Last year will be remembered as warmer than average for much of the nation, and depending on where you live, 2016 was either parched, soggy — or both.
Full year, January through December
The average U.S. temperature in 2016 was 54.9 degrees F (2.9 degrees F above average), which ranked as the second warmest year in 122 years of record-keeping. This is the 20th consecutive year the annual average temperature exceeded the average. Every state in the contiguous U.S. and Alaska experienced above-average annual temperatures, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
Precipitation for the year totaled 31.70 inches, ranking as the 24th wettest year. The national drought footprint expanded from about 18 percent in January to about 23 percent by the end of December. At just under 19 percent, the average area of drought in the U.S. for 2016 was the smallest since 2010.
The month of December was near the long-term average for the month with an average temperature across the contiguous U.S. of 32.9 degrees F, 0.17 degrees above average. The northwestern quarter of the contiguous U.S. was generally cooler than average for the month, while the southern U.S. and the Atlantic Coast states were warmer than average. The precipitation total for the month was 0.34 inch above normal.
Deadly, extreme weather caused major loss of life and damage in 2016.
Last year, the U.S. experienced 15 weather and climate disasters, each with losses exceeding $1 billion for a total of $46 billion. Tragically, the disasters claimed a total of 138 lives:
● 1 drought (affected multiple areas);
● 1 wildfire (affected multiple areas);
● 4 inland floods;
● 8 severe storms; and
● 1 hurricane (Matthew).
This is the second highest number of disasters experienced in one year, with double the record number of inland flooding events for one year.
Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained more than 200 weather and climate disasters that exceeded $1.1 trillion in overall damages.
Happy Sunday! A look at today's high temperatures: https://t.co/xN0B1Wihg82 hours ago by WeatherNation
Say it ain't snow! It ain't snow! It's cotton of all things! Strong winds made cotton float through the air over… https://t.co/aGHxHWk7ga4 hours ago by WeatherNation
The storms that moved through the central U.S. SAT evening might have been severe, but the cloud formations are tru… https://t.co/vqaNApxPfB10 hours ago by WeatherNation
Severe storms make their way through the Music City Saturday evening. Active weather will continue through the nig… https://t.co/vhTp25GlhO13 hours ago by WeatherNation
A severe thunderstorm and tornado watch stretch about 1,500 miles from Colorado to the Atlantic this evening. Stay… https://t.co/bGf1RZmrob14 hours ago by WeatherNation
Severe storms continue to make their way through the central U.S. Be sure to stay weather aware throughout this ho… https://t.co/7tf1MLBOtm16 hours ago by WeatherNation
Hail this afternoon has been as large as 4.25" thick (grapefruit size) in Missouri! This video shows pea size hail… https://t.co/9Tn7T9Lwl817 hours ago by WeatherNation
Severe storms are moving through Missouri now. Hope all the boaters are safe after this storm blew over Lake of the… https://t.co/Vp5o6a1kvv18 hours ago by WeatherNation
What's your favorite kind of weather for a long holiday weekend? #ItsWhatWeDo23 hours ago by WeatherNation