Jan 14, 2013 2:35 PM by NRDC
NEW YORK (January 15, 2013) - Thousands of monthly weather records were broken in communities throughout the US in 2012. They are all detailed in an updated interactive extreme weather mapping tool and year-end review just released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
2012 tallies reveal even more monthly weather records set than the 3,251 records smashed in 2011, with record-breaking heat, rainfall and snow events catalogued by state.
New this year, the interactive map at www.nrdc.org/extremeweather ranks all 50 states by their percentage of weather stations reporting at least one monthly heat record broken in 2012. The top 10 states to be highlighted (in alphabetical order): Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
In 2012, Americans experienced several unforgettably devastating extreme events. Climate scientists say these types of events are fueled by climate change:
* 2012 was the warmest year ever recorded in the US, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) State of the Climate report released last Tuesday.
* Hurricane Sandy's storm surge height, 13.88 feet, broke the all-time record in the New York Harbor, and ravaged communities across New Jersey and New York with floodwaters and winds.
* The summer of 2012 was the worst drought in 50 years across the nation's breadbasket, with over 1,300 US counties across 29 states declared drought disaster areas.
* The hottest March on record in the contiguous US, and July was the hottest single month ever recorded in the lower 48 states.
* Wildfires burned over 9.2 million acres in the US, and destroyed hundreds of homes.
NOAA has estimated that 2012 will surpass 2011 in aggregate costs for U.S. annual billion-dollar disasters, in large part due to the trails of destruction from Superstorm Sandy and the yearlong drought