While 2018 might be off to a frigid start, 2017 was North Carolina’s hottest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
That record stretches back 123 years to 1895.
The hottest temperature recorded at National Weather Service official climate sites in North Carolina in 2017 was 102 in both Raleigh and Fayetteville on July 23, according to meteorologist James Morrow.
North Carolina was joined by four other states – Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina and New Mexico – that also had their warmest year ever.
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But 2017 wasn’t just hotter for states in the south. It was the third hottest year in the U.S. records for the lower 48 states, with an annual temperature of 54.6 degrees – 2.6 degrees warmer than the 20th century average. Only 2012 and 2016 were warmer. The five warmest years for the lower 48 states have all happened since 2006, according to NOAA.
And 2017 was the third straight year that all 50 states had above average temperatures for the year. The United States has had above-normal annual temperatures for 21 straight years.
Areas across the nation are seeing increasing extremes in temperature, according to NOAA records. Raleigh recently set a record for lowest recorded temperature – 4 degrees at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Jan. 7. The previous record was 9 degrees in 2014. Raleigh’s warmest day in 2017 was Sept. 28, when the National Weather Service recorded 94 degrees at RDU.
North Carolina had significant heat waves in: 2012, 2011, 2007, 1999, 1993, 1986, 1983, 1980, 1977, 1954 and 1952, according to the weather service.
To see NOAA’s national climate report, go to www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201712.