It's been a hot year.
In fact, the first six months of 2012 accounted for the warmest January-through-June period on record for the contiguous U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Monday.
The national temperatures averaged 52.9 degrees — "4.5 degrees above the long-term average," NOAA said in a statement. "Most of the contiguous U.S. was record and near-record warm for the six-month period, except the Pacific Northwest." East of the Rockies, 28 states were "record warm," NOAA said.
The past year also registered as the hottest 12-month period on record in the contiguous U.S., narrowly surpassing the mark set last month, NOAA said.
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Climate models indicate the hot temperatures are not expected to ease anytime soon. “It looks like it’s going to stay above normal, for much of the remainder of the summer,” said Jon Gottschalck at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
Last month was the 14th hottest June on record. The average June temperature for the contiguous 48 states was 71.2 degrees — two degrees higher than the 20th century average.