BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Record heat. It wasn’t just your imagination this past year: 2012 has officially been named the warmest year in history for the U.S. and the third warmest for Maryland.

Kai Jackson has more from experts on the unusual weather pattern.

2012 was a year marked not just by warm weather but also destructive weather-related events.

The weather stats on 2012 have scientists and laypeople alike taking note. Experts say it was the warmest year on record in the lower 48 states, averaging 55.3 degrees each day.

“When we look at years like 2012 and we see how warm that entire year was, several degrees on average above the entire 20th century on average, that suggests that there’s a trend going on,” said Jim O’Leary, Maryland Science Center.

Scientists say the effects of a warming trend were manifest through major events. Sixty percent of the country experienced drought conditions last year. Wildfires ravaged millions of acres of land out west, destroying homes and property. In the spring of 2012, tornadoes swept across the southeast, claiming lives and homes. And by year’s end, the name Superstorm Sandy had become a household word after the monster weather system claimed lives and caused billions of dollars in property damage in the Northeast.

Maryland was equally impacted by the wave of warm weather in 2012. Scientists say Marylanders felt the effects of the wide-ranging weather.

WJZ’s Bob Turk says weather can be a contradiction. He says there are cyclical patterns, yet some events forecast the future.

“We’ve seen changes that have occurred around the country–very, very violent kind of weather systems. Drought in the Midwest; we’ve even had droughts here in Maryland,” Turk said.

We’re in the midst of some warm January weather right now.


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