGHT: Not as cold. Clouds thicken by daybreak. Low: 6.
"By taking the top spot as the hottest year in the U.S., 2012 pushes 1998 into second place, followed by 2006, 1934 and 1999. In line with the global warming trend spurred by steadily rising carbon emissions, seven of the top 10 warmest years in the 48 states have occurred in the past 15 years.
Like so much recent record-breaking weather, 2012 isn’t just going to break the previous record, 2012 is looking to smash it, by more than 1°F. Climate Central projects the 2012 average temperature for the continental U.S. at 55.34°F compared to the previous record set in 1998 of 54.32°F. For perspective, 1°F is one quarter of the difference between the coldest and warmest years ever recorded in the continental U.S."
Read more from climatecentral.org HERE:
Extreme Heat Hampered 2012 Tornado Production
Interestingly, the extreme heat played a role in the amount of tornadoes across the nation this year. Because it got so hot so fast this spring, we didn't really see any extended tornado risks. According to the Storm Prediction Center, the 2012 tornado count will finish nearly 400 reports less than the 7year average.
2012's Biggest Tornado Day
2012's biggest tornado day was on March 2nd. There were 132 tornadoes from the Ohio valley to the Gulf Coast. March tornadoes also claimed the lives of 41 this year; (68 total fatalities for the year).