By Jim Stanford on December 20, 2012
The mercury may have been hovering around -10 the last few mornings, but this year is likely to be the warmest ever recorded in Wyoming, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
Temperatures for January through November were 4.3 degrees above normal. Given the mild start to December, 2012 is projected to surpass 1934 as the warmest year since record keeping began in 1895.
Three of the warmest years in the state’s history have occurred since 2006, according to NOAA data. 2007 was the fourth-warmest, and 2006 ranks sixth.
The trend is in keeping with the rest of the nation, as 2012 likely will be the hottest on record in the lower 48. Northern and Western states showed the greatest increases in temperatures, with only Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada and North Dakota exceeding Wyoming’s deviation from the norm.
In Jackson, the change cannot be measured accurately because the U.S. Forest Service quit taking readings at the historic site in January 2011. Those measurements resumed this fall. But the statewide warming matches what was observed locally in 2012, with an early spring and mild autumn.
In addition, says meteorologist Jim Woodmencey, during the summer, “We didn’t cool down at night as much as you would expect.”
According to Adventure Journal, seven of the top 10 warmest years in America have occurred since 1997. This year’s warm-up is significantly higher than previous records.