By Ben Geman - 07/09/12 08:07 PM EDT
The 12-month stretch between July of 2011 and June of 2012 was the warmest year in the contiguous United States since recordkeeping began in 1895, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The temperatures narrowly outpaced the old record, which was for the 12-months from June 2011 to May of 2012.
Hot weather in June also helped make the first half of 2012 the warmest first-half of a year on record, according to NOAA. “Most of the contiguous U.S. was record and near-record warm for the six-month period, except the Pacific Northwest. Twenty-eight states east of the Rockies were record warm and an additional 15 states were top ten warm,” the agency said.
The latter part of June was especially scorching in much of the country.
“Record-breaking temperatures occurred across a large portion of the nation during the second half of June. Over 170 all-time warm temperature records and were broken or tied during the month. Temperatures in South Carolina (113°F) and Georgia (112°F) are currently under review by the U.S. State Climate Extremes Committee as possible all-time statewide temperature records,” NOAA reported.