2016 Was Second-Hottest Year on Record in U.S.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday that 2016 was the second-hottest year on record in the U.S.

The average temperature in 2016 was 54.9 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.9 degrees above the average since the U.S. started keeping records in 1895. The only hotter year in recorded history was 1998.

The unusual warmth was particularly spread out geographically. Georgia experienced its warmest year on record. Every state had an average annual temperature that was in its top seven on record. Forty-five states — all except Iowa, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Utah — had one of their five warmest years on record.

Several parts of Alaska saw a significant increase in temperature. The temperature in Barrow, located on the state’s North Slope, was 7.1 degrees higher than its 1981-2010 average. Nome, in Western Alaska, was 5.1 degrees warmer than the average, Anchorage was 4.4 degrees warmer, Fairbanks was 3.9 degrees warmer, and Juneau was 2.7 degrees warmer.

The year saw heavy precipitation, which is common for El Niño years. Precipitation totaled 31.7 inches, making it the 24th wettest year on record.

In total, the U.S. had 15 extreme-weather “disasters” that killed 138 people and caused $46 billion in damages. Each of the events caused at least $1 billion in damages.


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