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    New York City, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Boston All Had Their Hottest Year Ever in 2012

    Written by

    Brian Merchant

    Senior Editor

    Let the global warming-fueled record breaking begin, again: Climatologists at Cornell University and NOAA-run Northeast Regional Climate Center are reporting that last year was the "warmest year on record for 23 of the 35 major climate sites in the Northeast." And those sites happen to include some of biggest and most vital cities in the nation.

    New York City, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Newark, and Providence were among the cities that just wrapped up their hottest year ever—many broke heat records set way back in 1921 or during the epic El Nino year of 1998. Many smashed the previous records by an entire degree Fahrenheit; and remember, this is an average temperature for the entire year, so that's a pretty serious uptick in heat.

    According to the NRCC,

    Burlington, VT, had the greatest departure above their old record. The city reported an annual temperature of 50.0°, beating their old record, set in 1998, by 1.6°. Of the sites that broke the record, Scranton, PA, and Williamsport, PA, had the longest-standing record. Scranton was 0.7° warmer in 2012 and Williamsport was 0.1° warmer in 2012 than the previous warmest year, 1921. Syracuse, NY, broke an old record by a fair amount with 2012 coming in 1.1° warmer than the previous warmest year, 1931.

    Recall that this was the same year that the region was smashed by an unusually massive hurricane (the second in two years) and that the crippling drought that was especially bad in the South and the Midwest also hindered the Northeast, and it should get easier to take this indisputably severe climate weirding a bit more seriously.

    Here's the NRCC's list of cities that set new records last year (* = Set record in 2012)

    Annual Average Temperature

     

    Location

    2012

    Previous Record

    Hottest Year

    Bridgeport, CT*

    55.7

    54.4

    2012 (previous was 1991, 2010)

    Hartford, CT*

    53.7

    53.0

    2012 (2010)

    Dulles Airport, VA*

    57.9

    57.1

    2012 (1990, 1998, 2006)

    Washington, DC*

    61.6

    60.3

    2012 (1991)

    Wilmington, DE*

    57.5

    57.2

    2012 (1973)

    Boston, MA*

    54.2

    53.9

    2012 (2010)

    Worcester, MA*

    51.3

    50.2

    2012 (2006)

    Baltimore, MD

    58.7

    59.3

    1949, 1931

    Caribou, ME

    42.6

    44.4

    2010

    Portland, ME

    49.3

    49.6

    1878

    Concord, NH*

    49.2

    48.8

    2012 (1998, 2010)

    Atlantic City, NJ

    57.1

    57.2

    2011

    Newark, NJ*

    57.9

    57.6

    2012 (1990)

    Albany, NY*

    51.7

    51.4

    2012 (1931)

    Binghamton, NY*

    49.5

    49.2

    2012 (1998)

    Buffalo, NY*

    52.2

    51.0

    2012 (1998)

    Central Park, NY*

    57.4

    57.3

    2012 (1990, 1991)

    Islip, NY*

    55.3

    55.1

    2012 (1998)

    Kennedy Airport, NY*

    57.0

    56.3

    2012 (1991)

    LaGuardia Airport, NY

    58.5

    58.6

    2006

    Rochester, NY*

    51.9

    51.6

    2012 (2006)

    Syracuse, NY*

    52.6

    51.5

    2012 (1931)

    Allentown, PA*

    54.6

    54.1

    2012 (1998)

    Erie, PA

    53.1

    53.2

    1998

    Harrisburg, PA

    55.9

    56.6

    1998

    Philadelphia, PA*

    58.9

    58.2

    2012 (1931, 1998)

    Pittsburgh, PA

    54.3

    55.5

    1921

    Scranton, PA*

    53.1

    52.4

    2012 (1921)

    Williamsport, PA*

    53.8

    53.7

    2012 (1921)

    Providence, RI*

    53.9

    53.8

    2012 (2010)

    Burlington, VT*

    50.0

    48.4

    2012 (1998)

    Beckley, WV

    54.6

    55.7

    1931

    Charleston, WV

    57.9

    58.4

    1990

    Elkins, WV

    52.6

    53.4

    1921

    Huntington, WV

    57.8

    59.8

    1931

    We've reached the point where we can feel global warming wrap its sweat tendrils around our cities. We know it's there. And about time. The shakeout from last year may even include a shift in East Coaster's general perception about global warming. Expect a move beyond a cold-headed approach to sussing out the peculiarities of the science of warming to a more widespread and primal approach to warming.. We're beginning to simply intuit the face of the new climate; it's moving into our bloodstream. Global warming fuels the hurricanes that ruins homes, global warming prods on the drought, global warming brings the heat.

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