2017 Annual USA Climate Review - U.S. Summary
(Source: NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, formally the National Climate Data Center)
Based on preliminary analysis, the average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 52.7°F, 0.7°F above the 20th century average. This ranked in the warmest third of the 125-year record and was the coldest year since 2014. Below-average temperatures, particularly daytime temperatures, were observed across the northern Plains, while above-average to record-warm overnight temperatures dominated across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Parts of the West, South, and much of the Southeast, Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast experienced above- to much-above-average temperatures during 2019. Georgia and North Carolina ranked record warmest while Florida, South Carolina and Virginia each had their second warmest year on record. Below-average temperatures were observed across the northern Plains with South Dakota ranking 12th coldest for the January-December period.
The nationally averaged maximum temperature (daytime highs) was near average for 2019 at 64.1°F, 0.1°F above average, ranking as the middle third of the 125-year record and the coolest daytime high temperatures for any year since 1997. Parts of the Northern Rockies and Plains and western Great Lakes were below-average for the year with South Dakota tying with 1996 as second coldest. Only the daytime temperatures of 1951 were colder. Much of the South, Southeast, Mid Atlantic and parts of the Northeast were above-to much-above average during 2019.
The nationally averaged minimum temperature (overnight lows) during 2019 was 41.2°F, 1.2°F above average and ranked in the warmest third of the 125-year record. Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina each ranked warmest on record with eleven additional states' minimum temperatures ranking among their warmest 10 years on record.
Influenced by warm ocean temperatures, many locations across Hawaii experienced a near-record- to record-warm year in 2019. Kahului and Lihue were record warm, while Honolulu tied with 1995 for warmest year on record.
The contiguous U.S. average annual precipitation was 34.78 inches, which is 4.84 inches above the long-term average, the second wettest year on record and 0.18 inch less than the total for the wettest year set in 1973*. Record precipitation fell across the northern Plains, Great Lakes and portions of the central Plains. Ten of the last twelve 12-month periods were record wet with the top seven all-time wettest 12-month periods occurring during 2019.
Above-average annual precipitation was observed across much of the nation. North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan each had their wettest year on record during 2019, with much of the central U.S., Northeast and parts of the West experiencing above- to much-above-average precipitation. Below-average precipitation fell across the state of Washington, which had its ninth driest year on record. It was also dry to much drier than average across parts of southern Texas and the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Source: NOAA National Overview - Annual. To gain the most perspective, all available data should be
used to ensure we don't lie with statistics. However, we must consider
the context - for example - that our temperature data start at the end
of the last "Little Ice Age" in the 1800s with the development and placement of thermometers.
Below we use one data set and its calculator (from NOAA NCDC) to present
the full data and then variants as used by warming alarmists and by skeptics.
We use USA data because it is more trustworthy than the global data set.
Analysis: The US temperature trend is 0.15 deg F per decade.After 2 years below the trendline, 2016 was the second highest in the record.
The projected temperature rise by IPCC is unrealistic, given that the USA and global temperatures have risen by only slightly more than 1 deg F (.5 C) in 100 years (revised, NOAA, 1 May 2007 ), (or 150 years using the full instrumented data set) during the height of industrial expansion. Even if all this rise is correct, and is attributable to human causes, it is a small amount in the natural variation of the Earth, and to suggest the rise would accelerate 5 fold (IPCC best estimate) in this century is hard to believe. Even after the release of the new data set and procedures by NOAA, which addressed some of the urban heat island issues and dropped the warming 44% (below IPCC 2007), significant other urban heat island issues still remain. There are also issues of calibration as measurement protocols have changed, issues about the design and placement of the temperature stations, and even the strongly held view by many skeptics that this is a natural rise as the Earth recovers from the Little Ice Age (circa 1300-1860).
If the city where you live has a higher temperature than its suburbs, you can imagine the impact of growth around the world on land-based temperatures. The USA has fixed many of these problems. This is likely why the global temperatures rise while those of the USA are more "normal".
The Climate Skeptics who do not accept the whole argument that mankind is primarily responsible for warming are quick to point out the nearly flat temperture rise since 1998 is in the presence of continued CO2 growth. And before the 2 high years of 2013 and 2016, NOAA data show a rapidly declining temperature of -0.77 deg F per decade over the 11 years, from 1998 until 2008 - the coolest year in the series. Here is what those data show.
This page updated or reviewed in September 2020